Scoop 4: Gloves Off!

Gloves Off!I love boxing. Not only the sport but the glamour attached to it and the people. Throughout my dancing career I performed in boxing rings all over the country. Either as a ring girl in skimpy little diamante outfits. Or doing shows in the glaring lights of the ring. It’s challenging to keep your balance in stilettos on the soft spongy surface of a boxing ring. It’s even more challenging to lure an audience member on to the stage. Now if you have witnessed me in action you would know that I like to get a poor sod onto stage, take off his clothes to his underpants and brand his white bum with my GIGI branding iron. Now if you are stuck in a boxing ring and the audience has seen you year after year brand some unfortunate, unwilling victim, you can imagine how difficult it is to track down your victim from the ring and then drag him to the centre, take off his clothes in the unforgiving bright lights, plant your name in red lipstick on his bum and make him bow in all directions with the bum to the audience. After a show I normally felt like I have just fought my own battle. And as you leave the ring, the audience will burst out clapping, wild with excitement because they have witnessed the embarrassing sight of Piet’s bum. Then you know, you will have to do it all again next year.

With the unfortunate death of Smoking Joe Frazier last week I thought back of an enchanting evening in 1994 at the old Carlton Hotel in town. I was attending a tribute evening for Muhammad Ali. It was a glamorous affair. And I was seated at the table with Baby Jake and some journalists from various newspapers. I remember Ali giving a demonstration of his famous Ali-shuffle with Brain Mitchell shadow boxing the master. I could not believe what I was witnessing. There was the biggest legend of the boxing world a few meters away from me on stage. After the main course Muhammad moved through the crowds. He was already sick at that stage with Parkinson disease and although he moved slowly he handed out religious notes to the audience with a big smile. I was in the middle of a group of journalists and fans trying to catch a glimpse or a pamphlet that he was handing out.  Then Ali stopped, turned to me and smiled.  And with a big gesture showed the crowd to open the way so that I could step up to him. It was the biggest moment of my life I can say with all honesty. I was standing next to an icon, a legend, a hero, with his hand around my waist and we were smiling to the cameras. The same hands that fought Joe Frazier in 1975, George Foreman in 1974, Sonny Liston in 1964 and 1965. I was the luckiest girl ever.” Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, was my motto from then on. On stage I would float like a butterfly and when I pinned Piet down to brand his wobbly white bum, O boy, I would sting like a bee!

Have a great week!

Gigi writes a weekly column for Scoop – click to see!
Click to read the article.  

Leave a Reply

Search this site

  • SA Corona Virus Online Resource