I am a kid in a candy store. I am a wide-eyed adolescent standing in awe of his childhood superhero. Managua, Nicaragua. Here boxing is the second most popular sport after baseball. Here everyone knows the name Ricardo Mayorga. Boxers are regarded as heroes. Kids playbox in the street, mimicking the stance and style of the last contender they saw on television. People have hour long conversations about how to throw the proper jab, whose jaw can withstand the most damage or argue over folklore tales of whether Alexis Arguello used to train every morning crawling on his fingers or his hands.
Almost everyone here has gloved up once in their lifetime, as if it is a rite of passage; that gives you an idea of the skill of those who continue in the sport seriously. This is my Manchu Piccu. This is my Patagonia. This is my wonder of the world. I'm going to Leòn for two weeks to prepare for the immense ass-kicking I'm about to receive. I couldn't be more excited.