The Boxing Ring Is No Place For Kissin’ And Lickin’

Once upon a time not so long ago, a boxer kissed his opponent on the forehead, then knocked him out, “kiss of death” style. This, from last night, is a little different:

In a strange sequence, Nevada‚Äôs Jesse Vargas (2-0) was kissed on the ear and licked on the face by the much taller Trenton Titsworth (2-3) as they grappled for space. Vargas took offense at the smooch and punched him as the referee broke up the hugging. Titsworth hit the canvas hard from the punch and referee David Denkin deducted one point from Vargas and two for Titsworth for holding behind the head and another for unsportsmanlike conduct. Vargas won by unanimous decision 39-34 in the junior welterweight bout. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve never seen anything like it,‚Äù said Denkin, who’s been refereeing for more than five years.

That’s according to (no relation) had the big smacker landing elsewhere:

This was a rather boring fight, except for the third round. During a clinch, Titsworth actually leaned over and kissed Vargas on the neck. Then Vargas hit Titsworth after the referee said stop (understandable). Titsworth was deducted two points and Vargas was deducted one. Titsworth lost the bout and possibly his dignity. Only in boxing.

Trenton Titsworth, if that is his real name, is clearly more lover than fighter. (Incidentally, this seems to happen in mixed martial arts from time to time. I have no idea why.) [UPDATE: P.S., Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Ali G/Borat, has gotten in on the fighting/kissing game for his new movie featuring the character Bruno.]

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.