While it isn't necessarily the best place to catch Mayweather-Pacquiao (if that long-anticipated brawl ever happens), this local haunt might be the best place to catch an authentic smoker. No, it's not an actual boxing gym. You won't see any future welterweight champs punching Everlast bags, or hopping about in drawstring shorts. But you will get the highly entertaining spectacle of amateurs duking it out in a ring, surrounded by crowds of surly drunk people. About a year ago the Rats began hosting themed fight nights in which members of different scenes bludgeoned each other. The most famous, of course, was a punks-versus-hipsters battle royale, but they've thought of less obvious ones, too: librarians versus the illiterate; furries versus adult babies; clowns versus mimes. Such blood sport isn't for the faint of heart, but it's certainly a large draw in Oakland. And if you prefer the sanitized TV version, East Bay Rats occasionally screens the UFC bouts, too.
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