"Wow... Wow... Wow..." Not quite Keith Quinn's" Oh!... Oh!... Oh!...", but Jamie Mackay's reaction to John Key's imminent resignation as Prime Minister did come from a similar place of disbelief.

The Country team was just finishing up Monday's radio show when Mr Key used his regular parliamentary press conference to launch the bombshell that he's stepping down from the nation's top job.

Our immediate thought, as I suspect it was with most people, was "why"? What dirt was about to be thrown around, what great scandal was waiting in the wings? My imagination ran wild. But as the afternoon unfolded it all seemed pretty kosher, which was massively disappointing. But for Jamie, it cut deep.

In fact, the ensuing days have been nothing but misery for the poor chap who, despite delusions of political neutrality, is a card-carrying constituent of Camp Key. So I can hardly begrudge him a night out being wined and dined ringside at Joseph Parker's heavyweight title fight in Auckland this Saturday night.


But I will.

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve boxing. Whether it was a good old fashioned playground stoush or watching the best of the best on those glorious days of free to air TV, the art of pugilism captured my attention from a young age.

The first time you get properly punched in the face is something you never quite forget.

The intriguing aspect of it is the range of emotions that all seem to hit simultaneously. There's definitely a feeling of shock, pain is in there too, although that's generally a fleeting sensation, a bit of natural fear and anxiety as well. But among all of this, a god smack in the chops also leaves an aftertaste of exhilaration.

Survival instinct kicks in, adrenalin surges and for a split second you even sort of enjoy it.

I can't imagine too many people enjoyed being hit by Mike Tyson though. He's still one of, if not the most, dominant sportsmen of all time. I watched his fights religiously and sat on awe of his ferocity.

I watched opponent after opponent slayed by this human wrecking machine. I watched him get beaten, I watched him bite ears and I watched him fade from glory, but nothing will match those early days.

I also watched the likes of Tommy 'Hitman' Hears, Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, all of which remember, were free to air in those halcyon days live free TV. To this day I follow what's happening in the fight world, especially the career of Triple G, Gennady Golovkin.


So the sense of injustice I feel at Mackay's latest visit to the trough is understandably palpable. He's got his snout firmly entrenched ringside, which is particularly galling given his own admission he doesn't really care for boxing and doesn't know that much about it!

This is like me being given free admission to some boring golf tournament or a spot as an extra on Coronation Street, or any other of his interests like tall buildings, soil moisture deficits and rugby shorts with back pockets.

To make matters worse, he knows I'm annoyed and is milking it for all its worth!

But I guess with the abrupt end to the career of his favourite person who never played rugby, it's a delicate time in his life and I should be more sensitive.

I hope he gets to witness Gentleman Joe put Andy Ruiz on the canvass and gets a chance to shout out a few more "wow's" - this time in admiration, not shock.