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Grand illusion

When notoriety is more lucrative than actual talent, we're reminded that nice guys finish last Overhead deck 5/30/1: • Does Harding really think she can fight, or is she in on this charade?

Every once in a while, we need to be reminded that the world isn't a fair place. Friday night in Lincoln City was one of those times for me.

I had a chance to talk to Reggie Davis, a young fighter out of Jefferson High who supplements his career as a boxer by teaching a boxing class for women at Matt Dishman Community Center. Nice kid.

Later in the evening, I watched him score a convincing knockout victory, his sixth win in seven pro fights, flashing some very quick hands. He's polished, a veteran of more than 200 amateur bouts. Will he ever make any real money boxing? It's doubtful, but I hope so. The few bucks they paid him for his time at Chinook Winds Casino he earned Ñ not only that night but with all the hours he spends in the gym practicing.

On that same night, I watched Tonya Harding attempt to impersonate a boxer. She made, by one account, $10,000 for her little pillow fight against Emily Gosa.

Gosa was a delight. She bounced into the ring looking more like a cheerleader than a pugilist. Well, you have to excuse her if she didn't exactly know what to do because she'd never been to a boxing match. She confessed she'd trained 'about an hour a day for three weeks. Well, not really seven days a week Ñ five.'

She'd never even had her hands taped under her gloves until her little tiff with Tonya. In spite of that, she maintained: 'I think I could have beaten her, but I wasn't in good enough shape. I ran out of breath.'

And she was right.

I'm afraid the only thing Harding can box is groceries. She has no skills whatsoever in a boxing ring. Her most effective move was to try to bowl Gosa over at the start of the first round. The guy who claims to be her trainer is more of a fraud than Harding. She appears to know nothing about leverage, movement or even how to deliver an effective jab.

She says she spends five hours a day working out, but I doubt it Ñ unless playing video poker in a bar counts as a workout. She was gassed two rounds into the 'fight.'

Afterward, she put on her new media face, smiling and joking through the questions like the girl next door Ñ if you live next door to the Osbournes. She doesn't mind being called 'America's bad girl,' she said with a smile. Whatever. Smile. Giggle.

I can't figure out if she really thinks she can fight or she's in on the charade. I guess, from her experience with conspiracies, we ought to take nothing for granted. The point is, it's all a big hoax. She can't fight and isn't worthy of your hard-earned money.

And it's going to be very difficult to keep this illusion going. I don't know how they're going to keep finding women inexperienced or untalented enough to lose to her. I'd be afraid to match her up against Dr. Ruth.

She's enough of a train wreck, though, that people will pay to watch her lose. That's why a lot of people were there Friday. Not many came to watch Reggie Davis.

These days, it's usually better to be famous than talented. And at this point of her life, Harding's only talent is being famous.

Dwight Jaynes' sports talk show airs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays on KPAM (860 AM).

Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .