We hold these truths to be self-evident, that some men will create havoc in the ring, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain devastating Rights, that they drop the hammer with Hooks, Crosses and Uppercuts in the pursuit of Knockouts.
When in the course of fistic events it becomes necessary to step out of the ring and into the wider world of this great nation on the event of its 239th birthday, we caught up with a group of independence-loving fighters to test how committed they are to throwing off the yoke of British rule and slugging the nearest Redcoat by asking: What’s the most patriotic thing you’ve ever done?
“Winning The Contender was an amazing patriotic feeling,” Mora said. “The fact that the show was seen by people around the world was humbling. I remember getting fan mail from different countries like Thailand, India, the United Kingdom and Australia. Living in America was a dream for most who wrote me. I’ve been to many places and there’s no other place I’d rather live.”
“The most patriotic thing I’ve ever done was to go into the Middle East in Iraq and Kuwait, and being out there with the soldiers. It was me, Adrien Broner and heavyweight Seth Mitchell in 2010. We were in Kuwait City and Baghdad. We got indirect missiles shot at us a couple of times. If that doesn’t get more patriotic, I don’t know what will.”
“I feel like I’m more proud of me being a New Yorker than being an American, which obviously being a New Yorker makes me American. I used to like shooting fireworks, the illegal ones. Not that I plan on doing any of that this year. I don’t need to blow my hand off before my fight [against Danny Garcia on August 1]. I actually got invited to the hot dog eating contest on Coney Island. I’m going to go over there and take some pictures with Joey Chestnut, who’s the reigning king of the hot dog eating contest. But there have been times in the past where me and my friends were just shooting off fireworks in the street, but I’ll just keep it low-key this year.”
“I love my country, but I never foiled a terrorist plan or caught anybody trying to do crime against America,” Trout said. “Before the Canelo [Alvarez] fight I went to [Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas] where a lot of amputees that come in from the war were at. It’s a big base for the Wounded Warrior Project. This facility not only gets them the type of physical training that they need to kind of get back and use what they got left, but it also helps with their confidence. You have to be a certain type of person to get in that program. You can’t sit down feeling sorry for yourself. They get you back out there doing kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, extreme sports, things like that. Going out there and meeting those guys and hearing their stories and still seeing their positive outlook on life and what they still want to do and achieve? That wasn’t really anything I did, that was what they did. Hopefully I made somebody’s day that day.”
“Given up my seat for a disabled veteran, Babette Peyton,” Wilder said. “She is a [2016 Olympic archery hopeful] and a veteran in the Army. They had to switch my seat for her. A gate agent called me up and asked if I would be willing to give up my seat. It was the biggest seat on the plane—and I’m 6 foot 7—but I found out she was a veteran. When I gave her my seat she was grateful for me doing that. We had a great time. I introduced myself and told her I was the heavyweight champion of the world and she was super excited. It made it even better because I support all my veterans for their service. They do things that others won’t do like risk their lives. That right there, you’ve got to be grateful for.”