Posts Tagged ‘Arturo Gatti

05
Jul
11

Fighting like a girl …

Fighting like a girl …

David Haye and Vladimir Klitschko, 7/2/11, Photo Credit: Frank Augstein, AP

Did you all manage to catch the Vladimir Klitschko-David Haye fight last Saturday night?

I mean, what *was* that?  It certainly wasn’t a beer-fest because at least people would have been having fun!

From where I was sitting it was one of the most pathetic excuses for a prize-fight I ever saw and that is going some considering the caliber of some of the fighting lately!  A whopping 10 punches connecting in the first round for Klistschko and nine for Haye??  Everyone going wild on twitter because Haye threw three left jabs that actually connected in the third round!  Based on the comments, you’d think he’d been connecting like Christy Martin in her last outing, broken hand and all. Firing impressive double and triple jabs before landing an overhand right or an upper cut or two and bouncing back for more jabs.

No, I had the word right the first time. The fight was pathetic! No heart, no courage, no desire to fight with the kind of flat out determination we’ve come to love, admire and respect when women box … every time!

Consider the recent fight between Kaliesha West and Ava Knight.  We are talking ten hard fought rounds with no let up.  And because both fighters brought their best game to the match they fought to a draw.  In a way that’s about the best outcome you can have because it shows a terrific match-up — and the kind of commitment to the sport that brings on the highest caliber of fighting and heart that runs from the opening bell to the finish. And what you didn’t see was West or Knight feigning falls to the canvas for a respite. Nor did you see either fighter playing peek-a-boo or goading or any of the number of ridiculous feints that Haye used as his “fight” plan to actually avoid having to go toe-to-toe in the center of the ring.

Nope, from where I sit, it’s time to get schooled by some real fighting:  watching two high caliber female professional boxers having at it for ten rounds of fighting. Or for that matter, did you catch the recent US Nationals?  Or say any amateur or pro show lately where the action part of the card was the women’s fight?? Where are Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti when you need them?  I’ll tell you where, on the women’s card.

Klitschko and Haye promoted their fight as “The War.”  From where I sat, it was more like “The Wimp.”

Enough already, it’s time to fight like a girl.

Oh, and if you want to support a real fighter — consider joining the letter writing campaign being spurred on by Mark A. Jones and Amy Green to get the great Lucia Rijker inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  Talk about a boxer with heart, she remains amazing!

If nothing else, show that your tired of the kind of hype that excuses boxing by writing to the IBHOF on Lucia’s behalf!  You’ll feel great afterwards!! (Letters can be sent my snail mail or fax!)

IBHOF
1 Hall of fame Drive
Canastota, NY 13032
FAX: 315-697-5356.
06
Feb
11

Distance

Distance

Joe Frazier (left) and Mohammad Ali, Madison Square Garden, 1971, Hurley/News

One of the key things about boxing and life for that matter is figuring out one’s optimal distance from all manner of experiences.  Fighters learn early on that distance is the key to a successful bout not only in terms of establishing range, but in allowing a fighter clean shots, good defense and not to be underestimated, a way of psyching an opponent out.

Best way to frustrate an inside fighter … you got it, stay on the outside, but being careful to get inside just enough to keep the fans in the fight because an even worse sin is when one fighter creates too much distance by rabbiting around the ring.  On the other side of it, stay inside long enough and you end up in a Micky Ward/Arturo Gatti duel that while great for the fans is tough, tough, tough on the body.

Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward

And that’s the key isn’t it: creating an optimal space.  A place where your jab is perfect and the hook off the jab puts you in a terrific position to counter-punch for the upper-cut; where your punches connect enough to give a great show, but where your understanding of maintaining your distance from your opponent gives you the advantage and ultimately the win.

In life, say with your eleven-year-old daughter who isn’t in the mood to hear Mom chide her about whatever topic of the moment Mom feels insistent about … there’s not a lot of difference.  We can pray for the bell and go to our corners, we can tussle in the middle and both get hurt, we can parry and thrust and hope for the best or one of us, hopefully Mom, can know enough to go her third-way to find the perfect distance until the storm washes over us both enough to re-engage.

PS:  Girlboxing friend, Margaret Reyes Dempsey of Conjuring My Muse has nominated Girlboxing for the coveted Stylish Blogger Award. Girlboxing stylish, hmmm?  Well, why not!  Thanks Margaret!  In order to be considered for the award the following four tasks must be completed:

1. Present seven things about yourself
2. Name about a half-dozen bloggers you think deserve the award
3. Contact those people
4. Create a link back to the person who gave you the honor

As for the first task, here are seven things you don’t know about me:

1.  The closest I ever came to Muhammad Ali was in September 1991 when I stayed at a tiny beach hostel name-sake in a small village on the Red Sea called, Dahab, Egypt.  The town is best known as a demarcation point for Red Sea scuba diving — although I didn’t go there to dive, rather I was there for the fun of it.  My space at Mohammad Ali’s had a sand floor, concrete walls and a ceiling made of palm fronds loosely layered on top.  For my $1.00 a night I also got a candle (no electricity) and an insect repellent incense coil.  The best part of Dahab was listening to Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff,” wherever I went.

2.  The first dance I ever learned (aside from the hokey-pokey) was “The Wobble,” to Little Eva’s “The Locomotion” (and not to be confused with the current line dance, and not to confuse my “Wobble” with the dance “The Locomotion”).   I was eight years old and was playing on the sidewalk in front of my building on East 12th Street.  A girl named Lydia and her older sister Anna taught me the dance when the song came on Anna’s AM transistor radio.

3.  I discovered the delicious flavor of Nutella in 1991 while on board a vessel in the Eastern Mediterranean traveling from Rhodes, Greece to Limassol, Cyprus.  I spent the night sleeping on the top deck of the ferry and traded Turkish baklava from a bakery in the Old Town of Rhodes with the coveted Nutella sandwich on freshly baked bread.

4.  I hate lists even though I use them all the time.  The problem is I write them down, start to follow them and get bored.  ‘Nuff said.

5.  I met my husband bar-dancing at Puffy’s in Tribeca on December 6, 1996.  We both loved James Brown and Salsa music.  In other words, kismet!  For our first date (two nights later), he wore a red sweater and beige jeans — and looked like the Nautica man.  We ate Vietnamese food for dinner and walked along the Hudson River sitting at the old dock on Pier 26 for a while to watch the water.

6.  My uncle taught my brother and I how to box when I was 12 — well sort of in that he only taught us how to turn a jab.  And while I may have written about that, what you don’t know is that he taught me how to box southpaw.

I kept my southpaw stance until I started boxing at Gleason’s when I took up boxing at 42!  Every so often, I will find myself in a southpaw stance, but having not practiced that way for a long time, I feel very uncomfortable.

7.  It took me 37 years to graduate college!  I went to a total of four colleges over that period of time (1971-2008) and finally got my degree in History from Empire State College.

Thanks again to Margaret at Conjuring My Muse for giving me this chance to spill my guts in public!  But now comes the fun part, nominating others!  Here goes:

1.  The Glowing Edge – Talk about stylish, spend a minute on the site and you’re instantly calm!  Aside from which Lisa Creech Bledsoe is a true woman warrior!  As she says of her own blog, she is “speaker, writer, media ninja, live music fanatic, boxer chick. Online a bunch. Otherwise in the gym. Or possibly at a gig.”

2. Beats, Boxing and Mayhem – This blog has it all, terrific posts on boxing, hip-hop music and culture, plus some serious politics mixed in.

3.  Inspiring Sports Women – She’s got that right.  Lovely, inspiring writing about women’s athletics.

4. The Sweetest Thing – Inspired blog about the personal side of being a boxing woman.

5. My ish wish dish – Now this blog is truly stylish! My ish wish dish blogs about home style, cooking and life with two small boys on a shoestring. This blog has terrific recipes too.

6. Girl in the Ring – This blogsite is not so much for a stylish blog, as a website to help publicize Jill Morley’s much-anticipated documentary about women boxers.

I’ll add that this whole thing feels a bit like a chain letter, but what the heck! I love publicizing blogs I like! Enjoy!

23
Dec
10

Boxing over the holidays

Boxing over the holidays

Micky Ward and Mark Wahlberg

 

Given my schedule these days, I think the only boxing I’ll be getting in over the holidays will be at the movies.  My plan is to catch up on two of the latest films about boxing:

Frederick Wiseman’s Documentary Boxing Gym and the Hollywood biopic inspired by the life of “Irish” Micky Ward, The Fighter.

Boxing Gym was shot at Lord’s Gym in Austin, Texas and examines the ebb and flow of life at the legendary gym where people come to pursue their dreams in the ring.  This highly acclaimed documentary by master filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has garnered several major awards.

 

The Fighter starring Mark Walhberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams, is a Hollywood biopic about legendary jr. welterweight champion “Irish” Micky Ward.  The film explores classic boxing genre film themes of family, loyalty and the antagonist’s ultimate triumph over adversity.  The real Micky Ward is perhaps best known for his warrior’s tenacity in his three classic “fight of the year” battles against Arturo Gatti (whose subsequent tragic death in 2009 is still subject to speculation as to the cause).




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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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