Friday, February 23, 2007

Tommy Morrison KOs AIDS?

Amidst the Anna Nicoles, Manny Used Cars, and a Presidential Front Runner with 800 Days of political experience, one story bubbles to the surface as the strangest. Apparently, Tommy "Gunn" Morrison, a man who knocked out Paulie with one punch, has found a way to conquer Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. (For a remarkably thorough description of Morrison's life, check out Wikipedia)

Back in 1995, Tommy was just getting past his Rocky V mullet and deciding which boxer he would be: the one who knocked out Razor Ruddock or the Glass Joe who lost in the first round to unkown Michael Bentt. But life changed dramatically for Mr. Morrison, as a positive AIDS test cut short his somewhat promising boxing career. You would assume that'd be the last we heard of Tommy Morrison, except for very special episodes of Saved by the Bell or Surreal Life.

Cut to twelve years and four negative AIDS tests later, and Tommy's mounting a comeback. Last night, instead of pummeling the doctors who might have screwed up his initial test, Tommy knocked out John Castle in the second round.

Morrison, 38, who claims he has tested negative in several recent HIV tests, dropped Castle with a left hook to the head midway through the second of the scheduled four-round fight at Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort. "I'm pretty happy with the way I fought," Morrison said. "I would rate myself about a 6½ considering how long I have been out of the ring. The last thing you lose as a heavyweight is your power."

Even with the victory, Tommy's going to have a steep hill to climb. I guess fighters are nervous about facing a potential AIDS carrier in a sport where the victor only bleeds a little. His opponent, for one, sounded like he'd be more comfortable facing an Anaconda than going toe to toe with Morrison again.

"Wouldn't you? I was going to refuse to fight," Castle told the New York Daily News. "I asked to see his medical tests and they showed me three tests where he was negative for HIV. That's the only way I would fight." Wesley Ramey, Castle's trainer, was also concerned, telling the Daily News, "I made up my mind ahead of time that I was going to stop it if Morrison got a bad cut. A guy with HIV and AIDS isn't going to bleed all over my guy. My guy has a wife and two kids at home. I couldn't let that happen to him."

At 38, he's not exactly the ideal age for a pugilist (unless he picked up some cues from that boxer who sells grilling tchotchkes). But he's had a decade of frustration working on his side, and as the Punisher taught us, that just might be enough. Or as his own website states:

Because one thing for sure: Tommy has proved throughout his career and throughout his life that he is one tough S.O.B. For the ones who wonder about Tommy, well, he’s still Tommy.