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Drinkin' with "the champ"

Being a diehard NFL fan, the idea of missing the NFC and AFC championship games was ridiculous to me. Luckily, I signed up for a hike in Cotopaxi the day before and met two guys from the states, one of whom was an Eagles fan who had already found where he wanted to watch the game. After exchanging numbers and agreeing to meet up the next day, we split and I went back to the hostel, looking forward to beers and football the next day.

Having to work most of the afternoon, I arrived pretty late into the game. With there being only 4 people at the bar they chose, it wasn’t hard to find my group. After asking them if they wanted a round, one of them said he’d walk up with me. Pulling me aside at the bar, he said “dude, we’ve been boozing pretty hard the whole game. We met this two time welterweight champ of the world who has been buying bottles of tequila.” Never one to back away from a challenge, I asked him where the boxer was, and more importantly, where the tequila was. Being a boxing fan, I was psyched to meet this guy and talk to him over a few drinks. Door opened, and my friend nudged me, “that’s him,” he said, wholly unnecessarily. You could tell immediately that this guy was a boxer, albeit one that had gone slightly to seed. Standing about 5’3”, with a neck like a hippo and a bald head covered in tattoos, this was not a guy to get into a disagreement with.

I walked up, introduced myself, and told him I’d heard he was a boxer. He interrupted me immediately, “not a boxer, a two time world champ.” Alright man whatever you say, I thought, knowing that a hammered ex-boxer was probably not someone to smart ass right away.

Moving outside to watch the game, he pulled out another bottle and handed each of us a shot. “You’re drinking with the champ tonight.”

Distracted by the football and local beer, my mind wandered away from the conversation. But nothing brings the mind back to a conversation like the words “40 years on death row.”

The game could wait.

“Back up, what was that?”

“Yeah man” the boxer responded. “Murdered my manager, did 40 years on death row.”

He then asked me to look him up to prove his story.

“Nah man, I believe you.”

“Look. Me. Up” it was a command, not a request.

Being the coward that I am, I naturally pulled out my phone and Googled his name. Sure enough, Joey Torres, 40 years on death row.

Well, say what you will about the guy, he could pour tequila shots with the best of em. We made our way through that first bottle and had started on a second bottle before the third quarter was finished. As he got drunker and drunker, his bravado grew. After shot 4 he yelled to me, “I ain’t f**kin you and you aint putin money in my pocket, but I love you.”

Lesson learned. If you are going to drink with an ex-world champ turned murderer, drink the shots he gives you, call him champ, and make sure your phone is charged so he can prove his achievements.

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