Former A’s All-Star Jose Canseco gave new meaning to the term “Bash Brother” Saturday night in Atlantic City, because he got bashed, brother. In his never-ending quest to find new ways in which to humiliate himself, the steroid-abuser-turned-whistle-blower turned up in a boxing ring after issuing an open challenge to any former athlete to fight him for $5,000. Unfortunately for Jose, former Philadelphia Eagles return specialist Vai Sikahema is also known as former amateur Golden Gloves boxer Vai Sikahema — and he does not like Jose.
“The guy is a walking corpse,”Sikahema said of the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Canseco, “because he’s rotted inside-out.”
The 45-year-old Sikahema meant what he said, because a mere 97 seconds into round one, Canseco did a spot-on impression of a corpse, after being laid out twice. The first knockdown came after a vicious left-hook from the ferocious Sikahema, who gave up 7 inches in height and roughly 45 pounds to the man billed as “Baseball’s Bad Boy,” and the second was after a dizzying flurry of power punches that ended Canseco’s night early.
While the Canseco-Sikahema fight garnered the most attention on the Jersey shore, the undercard was filled with several other athlete-on-athlete matchups that were designed to settle some old scores between bitter rivals.
» Semi-retired pitcher Roger Clemens was disqualified in the 3rd round of his fight with Brian McNamee when he threw a broken spit bucket at his former trainer. Clemens later explained he thought the bucket was his fist, but ringside officials were not convinced. Curiously, McNamee kept the bucket, which had traces of Clemens’ saliva in it, for evidence.
» Giants pitcher Barry Zito squared off with Peter Magowan with Zito’s $126 million contract on the line. Zito was being pummeled so mercilessly by a motivated Magowan that he grabbed a towel from his corner and threw it into the ring. Magowan promptly swung and hit it into the 81st row.
» Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre took on retired New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan in a bout that was booed mightily by the crowd, when Favre came out at the opening bell and laid down at Strahan’s feet, giving him the win. Favre then immediately retired from boxing, before announcing a comeback fight against Aaron Rodgers, scheduled for next week.
» Tiger Woods stepped in against Phil Mickelson, but the fight was halted when a ringside photographer snapped a photo as Tiger was drawing back his fist. Woods’enraged cornerman, Stevie Williams, then attacked the entire press row, causing a melee that delayed the next bout by nearly an hour.
» In a handicap match, Barry Bonds stood toe-to-toe with Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams. It was an even fight for two rounds, until Bonds was disqualified for head-butting both of his opponents — at the same time.
» Los Angeles Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy wanted a piece of his former power forward, Elton Brand, and he won a forfeited decision when Brand agreed to the fight, but then changed his mind and went home before arriving at the stadium.
» Canseco’s former teammate Mark McGwire lost a unanimous decision to fellow tainted home run kingpin Sammy Sosa. When asked about the loss mere minutes after the fight, McGwire was evasive, telling reporters, “I’m not here to talk about the past.”
» In one final attempt to settle their long-running feud, Shaquille O’Neal stood in against Kobe Bryant. Bryant used his quickness to dance circles around the overweight O’Neal, peppering him with lefts until the fat man fell, leaving Kobe standing over him smiling through his mouthpiece and taunting, “Tell me how my jab tastes … Shaq Fu … tell me how my jab tastes!”
» Following the main event, Canseco stunned the crowd by announcing that he would continue his pursuit of a boxing career and immediately challenged New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to a November brawl, with Madonna sitting ringside as the winner-take-all prize. Asked why he would take on Rodgriguez after such an embarrassing debut against Sikahema, Canseco replied, “Well, I really don’t like getting hit, so Alex should be easy pickings for me, since we all know he can’t hit anything in October.”
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.