Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Travelin' Man: Biloxi - Part 2
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After packing up my gear I rejoined ring announcer Joe Antonacci for a late-night snack at the casino cafeteria. We briefly said hello to the unmarked J'Leon Love, who was polishing off his meal as easily as he had his opponent a few hours earlier.
My appetite fully sated, I returned to my room and spent the next two hours furiously tapping away on the laptop. When I finished, I only had five-and-a-half hours to get in the equivalent of eight hours’ rest. It was nearly 3 a.m. before I finally turned out the lights on another day.
Saturday, April 21: For the most part, I slept pretty well. The lone interruption came when my cell phone rang a little after 5 a.m. Because it was lying on the desk 10 feet from where I was sleeping I couldn’t answer it in time and when I called the number back, the connection cut off after I heard a single "hello." I’d like to think it wasn’t a prank, but one never knows. In any case, I shut down the power and tried to settle back into slumber.
I met my cab-mate, audio man Mike Sena, in the lobby but because I misheard him say “lobby entrance” the previous day we missed each other. As a result, we headed out 15 minutes later than either of us wanted. Thankfully, the cab driver gave us an option of routes and our choice of taking the freeway helped us make up some time.
The Gulfport-to-Charlotte flight was relatively smooth and after disembarking in Charlotte I recognized Steven Martinez, who was wearing a small butterfly bandage over his left eye. We walked and talked for several hundred feet before we had to separate; the gate for his New York City flight was in Concourse C while my Pittsburgh flight would leave from Concourse B.
I spent the majority of my hour-long layover bantering with two software company workers whose depth of hockey knowledge rivaled mine in boxing. They seamlessly brought up facts and figures from 20 years earlier as if they had happened the other day and examinations of online fact-checking sites bore out their deeply-embedded factoids. Although I knew enough to contribute to the conversation, I spent most of the time asking questions about how they became so intensely interested in their chosen sport and specific aspects about the game that were mysteries to me. One never knows when an opportunity to expand one’s horizons will pop up and an international airport is as good a place to do so as any place on earth.
The Charlotte-to-Pittsburgh flight was far more choppy. When the food-and-drink cart had reached our row the plane dipped down and to the right, jostling the pot of hot coffee that was perilously perched atop the apparatus. If the flight attendant had slower reflexes the scorching beverage would have splashed the woman seated to my immediate right. Thankfully, disaster was averted.
I had no idea that the weather in Pittsburgh this day would be so dramatically different from the sunny, warm conditions of two days earlier. A light but steady rain fell and the mid-40s temperatures were further chilled by occasional gusts. Still, the three-minute walk to my car wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but the air blowing from the heater provided most welcome relief.
I knew the Showtime Extreme telecast of the Abner Mares-Eric Morel undercard would begin at 7 p.m. and when I reached my car at 4:30 I knew I had no time to spare if I wanted to get home to catch the start. Just like Thursday, I ran into a traffic jam just outside Pittsburgh that slowed everyone down for approximately 20 minutes. Once it cleared, I somehow found a way to make up the time despite my choice to drive slightly slower than the posted speed limits. I pulled into my driveway at 6:58 p.m., which gave me just enough to time to make sure that my recorder’s timer had switched on.
As of this writing, I don’t know when or where my next traveling gig will occur. One thing’s for sure: I’ll never lack for tasks to complete – and I love that.
Until next time, happy trails.
Photos / Craig Bennett-SHOWTIME