With these 11 brilliant words, Tie Domi convinced Bob Probert to fight him

With these 11 brilliant words, Tie Domi convinced Bob Probert to fight him

Tie Domi only played two games of the 1989-90 NHL season. The young rookie had 42 penalty minutes in those two games. The following campaign, when Domi played with the Rangers, he had 185 penalty minutes in 28 games.

Domi was starting to make a name for himself, and after he fought some real tough guys–like Jeff Beukeboom out of Edmonton, Tim Hunter from Calgary, Ken Baumgartner from the Islanders, and Gino Odjick from Vancouver–everyone knew who he was.

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Domi was a regular in NHL, and he didn’t hold back. But he still had the toughest guy in the league yet to fight. Domi still hadn’t fought Bob Probert, the perhaps most fearful enforcer of his era. In February, 1992, Domi would finally get the opportunity to play against Probert, and he had his mind set on what he wanted from the game.

”What I didn’t like was that Domi had been talking up how he was going to go after me when met up on February 9, 1992,” Probert wrote in his autobiography, ’Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge.’ 

”He had everything to gain from it. What good would it do me to beat a guy six inches shorter? Even if it was close, it would still feel like a win for him.”

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Probert had no thoughts on fighting Domi, but when they did, he was surprised.

”I didn’t go into it seriously enough. I was not prepared. I didn’t realize how important it was going to be. It turned out that Domi was just a hard guy to fight. The shorter guys often are. He was a lefty too. And to his credit, he was tough little bastard. He could really take a punch.”

But how did Domi exactly get Probert to answer the bell? With eleven, brilliant words.

”He wanted to go right from the faceoff. He must have asked me three times. Finally, he said, ’Come on, Bob, Macho Man wants a shot at the title.’ He was a cocky little shit.

”I said, ’Aw f*ck, let’s go.’”

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Before the fight, Probert had just thought of Domi as a short, cocky kid. But he was impressed.

”He grabbed my jersey and swung at air a few times. I connected a few times, but he didn’t go down. I got my jersey off and he was still throwing. By this time, most guys were tired, but Domi had some left.

”I got a little cut on a little piece of skin next to my eye when he wandered through with a left. It didn’t hurt but it looked bad. I was getting pissed, so about forty seconds in I tagged him pretty good. The refs came in and stopped it about fifty seconds.

”But to give him credit, he was still standing.”

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