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It’s a tough life as a boxing championship belt. Passed around like a drinking funnel at a scarfie party in North Dunedin, it’s almost a drifter’s existence for a fancy piece of leather festooned with garish jewellery. But, in the case of the WBO heavyweight belt, life ain’t so bad. Matt Smith got up close and personal with the belt (aka Belty McBeltface) to find out the stories behind the bling.
Matt Smith: Firstly, thanks for the chat. Tell me, what brings you to Dunedin?
Belty McBeltface: No worries. As you’ve probably heard, some bloke Joseph Parker is keen to have me wrapped around his waist like a snake at a tourist park. Now, as keen as I am to feel his smooth supple skin against my pure leather exterior, he hasn’t earned it yet. He’s gotta beat Andy Ruiz jun in Auckland on December 10.
MS: So which stomachs have you hugged up to in the past?
BB: Well, other than the enthusiastic punters at Burger Kings around the country as part of this promotional tour? Not many, if any.
MS: I’m sorry — I assumed you had graced the torsos of the likes of Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe, the Klitschko brothers and Tyson Fury since the WBO heavyweight belt was first handed out in 1989?
BB: Not quite. You see, I’m one of a kind. I’m like a reclusive Kardashian which, as you know, is extremely rare. My life starts in Singapore, as the WBO creates a new belt for every title defence. $8000 worth of gold plating and Swarovski crystal later, and I’m ready for my new life — in my case, off to the Land Of The Long White Crowd and The Small Pay-Per-View Audience.
MS: So, during your reunion catch-ups with the other belts, have you heard any juicy stories about questionable nocturnal post-fight activities that the other belts have been subjected to?
BB: Let’s just say that if the buckles could talk ...
MS: OK, moving on. This is a family newspaper. Why do you think a belt has become such a desired fashion accessory around the boxing world?
BB: Why not? Medals have been done for the Olympics, certificates are best left for primary school garden shows and have you seen how awkward a giant platter looks around someone’s neck? It would be somewhat akin to those oversized clocks that 1980s rappers delighted in wearing, while ruining their neck muscles.
A belt is multi-purpose. Not only can we add some really stylish oomph to the midriff area, but we do a stellar job in keeping a boxer’s shorts up. Have you seen how baggy some of these shorts are? Seriously, I haven’t seen pants drop that low since the questionable nocturnal activities we briefly discussed earlier. If me, weighing in at a hefty 4.5kg, can’t hold up those silky contraptions, nothing will.
MS: Finally, Mr McBeltface (can I call you that?), where do you see yourself in five years?
BB: Not that I’m biased, but I can see myself stored in a nice camphor chest at Joseph Parker’s place before he finds an appropriate place for me on his wall. Hopefully, I’ll have a few mates alongside me by that point.