I'm just back from New York City where on Tuesday evening, I appeared on Cody Willard's Fox Business channel show "Happy Hour". Cody's show takes place like at the "Bull and Bear" pub of the Waldorf-Astoria and it resulted in my first -- and hopefully last -- encounter with the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
So there I am on a barstool at the "Bull and Bear", minding my own business, sitting at the bar and nursing a pre interview Diet Coke, reading the Financial Times and nibbling on a bowl of mixed nuts. And I'm introduced to some huge guy who, one of the Fox cameramen tells me, is on the show with me.
"He's a boxer," the Fox cameraman whispers to me.
I give my fellow guest the eye and square up to him. He's a huge fellow, double my size (not that i'm small, of course), with hands the size a New York City sidewalk. But, in spite of his monstrous build, the scars underlining his eyes and his self-evidently reconstructed nose, he's got a very intelligent looking face -- the sort of erudite mug one might associate with a learned young man who has earned a doctoral degree in something really serious -- like science.
"You don't look like a boxer," I tell him, my hand getting lost in his oceanic paw as we shook hands. "You look way too intelligent for that."
His eyes narrowed. If looks could kill, the icy look he shoots down at me certainly would have. No, not funny at all -- the look said. I don't find you at all amusing.
"He's the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world," the cameraman whispers to me.
And so he is. The big guy (see ominous photo above) is Wladimir Klitschko, the Ukranian heavyweight champion of the world. And, yes, he's a PhD too, from Kyiv University, in Sports Science.
Oh dear, I think to myself, as I back away from Klitschko and his ice-steel gaze. My first shot at the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. And I've blown it. Oh well -- I'll have to stick to blogging (another, more vulgar version of boxing) as a second career.