A ONE ACT PLAY written by Kelsey McCarson for

ALTERNATE TITLE: The imaginary conversation I had with HBO during Saturday night’s Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada fight.

CHARACTERS: Me – a semi-professional boxing writer battling a midlife crisis; HBO – a multimedia and/or spiritual entity hovering around the room like a ghost with the face of Peter Nelson and the voice of whatever stereotypical New York accent one can muster.

PLACE: A man is watching television in his pajamas on Saturday night. That man is Me.

Me: What the f–k is this?

HBO: Huh?

Me: What the f–k is this s–t on my TV tonight?

HBO: You mean the boxing?

Me: I mean this card full of flyweight fighters? Who cares about flyweights? Why is this crap on my television?

HBO: Kelsey, these are some of the very best fighters in th—

Me: Yeah, yeah, yeah…I get it. These guys are skilled at what they do and all that. I can read press releases. But tell me who really cares about watching any of these guys fight?

HBO: Boxing fans respect–

Me: I mean besides Max Kellerman.

HBO: Plenty of people who follow the sport—alongside Max—enjoy seeing the very best practitioners of the sport regardless of weight or size.

Me: When exactly did all that start to matter?

HBO: All what?

Me: How good the practitioner is? How many times did HBO show Guillermo Ridgondeaux fight?

HBO: This Rigondeaux angle again? Seriously? Look, with all due respect, there’s a reason why we’re the ones driving fancy cars and sitting ringside at fights and you’re the one sitting at home wondering how much longer you’ll be able to drive your twenty-year-old Dodge Ram.


HBO: Have you even seen any of these guys fight before?

Me: I don’t have to see tiny guys fight each other to know I don’t want to see tiny guys fight each other on my TV at night. I mean, how hard can these dudes punch anyway? They literally look like flies.

HBO: You haven’t seen any of them fight before. Have you?

Me: Get it? Flies? As in flywei—

HBO: We get it. Why won’t you answer the question?

Me: What question?

HBO: How many of the six fighters on this card have you seen fight before?

Me: Some.

HBO: What?

Me: I’ve seen some of them fight before.

HBO: Who have you seen fight before?

Me: I said some of them.

HBO: Yeah, but which ones specifically?

Me: This isn’t about me. It’s about you wasting everyone’s time with like eleventy cards a year of flyweights that nobody has ever heard of before and nobody even cares about watching.

HBO: You haven’t seen any of them fight before. Have you?

Me: You can’t prove I haven’t.

HBO: You can’t prove you have.


HBO: Just watch the fights.

Me: This main event better not suck.

HBO: [sighs deeply]

Me: How poor was this dude anyway?

HBO: Who?

Me: This Sor Rungvisai fellow…was he really so poor that he had to scavenge his food while working as a trash collector in Thailand?

HBO: Um, yes. Why?

Me: Because that kinda sounds made up.

HBO: Why would we make something like that up?

Me: To get me emotionally invested? You just told me this story and the other one about Estrada’s aunt getting killed in the span of about thirty seconds and now I’m getting all misty-eyed and my chest hurts.

HBO: So you’re asking if we coach fighters on made-up stories about their past to get viewers emotionally invested?

Me: I guess not.

HBO: You guess not what…that we don’t do that or that you aren’t asking if we do that?

Me: Whichever. I’m starting to find this fight pretty compelling actually.

HBO: Who hurt you?

Me: …

HBO: Are you enjoying the fights?

Me: Possibly.

HBO: Why can’t you just admit that you were wrong about flyweights?

Me: Me? How long did Estrada have to languish in obscurity before getting called up to the HBO big leagues anyways? And you just barely cashed in on the all-time great status of Roman Gonzalez before Sor Rungvisai came along and demolished him.

HBO: So which is it?

Me: Which is what?

HBO: You can’t be mad at us for not showing more of Estrada’s fights on HBO while also being mad at us for having all these flyweight cards on HBO, too.

Me: Shhhh! Are you even watching this right now? These dudes are rumbling.

HBO: Are you serious?

Me: I mean, if I squint right now, Sor Rungvisai vs. Estrada looks a lot like Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. And I mean the little versions of those fighters, not the hulking masses we got when the two were pretty old. I mean, how many times did those guys fight anyway? And how heavy were they when they finished? I still can’t believe Marquez knocked Pacquiao out like that. I thought he killed him.

HBO: Um…

Me: Man, little fighters like that really go after it, too. They seriously throw bombs at each other every second of every round. I wish we could get more fights like this on HBO. You know? Can you imagine if the bigger fighters did this? Those lazy bastards.

HBO: Just admit you were wrong.

Me: Wrong about what?

HBO: Flyweights.

Me: Flyweights?

HBO: Flyweights.

Me: Flyweights? What flyweights? Nobody cares about flyweights! Sor Rungvisai and Estrada (my new favorite fighters by the way) are junior bantamweights. Now there’s a weight class! Hey, why not show more junior bantams on HBO? Will you guys ever get it together over there in New York? …Hello? HBO?

Kelsey McCarson covers boxing for NY Fights, The Sweet Science, and He also hosts a YouTube show about boxing with his wife, Rachel McCarson, called "Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel".