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The Perfect Punch
Umbrella Entertainment/AV Channel . R4 . COLOR . 76 mins . PG . PAL


When the doco is entitled The Perfect Punch you might be forgiven for thinking it contains recipes for how to make delicious drinks for your party guests. However, once the DVD begins and you are caught with your pen poised and cocktail lists at the ready, you are soon swayed from your original thinking. It isn’t about drinking at all. It’s about grown men beating the living shit out of each other in that glorious squared circle, The Ring.

Narrated interview-style by the authority of such matters, Barry Hearn, we are led slack-jawed into the sweat-fuelled, muscle-clad, sparkle-shorted world of championship boxing. Now, for over an hour we will feel every lamentation, every connecting hammer-hitting-anvil and every canvas-jarring thud as we see a well edited collection of bouts from around the world (though mostly the UK).

With someone else having sifted through hundreds of hours of fights to pick out the highlights, we get to witness some truly sickening punches and some graceful and athletic champions. What remains then is a showcase of what could only be called a premier collection of knockouts and blistering punches.

Certainly not a think piece, it is however a clinical dissection of boxing and moreso the knockout. There are some truly bizarre haircuts, including a young Lennox Lewis sporting a flattop Vanilla Ice would be envious of (plus, Lennox has talent as well, don’t forget talent while your all envious, Vanilla).


Hearn states within that:

"The great thing about punches is they sell tickets and they attract television exposure and sponsorship. People Like Punches. Boxing needs knockouts because it makes it exciting either for the live audience or for the television audience. A puncher will always, always, earn money."
More than anything else the important factor in this documentary is the audio. Every wet thunk, thump, thwack and thoop explodes in our faces through the Dolby Digital stereo and it works incredibly well. One thing against the sound, however, is in how well it records some of the boxers’ voices. What’s up with that, by the way? Why do some of these big-arse scary muthas have puny little squeaking voices? It’s beyond me.

As to the vision herein, it is presented in TV scale 4:3 and shot on TV camera video, though this is entirely adequate for the aim of this DVD. Thankfully there are no real close-ups of swollen faces and detonating blood packs, but there are occasions where the film gets a little grainy. Naturally this is because the footage is sourced from a multitude of places and different equipment. Again, for the purposes intended, it works okay.

What music has been used is done so sparingly, though it is a little clichéd at times (particularly with the usage of the 1812 Overture and people getting smacked hard with each cymbal clash). It’s all even and well balanced though, if it does come in a shade too loud.

The only extras are four trailers for other Umbrella titles. These are: Bouncers, Sunbury, The Kenny Everett Show and Ali. Thankfully no further information and footage of people literally having their heads knocked off or jaws dislocated or whatnot. By the end, I had had all the wet slaps I could stomach.

This is one for the diehard boxing fans who can’t get enough of big men hitting the canvas like falling jet engines. The show does progress through a multitude of interviews with notable fighters and works toward the ‘perfect knockout punch’ in Mr Hearn’s opinion (it is pretty monumental once it arrives). However, for those of you entertaining on your patio this summer, this won’t help you create the perfect Sunshine Breeze for your friends and acquaintances. And, I shall leave you with a final quote from Mr Hearn that kinda sums up the whole grisly DVD:

"...a knockout is a vicious thing to watch."

Oh yeah.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Contains some deliciously fruity concoctions for your next summer terrace party! Mmm, yummy!
    ...And sweaty men getting their heads caved in. "
    - Jules Faber
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