OK, so maybe it wasn't pure altruism, but Jose Canseco getting beaten down by a Korean giant almost saved Lindsay Lohan's dad from the physical wrath of Riptide.
In May, I wrote about Canseco's boxing tour coming to South Florida, giving every resident with 50 bucks the chance to channel their inner Gary Sheffield and land mighty punches upon Canseco's steroid-snitchin' face.
Naturally, I also wanted to massage my fists with Canseco's face. So I called Damon Feldman, the celebrity boxing kingpin behind the stunt -- a throwback showman whose career dream it is to televise an execution.
"What's your size?" Feldman asked in a grizzled central-casting boxing promoter voice.
Feldman sucked air in dissaproval. For a moment, I could hear gears whirring on the other end of the phone -- which could have either been Feldman thinking or him spinning a giant wheel containing names of various Z-list celebrities. "You're too small to fight Canseco," he informed me. "You could fight Lohan instead."
Not Lindsay -- although I might have felt more comfortable with that matchup. Her dad, Michael. "You know a lot of people down there in Miami?" he continued. "You could probably help me sell some tickets, right?"
And just like that, I was on Canseco's undercard. The event was scheduled for the end of June at the Broward County Convention Center.
I had never heard of Mike Lohan before, but since signing on, I've been inundated with conjecture from friends and co-workers: He's crazy. He's drug-addled. He spent time in prison. He's holy.
It's an intimidating reputation. I haven't been able to verify any of those claims because Mike Lohan doesn't have his own Wikipedia entry.
But a couple of weeks ago, Damon called with bad news. The fight was being pushed back. "Jose's got a big [mixed martial arts] fight in Japan," he told me, audibly pissed. "He's getting six figures. We have to wait to see how it goes. If he gets cut up too bad, he's not going to want to fight very soon."
I watched Canseco's MMA debut with great anticipation -- and by that I mean, on YouTube after reading about it on Deadspin.
He fought 7-2 Korean Hong Man Choi -- nickname: "Techno Goliath" -- and lasted just over a minute before being TKO'd and dragged out of the ring bloody and moaning. He looked like he had just spent ten minutes in a locked room with Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Giambi, and Madonna. My boxing expertise (nil) told me Canseco had indeed been cut up too bad.
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I figured the Mike Lohan fight was off. And this after I had already watched I Know Who Killed Me three times back-to-back to get rage-motivated against the Lohan clan.
But Feldman is not so fatalist as I. He replied to my worried e-mail:
"I don't need him I want to do it where we r looking for an opponent for Lindsay lohans dad n we pick u for opponent it will be a small event do u no any radio people."
Boom. Overcard. The fight is tentatively scheduled for late September. In the meantime, if you see a profusely sweaty man running down the beach in combat boots in 100-degree mid-day heat, or doing the Rocky dance atop the American Airlines Arena steps, or boxing beef flanks at Sedano's, that's just Riptide. Throw me an orange.