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I Have Been Conferred An O. B. E.

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I've been Conferred an O.B.E.

by Jaime K. Pimentel

This is no joke. I was conferred an O.B.E. about two years ago. It's a long story but I'll tell it anyway.

I am ''doing the pads'' with a youngster when I feel a light tap on the shoulder. It's this grey-haired father of a new kid. ''My name's Ross,'' he says with a slight accent. ''Wanna have a spar?''

Make my day. It's not often I get an offer from a old chap in this gym full of young guns itching to get in the ring with you. ''Be with you in a minute, Ross.''

We went two rounds. Ross had a good stiff jab and, to my relief, had probably lost some of thump and ring savvy he must have had as a youngster. But he peppered my mug with it. Covered himself well on the way out, too.

I had to take the fight to him, though, but in an embarrassing moment Ross stopped momentarily to adjust my headguard - it was partially blocking my vision - and in that split second my right cross was on its way to his beak. My best shot of the night.

We climbed down off the ring with tongues hanging out from sheer exhaustion and Ross was first to confess to Father Dave: ''Must be getting old, Dave. Two rounds was all I could do.''

''Why, how old are you, Ross?''

''Goodness, I'm already 52!''

''Well, young man,'' said Father Dave with a wink. ''You have just sparred with a man 22 years your senior. He's 72. Didn't you know? We have conferred an O.B.E. on Jaime''

That was news to me, too, but Ross beat me to begging the question: ''What do you mean an O.B.E.?''

With a straight face but betraying a mischievous streak, Father Dave snapped: ''Oldest Bastard 'Ere''.

He wasn't lying, either. And that's no joke.

Jaime K. Pimentel

Now a Sydney-based journalist and sub-editor with Fairfax, Jaime has a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's in Advertising and Newspaper Management, and formerly lectured in Journalism.

Jaime is also a boxing gold medallist, and has officiated Amateur boxing as both a referee and a judge in both Australia and the Philippines.



Jaime Pimentel
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