The Late Late Show is something of an institution in Ireland. Broadcast most Friday nights on the national broadcaster RTE, it's occupied a place in the national consciousness that is somewhat legendary. Like most institutions, it attracts both the young and the old and on one particular evening some years back, the former were very much in evidence, calling in to ask of a female boxer if, like the guys, they fought bare-chested. Or, given the sex in question, bare-breasted. When she said that no, they do not, there was such a note of disappointment in the voices of the young male callers that it's a wonder Gay Byrne, the host of The Late Late Show, didn't take pity on them and ask that if she wouldn't consider it just once for what the Irish might describe as the poor wee critters. There and then if she wouldn't mind being so bold.
There's no such confusion about Catfight. Granted, the twelve pugilists, and I use that term very loosely, wear sports bras, chest protectors and vests whilst in the ring but outside of it, they seem to prefer to let their breasts get a good airing in the boot camp in Tenerife. Of course, given who these women are, their naked breasts are not an uncommon sight, at least not to readers of the Daily Star, FHM and Nuts. Acting as something of a mother hen is glamour model Jamelah who, giving this a public-spirited whirl, conceived the idea for self-defence for beautiful women after being attacked in a nightclub. With the backing of the producers of this DVD, she brought twelve girls out to Tenerife for a crash course in boxing and after several agents received desperate, last-minute phone calls - not everyone, I would imagine, works for as little as these girls were offered - the likes of Jakki Degg, Kayleigh Pearson, Vanessa Nimmo, Sapphira O'Shannon and Hayley Marie Coppin arrived with their bags packed with bikinis, gum guards and boxing gloves. What little we see of the boot camp will surely be a disappointment as in between the Big Brother-styled whining about how various glamour models can appear quite dim - really? I am surprised - there's much less nudity than the title promises.
With that in mind, Catfight becomes all about the boxing but, as you might well expect, women who fall out of lingerie for a living do not make great boxers. Returning from Tenerife and appearing in London, the girls are the headline attraction that, if anything, is even further down-market than the typical boxing venue without actually descending into the gutter. The rules of each match adhere to amateur boxing with the use of head guards but there's as much punching power as a Rock 'em Sock 'em toy. With twelve girls and six fights, the whole thing passes by with such monotony that I fought against pressing the 'Next Chapter' button. I suspect there are a good many things that are made more marketable by the addition of topless women and whilst Catfight might well be one of them, it's still a tawdry little DVD with there being far from enough breasts or boxing to satisfy anyone but the most sexually-starved adolescent.
If you've been watching any of the boxing on ITV recently - and nothing proves that channel's bargain-basement status as its continued televising of boxing - then you'll be aware of the glare of lights and cheap-ass surroundings of the typical boxing venue. This does a good job of capturing that by making this venue, which might well be as exquisite as The Savoy on The Strand, look like a strip club. The picture is alright, as is the stereo soundtrack, but it ought to go without saying that this will be far from your A/V highlight of the year. Or that day.
When the main feature outstays its welcome by an hour, it's hard to imagine anyone wanting any more of Catfight but the makers of this DVD have included more interviews with the girls. Useless as these are, they offer a convincing argument why glamour models often end up married to equally dim professional footballers.
This DVD describes the experience for the girls as being one where they swap the catwalk for the Catfight. But these are glamour models and have been no nearer a catwalk than I have. They have, however, been the stars of many photo spreads in the cheaper end of the lad's mag market, leaving this, like its print equivalent, the sort of thing that might appeal to young men too short to reach the top shelf but with very limited appeal to anyone older than thirteen. Rated 18, Catfight will have, and deserves, a very small audience.
Last updated: 06/05/2018 16:47:12