Daily Archives: June 26, 2011

Call me Boxer!

Call me Boxer!

As with the practice of any sport — one has good days, bad days and those merely tolerable days.  Then there are the months (or years) off to contend with before hauling you heiny back to the gym, the running track or the yoga studio to begin again.

My sojourn back into the boxing world began last October with a few forays before starting my weekly workouts at the beginning of the year.  Those Saturday’s with Lennox Blackmore have now stretched into one to two more gym days on my own each week, plus my occasional shadow boxing turns around the living room, and those silly flurries I throw walking down the street or in the elevator when I think no one’s watching me (wrong of course because they *all* have cameras!).

It’s gotten to the point where my daughter won’t walk down the street with me if I so much as twitch my left arm towards a surreptitious hook, not to mention the silly skip shuffle (you know the one — the side-to-side shuffle before dipping down to the right to throw an uppercut).

Okay, I guess you get the point.  I’ve got boxing on the mind, the body — and it seems the soul these days.

Meanwhile, back at the scratchy mirror at Gleason’s, I must admit (with some difficulty) that the body facing back at me as I throw my left-left-right-left combo take a shuffle and throw a right upper cut-right-left combo, well, doesn’t exactly fit my image of a boxer.  I mean, geez, I’m what you call a geriatric boxer, okay a geriatric boxer who sweats a lot, and works her butt off into a frenzy of red-faced, sweat-pouring action, but still, I can’t quite see the cuts in those muscles that I *know* are there. (Kind of like my stealth six-pack.) Nor does my body quite move with the economy and swiftness of the young one’s who box alongside me throwing three punches for every one of mine.  I mean really — do they have to be *that* fast.

I guess I’m on this tear because I’ve gone to get my breathing and coughing problem sorted out.  (More later.) As I described my problem to the Pulmonary specialist, it was that little, “you do what?” moment that kind of got to me. “YES, I box,” I said, perhaps a bit forcefully when he opined that I didn’t exactly *look* like a boxer.

Well, yeah, okay… I’m a geriatric superwelterweight with middleweight tendencies of late, I thought to say … so what. I know in my heart of hearts I’m a boxer.  Got it!

Suffice to say, I was less than happy when he seemed to impune my boxing creds or the fact that I have a normal 16-round workout these days that leaves me still standing, albeit in a pool of water.

He did, however, redeem himself, when after the pulmonary function test — as I sat coughing my lungs out — he said, “wow, you really do have a problem. Does this happen every time you box?” And to my affirmative answer he said, (as my heart began to flutter), “This is terrible. I know how much boxing means to you, we have got to get you sorted out.”

Well.  Here I am to say, yep, I *am* a boxer (my very nice Pulmonologist agrees too) even if my silhouette these days is not exactly as svelte as I once was, or “cut” in the ordinary way of a boxer’s body.

As for the breathing/coughing problem — the great news is it’s not exercise induced asthma.  The surprising news is that it may be related to a reflux problem in the esophagus (who knew) or due to a weird malformation in the vocal chords.  I’ll be going to a cough specialist to get some more tests (this is New York, after all) and otherwise am learning to work through the problem as I box so that I can keep going.

2011 USA Women’s National Boxing Champions crowned!

2011 USA Women’s National Boxing Champions crowned!

Saturday proved to be a banner day for women’s boxing!

Marlen Esperza wins her 6th straight National Title. Photo: Ed Andrieski/AP

Flyweight and Houston’s own Marlen Esparza made history last night when she became the third female fighter to win her sixth consecutive national boxing championship boxing title, 27-16, in a rematch of last year’s championship title match with Tyrieshea Douglas (Baltimore, MD.)

Marlen Esperza (L) and Tyrieshea Douglas, Photo: Ed Andrieski/AP

As quoted by AP, Esparza said, It’s the big show for every athlete. It’s huge.” Esparza went on to talk about her opportunity to compete in the Olympic trials. “I’ve always wanted to be able to go to the Olympics since I won my first national championship. I’m putting everything into it, the best years of my life. It’s my life goal.”

Queen Underwood landing a left to Tiara Brown's head, Photo: Jack Dempsey/AP

Seattle’s own Queen Underwood fought a close four round contest in the Olympic Lightweight division to take her fifth national National crown by a 23-21 decision over Tiara Brown.  In a closely fought battle of wills Underwood and Brown went toe-to-toe for much of the bout trading shots and fighting in the clinches. Underwood was able to come on strong in the forth round, however, with a flurry of clean, well executed shots to bring home the crown.  Coming into the quarter-finals Queen was quoted as saying, “I’m the defending champion, so that’s a lot more pressure than being anybody’s favorite,” Underwood said. “A lot of people are expecting me to win every time. … This Queen is the Queen transforming to that gold medalist at the 2012 Games. This Queen you’re seeing is going to be a beast.” (Article link here.)

Franchon Crews

In the final women’s championship bout in the Olympic Middleweight division, former national champion and Baltimore’s own Franchon Crews fought a very close contest against former national champion Alyssa DeFazio (Peoria, AZ).  Crews however, pulled out the win with a 15-13 decision.


Women’s Olympic Championship Bout Results:

112 lbs/female: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas, dec. Tyrieshia Douglas, Baltimore, Md., 27-16

132 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash., dec. Tiara Brown, Lehigh, Fla., 23-21

165 lbs/female: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md., dec. Alyssa DeFazio, Peoria, Ariz., 15-13

Women’s Non-Olympic Championship Bout Results:

106 lbs/female: Amy Sowers, Bozeman, Mont., dec. Marina Ramirez, Las Vegas, Nev., 21-14

119 lbs/female: Haley Pasion, Waipahu, Hawaii, dec. Amanda Pavone, Burlington, Mass., 11-11 (87-86)

125 lbs/female: Heather Hardy, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Elizabeth Leddy, Portland, Maine, 21-12

141 lbs/female: Cashmere Jackson, Cleveland, Ohio, dec. Luvisa Matali, Denver, Colo., 27-14

152 lbs/female: Stephanie Taylor, West Hills, Calif., dec. Amournix Stamp, Milwaukee, Wis., 9-1

178+ lbs/female: Charnita Johnson, Columbus, Ohio (unopposed champion)