Last night I went out to watch local boxer Anthony Crolla make a second attempt to become the WBA lightweight champion. I'd set up this meetup and asked people for advice on which venue from which to see the fight. I got one RSVP who suggested The Green, a sports bar in the Northern Quarter with simulated golf range and large screens for watching sports. I phoned them to check they were showing it and got the affirmative. Okay.
I headed into town early but the traffic around Ancoats and the Northern Quarter was absolutely horrific. The chances of turning right to get down to the CIS building were minimal. Absolute gridlock. The Crolla fight took place in the Manchester Arena, so it's possible that the traffic was related to that.
I should really have got out earlier to watch the under-card fights from the start. I got in half way into the first of the two before the main fight: couple of wars between two tough fighters respectively. The first of these fights had no commentary, just the video feed with The Green's own trance soundtrack. I found my meetup member: a cool guy and a boxing fan. The atmosphere in The Green was a little grating, though: there was a lot of Burberry checks, gold medallions and the odd baseball cap. Not many people were into the boxing, and my instincts were telling me there might be a bit of trouble.
Eventually the Crolla Perez fight began, with both fighters showing class and resilience. The bar started to empty out. Last orders were called not long after the fight began, which seemed a bit weird. I thought, they're not really going to:
Yes, the manager came out and turned off the TV in the fourth fucking round. Not long after this there was a little argument between a few young customers and the door staff.
We left The Green and had a wonder down through Piccadilly Gardens towards Deansgate. By the time we got to Sawyers, Crolla had already won in the 5th with a heavy bodyshot.
Well. I'm writing this to encourage you to boycott The Green. I had phoned them prior to the night to check they were showing the fight and they confirmed they were. I dunno, I thought it was self-explanatory that I meant “are you showing the whole fight?”
I saw some boxing in Norwegian Blue in the Printworks some time ago, but that's not much less chavvier and they haven't tweeted about last night's fights. Where's good to watch boxing in Manchester?
The full fight: