Michael Nunn had won the California middleweight title 45 minutes earlier, and now, inside the Reseda Country Club, the lights were getting dim, the kitchen had long been closed, the ESPN cameras had been wheeled outside and packed away in the giant trucks and the crowd was headed for the doors.
Now, it was time for the King.
"In the blue corner," boomed the voice of ring announcer Michael Buffer, "fighting out of Los Angeles, California, with a professional record of 13, 26 and 5, King David Smith."
King David Smith? And did you say 13-26-5? C'mon. That's not a boxing record. That's a lock combination.
"Most of his losses were hometown decisions," explained trainer Earl McClure.
Hometown decisions? The United States doesn't have that many hometowns.
Smith, whose legal name is indeed King David, has been a professional boxer for 16 years. Now 32, the heavyweight fighter has been a career opponent, sent in against better boxers whose careers were heading up. Smith's career has been sliding downward since his first fight, at age 16.
By the way, he lost that one.
Smith is not a terrible fighter. He is well-conditioned, muscular and quite coordinated. And despite 26 losses prior to Friday night, he has not been a human punching bag. He has never been knocked out.