Ass-Kicking Athletes of Antiquity: Melankomas
If you were to be asked to name the greatest boxer in history, you’d probably mention either Muhammad Ali or Rocky Marciano, the latter for being completely undefeated and the former for being Muhammad Goddamn Ali. But how do you define what makes someone great at a sport where you literally get punched in the face for 30 minutes straight?
Ali and Marciano were certainly fantastic boxers, but surely the greatest boxer of all time would be one who was never once touched by an opponent. A boxer who won so many fights without taking a punch that, that guy from Mortal Kombat exploded into existence just to scream the word “Toasty!” and offered him the chance to fight Reptile.
Well one such boxer did exist, the ancient Greek, Melankomas of Caria. Like Marciano, Melankomas was soundly undefeated in his career, however, unlike Marciano, Melankomas was never once touched by an opponent in combat, despite the fact his boyish good looks probably made his face look like it yearned for a mans clenched fist to be smashed right the hell into it.
For the benefit of the few of you who aren’t intimately familiar with ancient Greek boxing, here are a few key facts to bear in mind. There was no time limit, there were no weight classes and there was no rule against donkey-punching a downed opponent until his soul exploded out his nose. Also, there were no gloves. Combatants simply wore rough leather straps around their hands.
In short, Greek boxing was as tough and wearing on the human body as being a human crash-test-dummy for Lamborghini, and Melankomas walked away from every round with a face that looked like it had been carved from marble by angels. He was such a pretty boy that great thinkers of the time wrote long rambling odes to his looks more reminscent of lyrics from a Fallout Boy album than something an ancient poet would dream up.
Melankomas’ ability to guard his dome piece was legendary, with some reports saying he could stand, completely still with his guard up for two days at a time, presumably just to show the Grim Reaper what was up. Along with his impenetrable guard Melankomas was also a master of slipping punches like he was a ghost made of snakes. His entire combat style revolved around blocking and slipping punches until his opponent simply gave up, because oh yeah, along with never taking a punch, Melankomas also never threw one.
Just for a second imagine watching a boxing match in which one guy spent the entire match dancing around the other guy, slipping and guarding every punch until he caused his opponent to literally collapsed from punch exhaustion. That was how Melankomas won every single match he ever fought in. He was so good at boxing he transcended the need to punch things. He was trolling people in real life back when people still thought trolls were real.
So the next time the subject of boxing comes up in conversation, and let’s face it, that’s a weekly occurence for most people. Be sure to educate people about Melankomas of Caria, a man who you could swing at with a baseball bat for three hours straight and you’d be more likely to strangle your own testicle than land a single hit. A man whose defense was so difficult to penetrate just standing near him was considered an effective form of contraception. Because those are the kind of people we should remember.
Karl Smallwood is a freelance comedy writer that you can hire! His work has been featured on Cracked.com, Toptenz.net and Gunaxin.com you should probably click those links to make sure he isn’t lying. He also runs his own website where he responds to the various pieces of hate-mail he’s gotten over the years, in fact, he got so much hate-mail that he wrote a book about it that you can buy on Amazon. When he isn’t writing, Karl also Tweets and uploads pictures of himself drinking on Facebook.
Karl also documented The Most Hilarious Overreactions to Scary Movies. For a more contemporary ass-kicking athlete, check out Karl’s account of the five-decades-and-counting winning streak enjoyed by The Great Gama.