À propos to nothing, one day Coach asked us, “Do you guys know what is the greatest entrance song ever? One that would completely psych out a fighter’s opponent?”
“Tupac!” I blurted out, before realizing I couldn’t actually bring to mind any of Tupac’s songs titles. Major Vanilla fail. In the silence that followed, Coach watched as Cap miserably failed at controlling his laughter, “Vanilla… and Tupac… That was unexpected.”
Coach ignored my embarrassed explanations of how I thought an entrance song should be badass. He proceeded to answer his rhetorical question by turning on the gym’s sound system and shaking his fist in tempo with the extremely intimidating musical sounds of Snap’s “I’ve Got the Power”.
Cap seemed unfazed. I looked confused. Coach explained, “Your opponent hears that, sees you walk in the ring with no fear, and he just knows the knock-out punch won’t be long in coming. Perfect psych out music.”
Jim Carrey (in the movie Bruce Almighty) apparently agrees. I’m not suggesting that Coach is anything like Jim/Bruce, because that would result in retaliatory burpees that I just don’t feel like doing, but I do suspect that Coach might display similar behaviour to Bruce Almighty in the moments immediately following a visit from the Holy Spirit.
Coach later explained to me the purpose of an entrance song:
Most of the time, it is a form of self-expression. It might be the only time that a fighter can share his thoughts with the crowd – who he is, where he came from, what he is all about, what drives him and what to expect from him in the fight. There is no real common ground for entrance songs. When all is said and done, a fighter chooses a song to thrill the crowd and to lift his own spirits as well.
I listened to a handful of Tupac’s greatest hits, and understand now why his work would not be a top choice for an entrance song. Bullets, AKs and death are not the most likely topics to lift a fighter’s spirits before climbing into the ring. I still think he’s badass though. #vanillaftw
A few weeks later, I attended a world championship title fight at Montreal’s Bell Center, between local fighter David Lemieux and French Hassan N’Dam. The entrance songs of the undercard fighters all fit my criteria for good entrance songs: strong beats, catchy, mood boosters and generally hip-hopish. I eagerly awaited David Lemieux’s song to see what a world champ contender would choose to set the tone for the night.
Take a moment to try guess his song.
Whatever it is that you guessed, y’all are wrong. His entrance song was Bob Dylan’s The Times Are A Changin’. David Lemieux strolled casually on stage, and made his way slowly to the ring, no big deal, as the audience sat bemused by the folksy music blasting through the arena speakers.
That, my friends, was a spectacular mind-fuck.
Lemieux dominated that fight. And just like that, the times a changed and he became the newest IBF middleweight boxing world champion.
Yesterday, it was announced that Lemieux’s next fight will be on October 17th against boxing star Gennady Golovkin. It promises to be a massive fight. Obviously, Lemieux’s entrance song will be carefully chosen, to send Golovkin a clear message.
I suggest MC Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This.