E-ticket: Fight Club
Yet the skills that made him a great boxer are gone -- the speed, the hard body, the instincts and the reflexes. Gone utterly. Maybe all that's left is courage. In his prime, it was the courage to stand across the ring from another man trained and poised to do him bodily harm. Now it's the courage to sit on the other side of a velvet rope and be measured against his former self in the eyes of strangers.
"Sign it to Doug," says a paunchy guy in an Everlast T-shirt that has never seen an honest sweat. He's barely 40, not old enough to have seen the Benvenuti fight, not old enough to have seen Griffith at the height of his game. No, what he knows of Griffith he gleaned from the documentary "Ring of Fire." That Griffith's sexual orientation is unclear though he denies he's gay. That Benny Kid Paret taunted him as a maricon before a bout in 1962. And that, in turn, Griffith, usually a technician more than a brawler, killed Paret in the ring. The fan hands Griffith a felt pen.