I want him to quit.
I never did like Ray fighting, and I never much liked the fight game, so I say this from the bottom of my heart. We really haven't had a chance to talk about it, but Ray knows how I feel. I don't know if he'll listen, but I don't think he has anything more to prove.
Against (Roberto) Duran, he beat the champion, and he beat him the way he should have. Even if the fight had gone on, the result would have been the same.
I watched the fight from a sky suite in the Superdome this time. I was at ringside for the last fight, and it was terrible. You have no idea what it's like to see someone you love take a punch. That last fight upset me very much. Just thinking about it upset me and I was upset thinking about what could happen in the rematch.
Before the fight, I was crying. I just couldn't stop, thinking about what was coming. Up until the time Ray Charles started singing "America the Beautiful," I cried.
But as Ray Charles was singing, I looked at the television and saw my husband with a big smile on his face. From that point, I stoped crying, because I knew Ray was going to win.
During the fight, all I did was root for him. All I kept thinking was 'Win, Ray, win!' I know if the fight had continued, Ray would have knocked him out. Everone was so surprised when Duran quit. I couldn't believe it. I was stunned. We all were. The feeling of relief that swept over me was overwhelming.
As soon as they lifted Ray's arm in victory, my brother grabbed me and we started running down the ramps, about 10 of them it seemed like at the time. Then we had to climb over two walls just to get to the ring to see Ray. I was so proud of him.
Nonetheless, my heart goes out to Roberto Duran and his family, especially his wife. If she loves her husband the way I love Ray, I know exactly what she's going through right now. I went through the same experience in June, when Ray lost the first fight. I just hope and pray Duran is all right. And I hope he never has to fight Ray again.
I know Duran did a lot of strange things, all that stuff he said about Ray before the fight, all the obscene gestures. But I can forgive that. He's a human being, with a wife and children.
Most people really have no idea how the wife of a boxer feels. It hurts to watch him in the ring. Oh, how it hurts.
The morning after the fight, I went on "Good Morning, America." The show was taped, and when we got back to the hotel we watched ourselves on television. I was the one who looked like I'd just gone eight rounds, not Ray. My eyes were puffy from all that crying. Mentally, it just tears you up. It messes up your mind just thinking about what can happen in the ring to the man you love.
But it's over, for now. We can go back to our new house, back to unpacking. I'm going to lock all the doors, take the phone off the hook and try to live like a normal person again.
We'll probably take a trip in January to celebrate our first anniversary. That's hard to believe, a whole year. It seems so much longer than that.
Maybe that's when we'll start talking again about Ray retiring. I never want him to fight again, even if he fought five more fights just like the one against Duran.
He probably won't listen.But I wish he would.