Wordless Wednesday, 8/31/2011
Wordless Wednesday is a group of bloggers who give words a rest once a week.
Wordless Wednesday, 8/31/2011
Wordless Wednesday is a group of bloggers who give words a rest once a week.
Boxing, Daf Yomi and my Mom.
Something about extreme events from hurricanes to political upheavals to the strange and extraordinary in one’s life brings me to the point where I want to call my mother. Lord knows we had our issues and I admit to a genuine cringe factor as I listened to the refrain of the opening gambit on her voicemails that always went “hi, this is your mother.”
What, I wouldn’t recognize her voice? (Said out loud with all of the inflection that implies.) Let’s face it, I’d been hearing her since I was in utero which was a very long time ago. So, yes, I did know that it was my mother calling without the need to prompt my auditory memory.
When we did finally speak, and after establishing who was who, there was the rhetorical mom-is-presenting-me-with-a-huge-seemingly-insurmountable-but-ultimately-resolvable-problem-if-she-only-listened part of the conversation, followed by her multitude of what-are-you doing questions, the here’s-what-I’m-doing part of the call (what she bought that Saturday on her rounds through the tag sales, what happend at the pancake breakfast in Red Rock, NY, the latest deer tick count in Columbia County, recycled news about my brother followed by assorted complaints …), and finally the how’s-my-granddaughter finale where we found our common ground and lots of kvelling. Sounding familiar anyone? (And no comments allowed from the prodigal who will eventually read this.)
Oy is all I can say, though I must recant a bit of that “oy” to say that I have my mother to thank for being the Jewish mother I’ve become and for allowing me the joys of her mother sans editorial comment considering Grandma was as classic a hysterical Jewish mother as ever lived. And that is the space I most miss my mother in. The indefinable space of cultural shtick that we shared as true friends and allies, and not in the traditional sense either because in our tiny island of a family we were not exactly observant or even identifiable Jews.
We never went to Synagogue (except the few times my Grandmother grabbed me to go), never talked about it (except the time when I was nine years old and started sneak-reading her copy of William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich) and never went to High Holiday services. Even Hanukkah was an afterthought as I was well into my teens before we ever acknowledged it. Our only discernible “duty” if you will was to Passover which included the trek from Manhattan to Queens and back in the early days via a combination of subways and buses and as I got older, hitching a ride in the back of my Uncle’s car.
In Mom’s case Passover meant (a) helping her mother, (b) Grandma bonding for me (and getting a red ribbon tied to me at some point to ward off the evil eye), (c) Mom sneaking milk for her coffee in my grandmother’s otherwise kosher home and (d) lots of snickering with me as the panoply of remote Long Island cousins dropped in (hence the red ribbon to ward off the jealousy my Grandmother knew they harbored for us).
Fast forwarding a million years, my mother wrested with the effects of terminal lung cancer. In the last few days of her life, Mom would sit upright in her hospital bed and with a mixture of calm and cheerful wonder would eye the two large gold embossed leather-bound books on her bedside table, one neatly covered in plastic with an embroidered bookmark peering out from the back pages and the other a pristine copy lying in wait for the completion of its sister volume.
The books were part of the Daf Yomi series, a seven and a half year cycle of daily readings of the Babylonian Talmud*. Given the irreligious life my mother had lived, and given her genuine lack of interest in formal worship and the accompanying rigamarole, the contradiction of the embrace of such disciplined daily religious study may have seemed out of character, but even though she had eschewed the outward trappings of worship, her deeper search for meaning had led her to embrace the rigors of an intellectual life deposited into one sheet of paper per day.
I bring this up as a long way around the idea of boxing and boxing study as a temple of experience. One works and works and works at one thing such that the practice in its purest sense is down-right monkish.
Jab, Jab, Jab. Jab, Jab, Jab. Jab, Jab, Jab. Jab, Jab, Jab. Jab, Jab, Jab.
Straight right, straight right, straight right. Straight right, straight right, straight right. Straight right, straight right, straight right.
Left hook, left hook, left hook. Left hook, left hook, left hook. Left hook, left hook, left hook.
Slip left, slip left, slip left. Slip left, slip left, slip left. Slip left, slip left, slip left.
Just how many ways are there to throw a punch or to slip a punch? Talk to a trainer about the art of the left hook and Trainer A will insist on a twist of the fist at the end while Trainer B will scream out “what are you doing, why are you turning over your hand?”
As is true for a lot of deep things about life (and not to sound too Hegalian,) it’s often in the argument itself that we find the essence. Much as my mother found the essence of Judaism in the cross currents of Rabbinic argument over the meaning of whether one cow or two is appropriate for reneging on a small contract, a boxer will find the essence of the jab through repeated argument with the mirror.
One day, it just sinks in … Jab.
As with most moments of that sort, they pass quietly, much as my mother passed her simple daily reading on to me the morning of her death. By then, she was in a coma, breathing easily and steadily, the edges of her mouth relaxed. Looking at her books, I picked up the volume she had been reading and read her the day’s passage aloud. The book, though well-read, still had a new book feel and though I passed a few difficult moments, found in the reading a connection to her I’ve only just begun to discern.
It showed me that beneath the many battles my mother and I fought over the years, at our essence, we were in fact, two willing partners in the engagement that was our relationship, and as with the moment a hook stings the heavy bag with an extra something that says “hook,” Mom and I were a pair after all: mother and daughter with some stories to share.
*The Daf Yomi is a seven and one half year cycle of readings from the Babylonian Talmud, a collection of religious commentaries on Jewish oral law, known as the Mishnah, and discussion of the Mishnah known as the Gemara. The Gemara also incorporates a broad overview of topics from the Tanaka (Jewish books of the bible), as well as particular (and avid) discussions of the meaning of varying biblical passages. The Babylonian Talmud dates from 500 AD (CE).
Women’s Bookstore Boxing!
As a New Yorker, September 11th has a particular meaning — especially this year on the 10th anniversay. One way of honoring the friends and fellow citizens who lost their lives is to embrace all that is positive and wonderful about life!
So, if you looking for something to do that is positive and fun, come on down to BookCourt in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn for a fabulous evening of women’s boxing and readings about boxing!
The evening will include a wonderful exhibition of the sport by Alicia “Slick” Ashley and Camille Currie!
At 43, Ashley is the oldest women’s boxing champion having recently defended her WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship title against the much younger Christina Ruiz. Alicia has also been Camille’s trainer and was in her corner when she won the 2008 Daily News Golden Gloves Championship at 132 lbs. Camille Currie will be making her professional boxing debut on September 17th.
The literary part of the evening will include Australian national women’s boxing champion, Mischa Merz, reading from her boxing memoir, The Sweetest Thing and author and radio personality Binnie Klien, reading from her boxing memoir, Blows to the Head.
Details of the event are as follows!
Sunday, September 11th, 7pm
163 Court St
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Riding out the storm … things to do in a Hurricane!
If you’re at all like me, your life is somewhat circumscribed into bits of this and bytes of that on a fairly routine schedule. So what to do when there’s a hurricane on the way, especially when you live in NYC and there’s an unprecedented evacuation of the “A” zones (low-lying areas like lower Manhattan, Red Hook, Coney Island and the Rockaways — not to mention a lot of the coastal parts of Staten Island), subway and bus services running on their last hours and no Starbucks! OMG, as my young one likes to say!
Luckily, the stalwart of all stalwarts, Gleason’s Gym is open this morning, so I shall be able to get in my Saturday morning boxing fix … but, but. but … what then if one is stuck in the house for two days or worse yet, in a shelter or on a friend’s living room floor!
Well first off, charge up *all* of your electronics and I mean all ’cause even NYC might lose power for a while (especially if you are living in an A zone and decide to tempt fate when it comes to massive flooding).
There are also a boxing apps to download on your mobile device that’ll allow you to idle the time away.
1. For the couch potatoes in the bunch (and if you have an account) — get Netflix and have a boxing movie film festival! Titles available include:
– The Fighter, the fantastic Micky Ward biopic
– Homeboy, a 1998 boxing genre film starring Mickey Rourke & Christopher Walken
– Punch, in the tradition of Girlfight, a female boxer finds redemption in the ring.
Oh, and if you’re feeling like maybe you need to move around between features, here are a few workout suggestions!
– Crunch Cardio Salsa (yep, time to get the hips moving)
– Crunch Candlelight Yoga (my favorite)
2. Workout Apps!
– FitnessClass, on demand fitness video workouts
– Yoga, this app has terrific animated classes, two variations of the Sun Salutations, plus a library of poses. You can self time for 30, 45 or 60 minute workouts.
3. News Junkies!
1. CNN, a no-brainer!
2. Hurricane Watch HD (for true junkies!)
3. Watch ESPN, gives you access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU
Otherwise, stay safe and dry!
Holly Holm picked up her second MMA win with her third round TKO over Jan Finney last night at the Route 66 Casino Hotel. The welterweight bout was featured as a co-main event on the Fresquez Productions MMA fight card.
Holly Holm returning to the “cage” for her second MMA bout on 9/9/2011.
Pound-for-pound Women’s Boxing great, Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (30-1-3, 9-KO and 1-0, MMA) is set to return to the cage for her second MMA bout on September 9th against Strikeforce denizen Jan “Cuddles” Finney (8-9, MMA) at the Legends Theater, Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Billed as the Clash in the Cage card by promoter Fresquez Productions, the fight card will also include a semi-main event featuring Rio Rancho’s Travis “T-Train” Marx (17-3, MMA) and Mikey “Burque Bulldog” Lovato (10-2, MMA), plus a pro-debut and a full card of amateur bouts featuring local area MMA talent.
Holly’s first MMA outing was against Christina Domke (4-2, MMA) on March 4th 2011 and in true Holly Holm’s style defeated Domke in the second round by TKO. In the run-up to the bout, Holly is quoted as having said, ”I’m passionate about wanting to learn and do this …” True to her kick-boxing roots she proved successful in her debut.
Holm has also been active in the boxing world having won her 30th boxing victory by unanimous decision against Victoria Cisneros in a much anticipated rematch broadcast as Televisio’s main event on June 10th.
All eyes are on her second MMA battle, however, which is slated to give Holm the opportunity to fight a seasoned veteran Jan Finney who not only brings cage experience, but a tough no-nonsense MMA style and allowed Jan to fight the best that women’s MMA has to offer.
As is usual for Holly, she is hard at work in the gym perfecting her growing repertoire of kicks, punches and good old-fashioned, rolling-on-the-floor scrapping for what should be an exciting showdown on September 9th.
Wordless Wednesday – 8/20/2011
Wordless Wednesday is a group of bloggers who give words a rest once a week.
Women’s Boxing: The talk of Soweto, South Africa.
Mbali “Don Queen” Zantsi is a female boxing promoter with a dream, and as reported by Bongani Magasela in the Soweto Live newspaper, she is about to realize it with her second all-female boxing tournament to be held at Kempton Park Civic Centre in Soweto on Saturday, August 27, 2011.
The For Us (women) By Us (women) – For Women By Women tournament will occur during South Africa’s Women’s Month, an annual event each August — with this year’s tournament set to bring new talent into the fore of South Africa’s growing female boxing scene. It should be noted that Women’s Boxing only became legal in South Africa in 2001.
It was just five years ago when Zantsi put on her first tournament in Durban. That event brought such female boxing luminaries as Noni “She be stinging” Tenge, Unathi Myekeni and Bomikazi Klaasto the ranks of professional boxing.
Tenge went on to win the women’s IBF welterweight title with her fourth round knockout of Daniella ”The Diamond” Smith this past June.
This will be Zantsi first event after a two-year hiatus. As quoted in the Soweto Live paper, she stated, “We are back with a bang and we are going to rock the boxing world.”
The tournament will also feature an all female roster of referees, judges, time keepers and ring announcers.
In response to some reader queries, the part of Talis “The Malice Lang” was played by actress Alyssa Diaz. Diaz is a working actress out of LA who has guest starred on such shows as Law and Order: LA, Lie to Me, Southland, CSI: NY and The Unit. She has also had roles in such films as Ben 10: Alien Swarm and will be appearing in the upcoming Red Dawn. Her boxing skills are genuine and she has also studied Muay Thai Kickboxing.
Women’s Boxing on Necessary Roughness featuring the Decatur Boxing Club!
Decatur Boxing Club’s very own Terri Moss aka The Boss worked with the producers of USA Network’s new show Necessary Roughness, to provide boxers, trainers and even some of her gym’s fitness clients for the upcoming August 24th episode, Forget Me Not.
The episode, airing at 10:00 PM Eastern (9:00 pm Central) this coming Wednesday will feature the story of a successful female boxer who’s inexplicably losing fights and her memory along with an ongoing story line featuring Dr. Dani Santino (starring Callie Thorne) and football star “TK” (Mehcad Brooke).
Reminder! Great Women’s Boxing tonight, 8/20/11!
There is some terrific women’s boxing going on tonight!
First off — if you can get Mexico’s Televiso do because there are two fabulous female bouts on HG Boxing’s “Triple Corona” fight card! (Luckily for those of us who can’t get it live, the full bouts will likely be put up on YouTube. You might also try to find a live video stream for some coin.)
The two co-main feature women’s bouts will include IBF female flyweight world champion Arely “Ametrallado” Muciño (13-0-1, 8 KO’s) defending her title against Susana Vasquez (5-5-1, 2 KOs) in a ten-round bout. The other co-main feature female bout is none other than California’s own WBO female bantamweight champion Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West (13-1-3, 4 KO’s) defending her hard-won title against Mexico’s own Jessica Villafranca (12-2, 6 KO’s)
Over on the East Coast, Gleason’s own scholar, the ever-popular female heavyweight Sonya Lamonakis (5-0, 1-KO) will be fighting a tough rematch against Tiffany Woodard (4-4-1, 3-KO’s) at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts on the Broadway Boxing card. To quote Sonya, “it’s going to be war”, and nothing new for a Lamonakis fight night!
Christy Martin and the decision: Is a hand worth more than an eye?
As has been widely report, in a 5-0 decision by the California State Athletic Commission, Christy Martin lost her bid to overturn her June 4th loss to Dakota Stone.
Writing to question the Commission’s decision, Christine Lusey started off her August 16th piece by writing SAY WHAT > Did a Boxer lose a Fight to Sex Discrimination? She also quoted directly from Christy Martin’s appeal which stated, “In my 22 years of experience as a professional boxer, I have never seen a fight stopped by a referee or a fight doctor because of a broken hand or because a boxer winced.”
Over at Boxing Insider.com, Jackie Kallen took another tack in her piece entitled, Should we have instant replay in Boxing? Her take was to ask if the way around questionable calls is to add instant replay — especially since the issues in the moment may be more readily understood. She also opined that Christy’s choice of *power* attorney, Gloria Allred may have annoyed the Commission enough to turn Christy down for that reason alone. Kallen’s other point was to talk about the general issue of bad calls and how they tend to even out.
What I was wondering is whether a broken hand is worth more than say a broken eye?
So let’s talk about another fight, the Pawel “Raging bull” Wolak vs. Delvin Rodriguez back on July 15th a mere 6 weeks after Christy’s 50th fight as a pro.
Wolak v. Rodriguez was the fight that had everyone watching Friday Night Fights going wild — including the commentators. In fact, the fight was sooooo hot, FNF suspended commercials from the seventh round on.
This is what Pawel Wolak looked like in the 9th round!
That eye started getting big in the seventh round, and he kept fighting with it THROUGH THE END OF THE FIGHT! And if you watched the fight you could see that it HURT, but he told the Referee Steve Smoger and the doctors he was good to go … and they let him fight on! Not only that, but the commentators ALL agreed that the fight SHOULD CONTINUE AND THAT THE REFEREE WAS MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION IN LETTING IT GO ON!
Christy broke her hand in the fourth round and kept on fighting even rocking Dakota in the fifth. It reminded me of boxing gym tales about the guy who won fighting with nothing but lefts ’cause he broke his hand — and was the reason my old trainer Johnny Grinage used to make me do at least one round of lefts on the heavy bag every time I trained.
All I can say is that Christy was living that old saw. As she went on to fight in the sixth round she had NO intention of quitting and only winced after throwing a huge right. As she shook off her obvious discomfort Referee David Mendoza called the fight.
When it came to pain, however, it seemed as if the real pain on her face was when Mendoza stopped the fight!
Yep, she broke her hand, but stopping the fight with one minute left to go in the bout wasn’t going to do *anything* to help her hand — it was already broken. What it did do was deny Martin and Stone the opportunity for a real close to their fight.
A lot of things could have happened in that fight and the Ref owed it to Martin to let her finish it out.
Let’s face it, the Martin v. Stone fight was a war — not unlike the Wolak v. Rodriguez fight. I’m all for stopping fights when it is obvious that a fighter is being badly beaten and damaged — or is no longer able to defend themselves.
Was this the case here? In my estimation no because we’re talking Christy Martin, as brilliant a phoenix as has every graced the boxing ring. Christy, a dedicated professional deserved the benefit of the doubt, much as Pawel Wolak was given the benefit of the doubt by Steve Smoger — and Dakota Stone deserved the opportunity to win or lose unhindered by what seemed like a very unfair decision by the Referee.
I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say that the call was strictly based on gender — but it sure wasn’t boxing.
Home from vacation or the meaning of us-ness!
Having returned to work on Tuesday after taking a week off, I can say that after my third day on the job, I’m ready for another week off!
I spent the week hanging with my husband at home. With bits of time for boxing, long walks and some sweet meals. And what a joy that was! We got reacquainted with each other, cleaned like crazy as we expunged our apartment of useless junk (I won’t even say how much we threw out, suffice to say it would have been a great week to invest in Hefty Bags) and otherwise enjoyed the silence.
We also spent a lot of time talking about how we (a) missed the prodigal who was off at her all girl’s camp in Maine and (b) didn’t miss the prodigal because we were reminded of how nice it was to just hang with each other!
Folks with kids will likely appreciate that one. Let’s face it, we love them like crazy, but do enjoy those precious times when we can just wake up without hurling into the 400 meter dash.
As my Buddhist teacher used to tell me though, all things have a beginning and an end — and so it was for my husband and I as we meandered our way up to Portland, Maine for a leisurely couple of days before spending “visiting day” at camp, with all the other Mom’s and Dad’s who seemed to reflect us perfectly: so very happy to see the wee darlings, but kind of sad to lose that little bit of us-ness.
By the time she was in our arms on Sunday morning, having mastered Pirelli horse care, sailing an FJ with two sails, singing a solo with her camp’s Glee, and working hard through three weeks of contemporary dance, we realized that we were firmly in family mode — and with perhaps a tinge of wistful longing, embraced the us-ness that is family with a delightful, wondrous and lovely 11-year old!
Wordless Wednesday is a group of bloggers who give words a rest once a week.
In true warrior fashion, Kaliesha West defended her WBO title against challenger Jessica Villafranca through ten rounds of exciting non-stop action! The judges scored the bout 97-95, 99-91, and 96-94. With her win, Kaliesha not only improves her record to 14-1-3, 4-KO’s, but also shows her ability to compete on a wider international stage. Kudo’s to Kaliesha and her team for making the decision to jump to the next level!
Great Women’s Boxing: Kaliesha West’s WBO title defense on 8/20!
All I can say is what a great summer for women’s boxing!
Next up, California’s fabulous Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West (12-1-3, 4-KO’s) will take on Mexico’s Jessica Villafranca (12-2-0, 6-KO’s) in a 10-round WBO Female Bantamweight championship battle at the Black Pyramid Casino in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico. The bout will be aired on Mexico’s Televisa network at 8:00 PM, CT as part of the HG Boxing’s “Triple Corona” card.
This will be Kaliesha West’s debut fight under the auspices of promoter Hector Garcia, who adds West to HG Boxing’s other phenomenal women’s boxing champions including Ana Maria Torres and Arely Mucino. This is great for women’s boxing in general — and a terrific opportunity for Kaliesha to get to the next level in her career.
Brooklyn’s Queen, “Queen” Ronica Jeffrey defeated Ela “Bam Bam” Nunez to gain the NABF Superfeatherweight title. The judges scored the six round 59-55, 59-55, and 60-54 — a unanimous win for the hard-hitting Jeffrey.
Over at WBAN, Sue TL Fox raises an excellent question on why the NABF allows six-rounders for women’s title belts, but schedules ten-rounders for men’s belts. It just doesn’t make sense. Check out her important piece here.
Women’s Boxing: “Queen” Ronica Jeffrey Fights for NABF Super Featherweight Title on 8/19/11
Brooklyn’s “Queen” of the ring, Gleason’s Gym denizen and three-time Golden Gloves Champion, Ronica Jeffrey (7-0, 1-KO) will be challenging Ela “Bam Bam” Nunez (9-9-1, 2-KO) for the vacant NABF Super Featherweight championship on Friday, August 19th.
The bout will be held at the Rollins Center Arena, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Dover, Delaware and is scheduled for six rounds. The main event will feature Amir “Hard Core” Mansour, (14-0, 11-KO’s) vs. Dominick “The Southern Disaster” Guinn, (33-7-1, 22-KO’s) for the interim WBO NABO Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship, title. The winner of the bout will be ranked among the Top 15 heavyweights in the world.
In speaking with Ronica, she made it clear how important this bout is to her. “Boxing is what I do and enjoy. I’m going in there to give it my all! This is my first time fighting for a belt and my plan is to get the belt!”
“I want to continue boxing until it don’t want me any more,” she went on to say. “I don’t think I can give it up myself! After that, I want to help the other girls coming up … figure a way how to keep myself involved.”
Jeffrey is coming off of two decisive wins in her last two outings. One, a 4-round win over Elizabeth Sherman on May 27th and the other 6-round win over D. J. Morrison on April 23rd.
Nunez’s suffered two losses in her most recent 6-round bouts against Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano, a loss on January 29th and a lost by KO on April 22nd.
There is no word yet whether this fight will be available on streaming video — but it’ll be worth a search on Google!
Tickets for the full fight card are still available and range from $40 to $200 and can be purchased through VIP Services at 800-711-5882 or online at www.doverdowns.com. Anyone over 21 with a ticket will receive a complimentary casino table games match play coupon for $10-$50, valid for 30 days at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. The first bout will begin at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Will call will be open from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Layla McCarter came out the winner in her fight against Belinda Laraquente — winning every round on the judges scorecard.
Women’s Boxing: Belinda Laracuente to fight Layla McCarter on 8/13!
Gleason’s own Belinda “Brown Sugar” Laracuente (25-25-3, 9-KO’s) will be fighting an 8-round bout against Layla “Amazing” McCarter (33-13-5, 7-KO’s) at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado, on Saturday night, August 13th. (No word yet on whether the fight will be available online — though it is recommended to google it on Saturday to try to catch this bout!.)
Laracuente and McCarter are both 32 years old with impressive professional careers and lot of time in the ring. The match is a rematch of sorts of their ten-round GBU lightweight championship bout. They fought ten hard 3-minutes rounds, the first professional women’s fight to do so, at the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 17, 2006.
For a preview of their upcoming bout, here are the links to their GBU Lightweight Championship bout!