Perhaps, but not just yet. First, they're off to find a sporting-goods store. Need to buy something for the fight tonight. Boxing trunks.
There are boxing opponents, and then there is Bruce (the Mouse) Strauss, the Prince of Palookas.
At 37, Strauss likes to boast that he has been knocked out on every continent except Antarctica—"and not even James Bond can say that," he says. He has escaped victory 80 times under his real name and another "fifty or 60" under an assortment of a dozen aliases. "If you haven't seen me knocked out," says Strauss, "you're nobody."
He's the one opponent who doesn't live the lie. He has spent his whole life trying to become, in his proud words, "the greatest opponent in boxing history." He has been tucked in for the night by the best: Harry Arroyo, Bobby Czyz, Mike McCallum and Marlon Starling.
"I was born to be an opponent," says Strauss, and he might be right. At 16, he was hit in the head with a shot put. When he came to, he realized he had only a slight headache and—eureka!—his life's work was decided. From that moment on, Strauss knew he could do what he loved to do—box—and not be the least bit talented at it.
"I deserve to get knocked out for all the fun I've had," he says. And what fun it has been. Strauss has never broken his nose—but on nine or 10 occasions someone else has done it for him. He has also had his jaw broken once, ribs three times and his eardrums "numerous" times. He has been KO'd by punches to the liver and the solar plexus, and has been pounded in the kidneys to the point of urinating blood. He has suffered temporary amnesia twice.
He has been knocked out three times in a week, and twice in one night. That night Strauss found himself in a familiar position after his fight—waking up in the locker room. What woke him up was a commotion in the hall. The main-event opponent had gotten cold feet and left the arena. The promoter had a packed house, a hometown hero and no "opponent."
"Let me do it," Strauss said. "I can change my trunks and fight as somebody else."
"You? You just got knocked out!" said the promoter.
"So?" said Strauss. "Whaddaya got to lose?"