A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 25, 2013
“In boxing, you fight over a belt and a purse”

Boxing between two men can have its less than manly moments. The two men are half-naked, wear silk shorts, and fight over a belt and a purse.

American actor and writer John McGivern might have originated this boxing joke. “Two grown men prancing around in silk underwear, and the one who wins gets a purse,” McGivern said in 1994.


Wikipedia: John McGivern
John McGivern (born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an actor and writer. He has won numerous awards, including “Best Writer of a New Work” and the “After Dark Award”. He also played the role of Bruce McIntosh in the Disney film The Princess Diaries, and many commercials for companies such as Kohl’s department store, Sears, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. John is a graduate of St. Lawrence Seminary, in Mount Calvary, WI.

In 2010 he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence On Camera: Programming - Performer in the Chicago/Midwest region

New York (NY) Times
TELEVISION REVIEW; Out of the Closet and Onto the Stage
By JOHN J. O’CONNOR
Published: October 11, 1994
OUT THERE II Comedy Central, tonight at 9.
(...)
And ending the hour in delightfully offbeat fashion is John McGivern, a former Franciscan monk who insists that in an Irish Catholic family, “the boy who can’t throw the ball is the boy who is going to be the priest.” Having lettered in cheerleading in college, Mr. McGivern loves boxing, noting that “the one who wins gets a purse, and they do it in gloves.”

Google Books
17 October 1994, New York magazine, pg. 128, col. 1:
John McGivern loves boxing: “Two grown men prancing around in silk underwear, and the one who wins gets a purse.”

Google Books
That’s Funny!:
A compendium of over 1,000 great jokes from today’s hottest comedians

New York, NY: Cader Books; Kansas : Andrews and McMeel
1996
Pg. 144:
I love boxing. Where else do two grown men prance around in satin underwear, fighting over a belt?...The one who wins gets a purse. They do it in gloves. It’s the accessory connection I love. -JOHN McGIVERN

Google Books
The Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: Revised and Updated!
Over 2,000 One-liners, Straight Lines, Stories, Gags, Roasts, Ribs & Put-downs

Compiled by Barry Dougherty and H. Aaron Cohl
New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
Pg. 231:
Gay people invented sports. Think about it. Boxing. Two topless men...in silk shorts...fighting over a belt and a purse. —ANT

Twitter
Sleeperkid
‏@Sleeperkid
http://tinyurl.com/ykpmq6e - “Fighting’s gay.  In boxing you fight for a purse AND a belt.” Best COMMUNITY scene of the year.
8:42 PM - 18 Dec 09

Twitter
Lun Esex
‏@LunaticSX
Boxing: A sport where two burly men strip to the waist & fight each other over a belt & a purse–regularly breaking up the hitting with hugs.
2:21 PM - 26 Feb 12

Twitter
Gregory Dickens
‏@GregoryDraws
M*A*S*H tonite: Klinger gets into a scheduled fight because boxing involves gloves, a belt, a ring, and a purse. #section8rounds
3:51 PM - 23 May 12

Twitter
Danny Baker
‏@prodnose
An old joke: Boxing tonight. Men in silk underwear fight for a belt. They get a purse. They do it in gloves. Its ALL about accessorizing.
10:47 AM - 14 Sep 13

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Wednesday, September 25, 2013 • Permalink