It was a close call whether the fighters in the ring or the spectators around the beer tents were the more hostile.

I had only night in Dallas, but having spent the morning looking around art galleries and visiting the JFK museum (housed in the old school book depository building), I was feeling that this would be quite sufficient time in the city.

I was therefore very happy to take up the suggestion of my host in Dallas (Jennifer) that we go to an amateur boxing contest to be held at the nearby country club.

She explained to me that her friend, Kyle, was one of the boxers who would be fighting later in the evening. Since it was an amateur event, she also added that an extra twist would be added to each fight to provide further entertainment for the crowd.

Kyle was from near New York, so for the purposes of this bout, he was to be referred to as The Yankee. He was paired against a local man from Texas, to be known only as The Southerner. The historical rivalry between the northern and southern state was to give the contest additional spice. angka tarung

It struck me that that this was a decidedly one-sided arrangement. I expected the home-grown spectators to be thoroughly partisan – and imagined that this Yankee would be booed and heckled at every opportunity.

We arrived at the country club just before seven in the evening. The club was located in a reasonably wealthy suburb of Dallas, and had swimming pools and several sports fields on the site.

Somewhat at odds with this more formal and exclusive atmosphere, was the entirely relaxed dress code. Most of the men wore shorts and t-shirts (many carrying whimsical comments or colorful designs). Women were fewer in number – but made up for this by wearing more flamboyant clothes – ranging from cut-of jeans to skimpy evening dresses and bikinis. Several members of both sexes also sported various tattoos on their forearms, shoulders and legs.

There were a couple of hundred people already in the country club when we turned up. After having my ID checked, I was given a writstband to show that I was good to be served with alcohol – which promised to be in plentiful supply.

An impromptu boxing ring had been set up on the lawns of the country club. There was also a small stage on the far side of the ring where several commentators were sitting. The event was being broadcast on one of the cable channels, so there were also a couple of men standing by the corners holding cameras for filming – while a giant boom reached out over the ring carrying another camera and microphone.

The evening was being sponsored by Corona, so there were numerous stalls set up on the lawns selling beer. This could be purchased by the single can or, for the more determined drinker, it was possible to purchase an ice-bucket filled with half a dozen or so cans, suitably chilled.

Small pennants and gaudy flags belonging to the sponsors were hanging up in the trees or draped around the iron fences which separated the lawns from the swimming pool. To complete the ambiance, several large electronic speakers had been set up all around the country club, which were pumping out a loud and continual beat of heavy rock music, to create an appropriately aggressive atmosphere.

One of the earlier fights was already in progress when we arrived. As an amateur contest, all boxers were required to wear padded helmets. In addition, the rounds seemed to have been shortened. It was difficult to determine exactly how long the rounds were meant to be, since the bell was almost inaudible and somewhat arbitrary. Each fight consisted of three of these rounds.