Fifteen years ago, I sat ringside in Reading, England, and watched Lolenga Mock, also known as ‘Lumumba Boy’, enter a boxing ring wearing leopard print shorts complete with what appeared to be a detachable tail. He was about to box David Haye, then unbeaten in six professional fights, on the BBC, and he was about to lose.
At least that was the set-up, the process, the gentleman’s agreement on which Mock, a Dane by way of the Congo, had shaken, and nothing about his appearance or demeanour – forget the tail, he was also many pounds lighter and many inches shorter than Haye – suggested this imported punch bag with a bobble on his behind was about to go rogue.
Rather, what Mock was supposed to do was something like this: be cagey early on, move around, buy time, feel the weight of the cruiserweight’s punches (Mock being a natural super-middleweight and all), show some bravery, show some guts, and then eventually keel over. Failing that, pull out between rounds when the going gets tough. Twist a knee. Throw a shoulder out. Complain of a sore hand. Basically, whatever the exit strategy, make sure you exit; make sure Haye remains undefeated and the fans in Reading go home having seen the fight and result they expected to see.