The crowd, which included the inspirational Chuvalo, cheered lustily, applauding displays of heart as well as boxing talent. There was only one tense moment; the spectators turned surly when the vendors ran out of beer.
Danny Sullivan entered the ring late for his bout because of delay in borrowing a protective cup. His outfit of bathing trunks, running shoes and a beach towel sporting pink flamingos was typical of the evening. But, alas, Sullivan learned that street fighting is different from boxing—he got a stitch in his side and couldn't continue after 1:58 of the first round.
Des McLelland, true to his prediction, outboxed his man in the first round and took him out with a TKO in the second. Perhaps the best boxer of the night, 170-pound John Scott—who was allowed to enter the tournament because Ungerman had seen him fight before—winningly pasted one James Chard with well-thrown combinations.
And, finally, the impassive, keg-shaped Roosevelt Joseph showed everybody why he had been so relaxed.
Joseph came shuffling out throwing monstrous jabs and long, loopy hooks of considerable power to produce the first knockout of the night, blasting Brian Hardman into the ropes at 1:06 of the first round. In fact, Joseph worked only about 10 minutes in four bouts, collecting two knockouts and two TKOs.
In their semifinal match, McLelland simply refused to come off the ropes in the third round to face more battering by Joseph. Instead, smiling gamely, he tried coaxing Joseph to come to him. But Joseph stood solidly in the center of the ring, shrugging wearily and gazing into the far distance. The referee finally determined that McLelland would assuredly be out of his mind to step out and take more punishment, and declared Joseph the winner by a TKO. All of which brought up Scott, the aforementioned classy boxer.
Unhappily, Scott had absorbed something of a brutal walloping in winning his semifinal on a decision, and after a scowling Joseph connected with two haymaker lefts, Scott simply shook his head. When it wouldn't clear, he sat down quietly in a corner and spat out his mouthpiece. The fight was scored as a knockout and Toronto's new champ was crowned.
Joseph, wearing the kind of bathrobe somebody's mom might give him for Christmas, said afterward, "I'll turn professional. I'm a welder, mon, and I need the money." Born in Aruba, raised in Grenada and England, Joseph moved to Toronto two years ago and took up boxing, "to lose a little weight, you know. I belong to a club now and I like to work with kids. But I got really interested in the sport, and I guess I'm good at it. My welding work is heavy, so I have much power in my punches."
All of which brought up the title of the competition. Did Joseph, indeed, think he was the toughest of them all? "Oh, my goodness, no," he said. And then he fell silent and stared off into the distance again.
The crowd probably would not have agreed with Joseph's self-assessment. But the crowd had left. Something about getting out of there and going someplace where a guy could get a beer.