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I Fought Jose Canseco A Year Ago - A Billy Football Reflection, By Billy Football

I am almost two weeks late in writing this blog, but on February 5th, 2021 for the first time in my life I had a professional boxing bout vs Jose Canseco. During Super Bowl week and everything around it, I did not think I had the time to do this blog the service it deserved. To many it was a gigantic letdown from a spectator standpoint, I agree, I also feel robbed. But I did my part of the job, and I want to give you a little insight from my perspective, before during, and now after everything went down. Look I'm not here to gloat, there's nothing to gloat about looking back at the situation. 

It's weird how my view of Jose changed throughout the stages of the fight as well as my confidence. 

Right when it was proposed: Holy Shit Jose Canseco is going to knock me out, No idea how I am going to get out of this one, I am fucked- Just gotta survive 180 seconds. This guy is a superstar athlete how the hell am I going to figure out of this one. This ain't a marathon on a treadmill. 

I was terrified when this occurred. I was fishing to try to fight Tik Tokers but ended up getting a whale on the line.

(This was the Jake Paul 3 steroid cycles and 15 months of training ago). I was honestly at the time trying to figure out a way to get out of the fight. I realized that if I backed out I probably would have to quit my job so I decided fuck it. The worse thing that could happen is I get KO'd and what was one more concussion.

When it was confirmed: This is when I realized I had to put up and start doing the fight game. The first rule of the fight game= Think of yourself as invincible only focusing on your opponent's weaknesses so you literally trick yourself into believing you will win. He's an old fuck I am absolutely going to skull fuck him. Got to take on the underdog mentality and start writing weird inspirational quotes every day (PFT stole my bit this year it's okay tho)

When the Shit Talking Started: The fight game is all about shit-talking, and as someone new to the fight game, Jose's trash talk threw me off. I was absolutely terrified hearing this kind of shit.

There was no true answer at the time as to whether he was actually seriously dangerous. If you look at a guy like Joe Rogan, he kind of looks as old as Jose, and Joe Rogan can still fucking fight. After weeks of hyping myself up watching old videos of him boxing, all the confidence had almost been wiped out in that one 51 strokes video clip. Just the way he described his hand-eye coordination and fast-twitch freak of nature athleticism. It was all the buzzwords that made sense in my head. I was toast, but at this point in training, all I had to do was continue my plan. Close the distance asap and throw 100 punches a round at his fucking head. It was nuts because I was getting DMs saying Jose was knocking out dudes in training, but then the footage that came back from him training that Rudy was supposed to take (which he waited 3 days to shoot because he was dodging the camera), he was breathing heavily and couldn't even make it through a couple of rounds of hitting the bag. These cutup music videos did a ton to just keep my confidence. 

I was absolutely mindfucked, the whirlwind of the whole situation fucked me up. Also, that's when I caught covid, which helped me just focus on training. All I could do is sleep and wake up to hit the bag in my barn. It was the only thing I could do. This video cut-up really shows my mindset trying to train through covid. 

You had to just pretend you were in an action moving. Dissociating from the situation was the best way to get through it.

Between having fevers, I could only wake up in 30 minutes blocks and try to hit the bag for as many rounds as I could. It was brutal. There almost was a chance that if I didn't test negative a certain number of days before the fight it would get canceled. (Vaseline up the nose does the trick) But being sick made me just focus. Can't be reading dms of people feeding you false information about Jose Canseco knocking out semi-pro fighters or haters (Caleb, Whitesoxdave, and Ria I forgive you but it was noted you said you thought he would knock me out). Thankfully my corner (shoutout Rob, Mike, Doug, and Ben) all kept my mind right and honestly put me through the best 1-month fight camp anyone ever could. It's a real shame I couldn't put on a better show. The only cut footage was of this first week of my training. 

                 

The comments on this video were brutal. I mean looking back it definitely looks like I was going to get killed. But you had to power through. Having 2 of my buddies staying with me while they were on winter break was huge, being able to go to dinner with your friends after 3 hour training days of getting your ass kicked was awesome (shoutout Cucc, and Byljsemna). But after that long 3 week stretch of training hard, covid, no booze or dip, feeling beat to shit, endless hours of self-doubt. At some point, you accept your fate, if you die you die, and once your brain gets comfortable with that, you really go off the deep end. That's when you transform your whole psyche. That edge of the cliff my friends descends into the pit of War Mode. 

Fight Week:

The week of the fight was really when mentally shit hit the fan in my brain. Looking back on the tweets I was sending back then, recounting with my friends and corner how I was acting. I didn't understand it till I was with Chef Donny down in WV for his fight. He was showing those behaviors before his fight. Being extremely short with everyone, tense, distant stare all the time, an intensity in mood that takes months of high cortisol levels to actually achieve. Looking back I barely recognize myself or any of my actions. Including in the fight, I rewatch it and I'm like who the hell is that guy. Between lashing out at loved ones and trainers, they all could tell there was intense pressure.

It was awesome to see how many people were rooting for me at the time. It also came with immense, immense pressure. Once again thanks for the support.

It was fight week and everyone was buzzing.

The night before the fight at the weigh-in, the first time I saw Jose I saw him limp a little. The whole time there were signs he was nowhere fit to get into a ring. The first was his training video where he couldn't breathe, the second was in the interview with PMT him breathing heavily into the microphone, the last was me seeing him in person moving like he had concrete in his joints. The whole time I really thought it was some type of bluff. I couldn't think in a way that would relieve the pent-up stress that was being channeled into the hostile mental state I was in. In my head that night in the casino it was about projecting strength, seak out weakness in the enemy and try not to get too wound up to not sleep that night. 

I didn't know he would give such a poor showing in the ring the next night, but I saw the guy drinking beers at the bar. A couple of bud lights (weak beer, he would have gotten strength from Coors). As a guy who had been sober since Christmas, I realized just how impossible it would be to fight even the day after drinking a couple of beers. The stamina and HRV damage drinking a little bit of alcohol can have is immense. At that point, it gave me just enough relief to fall asleep but still was able to keep my edge. If I could take him to the third round I would have had a chance.

Fight Night:

I tweeted that so overconfidently while eating waffle house. I absolutely was just in this overconfident way out there mindset. In my brain, I was on death row so I was just shooting from the hip. Nothing mattered, everyone thought I was going to get knocked out. It was balls to the wall and survive or go quietly. Project strength. The day of the fight was pretty boring, just micro-dosed psilocybin and listed to Viking EDM and Mongolian metal music about 2 hours before the fight. 

Berserker Kicked in then went War Mode.

At the time when I was yelling get your fuckin money, I thought he was totally faking just to get the money and run. I was pissed, I thought he was robbing me of the opportunity to beat his ass. 

What I now know is this:

Jose Canseco had a blood pressure of something like 220/90 stepping into the ring. He should have never been allowed to fight. He also thought that this was going to be a celebrity boxing match of sorts like he had done previously and not a real fight. If he had tried to continue into the fight there was an actual chance he strokes out and dies. I literally could have killed him in the ring.

Once he stepped in the ring I closed the distance, he hit me once, his punch was weak af so I just started going to work trying to get a hundred punches in. He wrapped me up after getting popped a couple of times and I threw one big right at his head and sent him off-balance. He used the excuse of his shoulder and bowed out. I didn't knock him out, But I did get him once in the temple with my right when he went down. Yes, I shouldn't have hit him when he was down. At that time I didn't have the discipline to stop (bloodlust). I was ready to go 10 rounds if I had to and I had no idea it was going to be that easy. Trust me, I wish he had told me he wasn't good to fight I would have let it last a couple of rounds. 

Postfight:

That night and weekend I literally just went off and blew off steam with all my buddies. It was awesome and the relief was amazing. Will never catch that high again. I had survived and won. I had an insane amount of texts and to this day I am going to text people and realize I never responded to their post-fight text. I always apologize, I am just so unorganized. 

The problem was I had to at some point come back to earth. It took me a full week to actually get back to work (Thanks to everyone at Barstool being patient with me). There's no real handbook to trying to handle what exactly had happened. 

The comedown was pretty hard, not looking for any sympathy, but the whole reality of how upset people were with the PPV kinda got me down. You felt like you had accomplished something after months of work, but people felt robbed. Some people just discredit all your hard work because apparently "He took a dive". A dive takes two people so I felt accused. It was a hard place to be because you trained to put on a good show for the people but everyone was pissed. If you can remember I snapped at Hank (sorry Hank). A lot of weird emotions and stuff.

With more and more distance I sort of feel bad for our friend Jose, to be at one point so famous and have such a huge fall from grace. He was such a megastar and then he had to resort to prizefighting. It's weird, I feel guilty sometimes I basically beat up a desperate lonely old man. We have a lot in common I think he would make a great Macrodosing guest. In the moment and before it all I never thought of it like that, I was concerned with surviving, tons of humanity gets tossed to the side. This will probably be the last time I tell this story, I know it's getting repetitive and sounding self-serving. It was just a big event in my life and honestly helped me reconcile a lot of shortcomings in my collegiate athletic career. Also really helped some stuff that used to really fuck me up in college and first coming back to Barstool. Maybe one day ill open up about all that. Long story short thinking to yourself "Bro you got into the ring with Canseco" is better than any SSRI or therapy could do. 

Hope you guys enjoyed the read. Just a little Paper Lion-type excursion into the world of Boxing. Paper Lion is a really good book to read. It's about this writer in 1966 who goes through preseason with the Detroit Lions and ends up playing a drive in a Preseason game. Awesome insight from a total football outsider at that age of the NFL. Last thoughts:

Boxing is the most time-efficient workout. I have tested this on my whoop. Hitting a bag with 1-minute rounds is the equivalent of wind sprints with your arms, even harder than real wind sprints. Boxing workouts will always be with me and are perfect for cutting. I am also glad I had that experience of training like that, taught a ton of discipline.