Czech and Romani-Slovak rappers box each other in front of sold-out arena in Prague
The long-awaited boxing match between rappers Marpo and Rytmus was the high point of the "XFN Night of the Champions" in a sold-out O2 arena in Prague on 27 December. Marpo (given name Otakar Petřina) won on points against Rytmus (given name Patrik Vrbovský).
Marpo is the more experienced martial artist. He managed to knock Rytmus down three times in the second round but did not manage to settle the match before the clock ran out.
"I want to pay my respects to Rytmus, he took some unreal punches," Marpo said in the ring while acknowledging the atmosphere in the stadium. "I had the feeling we were at the world championships in ice hockey."
Marpo then explained why, in the third round, he let up so much that fans began accusing him of intentionally pulling his punches. "I thought one of my hands was broken after one of the punches, so I didn't box well after that," Marpo said.
Rytmus, who boxed in white shorts embroidered in gold with his rap name and with "Bengoro", the name of his album ["Beng" means "devil" in Romanes], said as he was embraced after the match: "This I did not expect." Marpo had declared before the match that the contest would be over during the fifth round at the latest.
"I feel like a 42-year-old ancient man," Rytmus said in a post-match interview while still in the ring. "This is a challenge I gave myself and I believe it was a difficult one."
"In the third round I thought I couldn't go on. I was on the mat, or basically on my knees, but I told myself I would not give up, that I would fight to the end," the performer said.
Rytmus entered the arena to the rhythm of the csárdás, which is associated with Romani music. The popular rapper and amateur boxer had spent a year preparing for the match.
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