Absurd Athletics

Strange celebrity appearances, bizarre nicknames, and dramatic championships: the world of slap boxing

Nick Porisch

More stories from Nick Porisch

The Highlight Reel
May 10, 2023


Da Crazy Hawaiian faces off with an opponent

On April 17, 2021, one of the most important events in sports history took place. It was a boxing match, but not just any boxing match.

In one corner of the ring stood a controversial figure with a massive fanbase, and in the other stood a retired MMA fighter with no professional boxing experience. That’s right, the boxing match being referred to is none other than the infamous Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight.

However, that fight, which lasted less than two minutes and many claim was rigged, isn’t what this week’s edition of Absurd Athletics is really covering.

Event fights like Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren usually last about five hours, so if you do the math that means about four hours and 58 minutes of the night was dedicated to a series of warm up fights, music performances and other side attractions, referred to as the event’s “undercard.”

For reasons I only vaguely remember, I had been roped into watching the event with some friends. Among a Snoop Dogg performance and other bizarre sideshows, one pre-match event really stuck out to me.

Ahead of the big fight, a mysterious organization named SlapStrike hosted an exhibition match between two opponents known as “Da Crazy Hawaiian” and “The Bear Man.” The match was going to feature color commentary from none other than the nature boy himself, Ric Flair, and Saturday Night Live’s own Pete Davidson.

Yeah, this was going to be strange.

Da Crazy Hawaiian and The Bear Man were facing off in a slap boxing match, in which two competitors take turns giving each other skull-shaking slaps to the face until one either gives in or loses consciousness.

Da Crazy Hawaiian, the reigning United States slap boxing champion, “obliterated” The Bear Man with a “monster slap,” according to sportingnews.com. The website’s coverage of the match also notes Ric Flair celebrated the victory with a classic “Woooo!” Amazing.

Slap boxing has a long history, mostly as a less physically damaging alternative to boxing that didn’t require the competitors to own unnecessary equipment like gloves or health insurance.

Slap boxing is frequently mentioned in the world of rap music, including in songs from popular artists such as Eminem and Ice Cube. The sport features promptly in the aptly titled Slapboxing with Jesus, a critically acclaimed collection of short stories chronicling the youth life of Queens New York by author Victor D. La Valle.

From its roots as a safer way to settle disputes than outright brawls, slap boxing has continued growing in popularity. SlapStrike runs an official league, and the sport has become popular on Internet sites like TikTok

This past weekend, on March 4, the 2022 Slap Fighting Championship was hosted by the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. Feel free to reread that sentence again as many times as you need to.

The championship featured support from Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, alongside Logan Paul, who has become heavily involved with the world of slap boxing, for some reason.

In the championship bout, three-time World Champion Dawid Zalweski faced off against Da Crazy Hawaiian himself. Zalweski eventually secured the title once more, continuing his ongoing championship streak.

If you’re as invested in the story of Da Crazy Hawaiian and the world of slap boxing as I am, you can learn more about this strange sport at SlapStrike’s website.

Porisch can be reached at [email protected].