The Mercy Home for Boys and Girls held its 23rd Annual Ringside fundraiser in which local businessmen box each other to raise money for that charity. To his great credit, Chicago Teachers Union field representative Joey McDermott agreed to take part.
One fighter — the only union man on the fight card — particularly caught my attention, Chicago Teachers Union field rep Joey McDermott, a tough talker who also claims to be a tough guy.
“I don’t do yoga to start my morning,” McDermott once told me. “I box.”
Saturday night, McDermott appeared ready to dish out a beating when he climbed into the ring to battle Jake “Dyn-O-Mite” Walker of banking giant ABN AMRO.
I asked McDermott’s pal, CTU staff coordinator Jackson Potter, if he thought the stocky representative of corporate America would symbolically squash the workingman during the three one-minutes rounds.
“Not at all. Joey bleeds CTU red. He’s going to come out on top,” Potter said. “I guarantee it.”
At ringside, McDermott’s long-time pals David Kaplan and Israel Martin weren’t so sure some of that CTU blood wouldn’t spill in the ring.
“Joey does overestimate his talent. That’s all I’m going to say,” Kaplan said. “With wearing headgear I’m not saying he won’t lose blood, but it’s less likely.”
Shortly after the first bell, “Dyn-O-Mite” Walker exploded with a flurry of punches that sent McDermott — wearing red boxing trunks and a CTU red tank top — immediately shuffling backward until his back hit the ropes.
By Round 2, a man in a very expensive suit surrounded by ladies in sparkly party dresses at ringside looked up from his cocktail just long enough to see the action and state the obvious about McDermott’s performance, “Man, the guy in the red is getting killed.”
To be fair, McDermott landed a few good shots, too. But in the end it wasn’t enough. He left the ring literally a beaten man, his face flushed from getting punched. He only succeeded in not bleeding CTU red.
“How do you feel?” I asked.
“Like [bleep],” he said as he walked through the crowd hanging his head in disappointment.
Lest you think Konkol was being unfair, he posted video of the first round.
That’s raising union-bashing to another level.