“Dad, do you think — if I had to — I could beat Serena Williams in a fight?”
“No chance. Serena Williams has more testosterone than you do.”
“With those thighs? She’d scissor you to death,” my dad’s girlfriend added.
To be clear: I do not wish to fight Serena Williams. She is a post-racial ambassador for the game who transcended it. An inspiration to daughters, mothers, and grandmothers everywhere. I grew misty-eyed when she countered her sister Venus in the 2002 French Open finals.
But suppose the 27-time Grand Slam titlist was overtaken by a seething fit of rage. Could you fend her off?
On a tennis court, no. Her forehand is the stuff of legend. Serena’s serve clocks up to 129 MPH and fells All-American defensive linemen. Serena’s ground-game would prove formidable. Her aforementioned thunder thighs would suffocate me instantly.
I’m a bro in my mid-twenties. I endured years of rough-and-tumble fights with my brother until my innovation of the head-butt ushered in a Pax Fraternus. I run every-day and bench every other. Nonetheless, Madden is the closest I’ve come to a tackle in the last three months. I lack any martial arts training but for Intro to Karate my Senior year of college (I passed).
But who would win in a boxing ring? In a fair fight—sans head-butting and Python thighs death grips?
Tale of the Tape: Tie. 5’10”, 150 lbs.
1) Serena Williams’ weight has been widely disputed from 130-180 lbs.
2) For the record, Googling: “How much does Serena Williams weigh?” in line at Chipotle leads to some very perplexed looks.
Endurance: Serena Williams sprints up the last half mile to her California mansion. She grinds out an hour of cardio every other day.
I run 5 miles every week day, 9 on hangover-less weekend days.
Advantage: Me. Albeit, there is nowhere to run in a boxing ring. 15-All
Serena: 5-6 smaller meals a day cultivated by world-class nutritionists. Typically grilled chicken or fish and steamed veggies
Weakness: Cherry pie.
Me: A dude’s cornucopia of Chick Fil A, pizza, and occasionally Thai delivery
Weakness: Rice Krispy treats, Open Bars
Advantage: Serena, 30-15
“If I could, I’d take this ******* ball and shove it down your ******* throat!” Serena Williams bellowed to Japanese lineswoman Shino Tsurubuchi.
The diminutive lineswoman scampered to the safety of the head judge’s chair. Serena Williams, in hot pursuit. The lineswoman had the audacity to call a foot fault on Serena during a pivotal semifinals point in the 2009 U.S. Open. After clubbing her racket on court earlier, Serena Williams was docked two points and the match to Kim Clijsters.
An on-court microphone picked up Serena pleading, “I didn’t say I would kill you. Are you serious? I didn’t say that.” The head judge was somehow not swayed by Serena’s cogent closing argument. Serena received a sentence of two year probation and $175,000 fine.
Update: Lineswoman Shino Tsurubuchi’s throat remains tennis ball free. She will not, however, judge any of Serena Williams’ matches in this year’s U.S. Open.
Me: I once spent a night in jail… for running with my dog without a leash.
No matter. Few thought a curvaceous girl raised on the hard-knock streets of Compton could ascend to #1 tennis player in the world. Fewer still believe a bro who runs to Lady Gaga could stand toe-to-toe with her in a boxing ring.
I don’t care what the odds-makers may say or what the laws of physics may dictate. And so I challenge you, Serena Williams, to a boxing match. I challenge you to twelve rounds at a date and location of your choosing. Proceeds — aside from my pending medical bills — would go to charity.
And someday I will tell my grandchildren about the other time Serena Williams brought tears to my eyes.