Posts Tagged ‘boxing ring

07
Dec
12

Holly Holm v. Diana Prazak Fight 12/7/2012!

UPDATE:  

Holly Holm defeats Diana Prazak by UD, 100-90 on all three judges score cards on 12/7/12, Credit: Jose Leon Castillo

Holly Holm defeats Diana Prazak by UD, 100-90 on all three judges score cards on 12/7/12, Credit: Jose Leon Castillo

Holly Holm v. Diana Prazak Fight 12/7/2012!

Diana Prazak and Holly Holm at weigh-in, 12/6/12, Credit:  Will Fox

Tonight’s Fire and Ice boxing card at the Route 66 Casino & Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico promises to be full of excitement if only to see the size of the ring where Holly Holm (31-2-3, 9 KOs) will fight for the IBA & WBF Women’s Light Welterweight titles against Diana Prazak (11-1, 7 KOs).  In Holm’s last outing against Anne Sophie Mathis which she won by decision, the Holm team fought and won another decision as well, erecting a 24 foot ring. This led to considerable controversy as it favored Holm’s fighting style — and many believe tilted the “w” in her column.

Holm was also originally scheduled to fight Myriam Lamare.  Diana Prazak, an Australian boxer who is the WIBA Super Featherweight champion, took the call and canceled out of her 6-round scheduled bout against Victoria Cisneros who she was also set to fight at 140 lbs.

As Prazak put it recently: “I’m a determined fighter. I have fought at 130-135-pounds; however, I walk around at 145. I will feel much stronger at 140 because I don’t have to starve myself.”

Diana Prazak will also have former world champion, Lucia Rijker in her corner, pound-for-pound, one of the best boxers ever, never mind “female boxer.”  This has given Prazak a lot of confidence.   “I’m lucky to have the opportunity to work with some great champions, not to mention the rounds I get in with my trainer, Lucia Rijker. If I can get punched by the most dangerous women in the world, I most definitely do not have any concerns about being hit by girls in other weight classes. I’ve been training with Rijker Striker for almost eight months and I’ve learned a lot being in America and about what it takes to be a pro fighter.”

At the official weigh-in yesterday, Holm came in at 138.8 and Prazak and even 138.

Also fighting on the card in a six-rounder will be Victoria Cisneros (8-13-2, 3-KOs) versus Mary McGee (19-1, 10 KOs). Cisneros has fought some of the big names in boxing including two fights against Holly Holm (both at short notice) and rumbles with Chevelle Hallback, Melissa Hernandez and Cecilia Braekhus. She may have lost those fights, but she is none the less a very credible fighter with a record that belies her strengths in the ring.  McGee a native of Gary, Indiana has fought and won almost exclusively in and around her home town. Fighting Cisneros, who is coming off a three-fight winning streak should prove to be interesting.

Win lose or draw, the fights should be great tonight … just wish they were televised!!!

06
Feb
12

Living each day.

Living each day.

Whether it is the dangers of the ring, such as the one that has seen Ishika Lay on her long road to recovery from second-impact syndrome, or something closer to home, such as the sudden illness of a relative or friend, living each day to its fullest is an important mantra:  even when that means walking away from the things we love to do.

That means not only pursuing your dreams, but knowing when to sit out because the risks are too great.

Have a headache after sparring that won’t go away?  Go and get it checked out and follow the mantra:  when in doubt, sit it out.

I know we all tend to ignore the long-term effects of our actions or even cast a “blind eye” to their very existence, but headaches and the like are also symptoms of acute problems that can be dealt with much more readily early on.  Sometimes it is only a matter of facing down the demons that seem to haunt us when we contemplate the “why” question that prevents us from taking the next step — say to a doctor’s office.  Not to do so, however, is to play a dangerous game of roulette with one’s own health and well-being.  It is also an example of breaking a cardinal rule that can best be translated as cheating at solitaire.

Here’s another one: Do you have indigestion every time you eat a slice of pizza?  Or in the absence of that, cough after every pasta or pizza meal?  Has it seemed to escalate at night lately, even when you don’t eat pizza? Go and get that checked! And P.S. … stop eating pizza and pasta till you know what’s going on.  At the very least you might have GERD (Gastric Esophageal Reflux Disease), but it also might mean (depending on your age), that you are starting to see changes to the actual make-up of your esophagus (Barrett’s Esophagus) which can lead to “no joke” complications.

I bring this all up because so many of us “live” with things that we think are nothing that end up being a big something in a hurry when we least expect it.  When that happens the effects are often horrendous, both to the individual undergoing treatment and to family and friends who suffer along with each bump in the road.

Athletes presumably have a great sense of their bodies – certainly of the cause and effects of too little sleep, poor eating habits and so on; however, that doesn’t always translate into evaluating the relative risks of injuries or of even recognizing that the twinge in a shoulder is really a rotator cuff injury about to blow.

That’s when we all have to take some responsibility not only for our own health and well-being, but for what we see going on around us by taking to heart the “if you see something, say something” mantra.  Sure, you might be accused of putting your nose into someone’s business, but you well might recognize something that your sparring partner just doesn’t see.

Part of living each day certainly translates into living it with gusto, but we also need to be cognizant of all the aspects of our day, even the things we’d rather ignore.  The problem is the things we ignore have a way of slamming us in the face whether we acknowledge them or not, and for my money, it’s better to face an issue head on than wait for the unexpected surprise.

29
Jan
12

Facing the new.

Facing the new.

Marlen Esparza, Photo: Rose Arce/CNN

I liken a fight to a blank page. Entering the ring, a boxer’s body and mind stand at the ready as so many remembered movements much as a writer sits poised with words and syntax.  It’s what happens next that is remembered. The boxer will engage in an improvised pas-de-deux with her opponent while the writer will engage her thoughts and ideas to fashion words into hoped for coherent and readable prose.

Given that I am wearing my writer’s mantle today, I am trying to work through the momentary panic of that blank space.  As with any creative endeavor — whether the improvisation of a boxer’s dancing feet or a trumpeter’s trill — the way thoughts form on the page seem miraculous.  Yes, they are based on deep knowledge of words and syntax and perhaps even a clear “plan” of attack likened to a boxer’s plan to stick and pull back, or the trumpeter’s competencies with B-flat.  However, the blank page of a writer can also represent the open road without a road map.  It is the moment of facing down newness. Words without a plan. A space that can take a writer anywhere the imagination feels like going.

Such is my day today.  My writing has no agenda.  Like shadow boxing on a Monday night without a trainer, I can take it where ever I want it to go.  I can stick with one thing or write tons of fanciful little ditties.  Such is my luck today — even as I swallow back that momentary taste of bile that anxiety always seems to bring!

 

25
Jan
12

Wordless Wednesday, 1/25/2012

Wordless Wednesday, 1/25/2012

Fire in the Ring, June 2011

Wordless Wednesday is a group of bloggers who give words a rest once a week.

05
Apr
11

Under the gun: Or how I learned patience from the ring!

Under the gun: Or how I learned patience from the ring!

“I don’t see you studying,” I say.

The prodigal says, “Did you know that the French Revolution started in 1789?”

I say, “yes, but what’s that got to do with biology???

Prodigal says, “but Mom, I thought you’d like the fact that I know a random fact.”

Ugh!

I hate 6th grade biology.

I hate tests and I hate having been chained to my beloved youngin’ variously cajoling, pushing, pulling, commiserating and otherwise attempting to aid and abet her as she has variously studied, grumped, whined, drifted and finally studied some more for her very b-i-g test tomorrow.

Getting the picture?

We’re talking ten rounds of constant battle and I am up-against-the-ropes losing … badly!

So, what’s to be done as she pushes up from her book to organize a deck of playing cards … PLAYING CARDS?!?!?

BUT … we also have a eureka moment, viruses, bacteria, and now protists done!

And wait … ah ha.  The cards are down and its fungi time — and not only that, I can see that somewhere deep in the recesses of her brain she is thinking, “but I really do want to get a good grade!”

Yep, I’m off the ropes.  She’s quiet, and focusing, fingers flying across the keys of her mac book as she confidently says, “Mom, I’ll be in bed by ten.”

13
Jan
11

Lights on

Lights on

"The Fighter"

What with the critical acclaim of the Micky Ward biopic, “The Fighter” and FX channel’s new series, “Lights Out,” one could think that boxing’s gone mainstream again.

After all, there was a time when Friday night fights were as ubiquitous as Friday night football in  big towns and little towns across America.  The recent renaissance of small venues coupled with the play that MMA is getting on local and national television, however, does seem to be fueling a groundswell of renewed interest in the sport that has been growing since the phenomenon of “White Collar Boxing” in the 1990’s.

More to the point, boxing continues to be a “working class” story.   Talk to any young boxer trying to make it and hear a story as old as Horatio Alger:  young man or young woman determined to “make-it” through the sweat of his or her brow.  In boxing, however, that’s a literal thing.  It literally takes sweat and a lot of it to gain the conditioning necessary to fight a round of boxing never mind 12 — all while being pummeled with the ever-present threat of serious injury or worse.   Those are some kind of odds — and yet boxers take them.

As “The Fighter” shows, the desire to “make it” can also be “fought out” against the dynamic of family madness or personal demons.  Ask anyone why they like to hit things and believe me, you’ll get a story.

Melissa Hernandez

What’s interesting is that the kind of “truth” that’s being explored in the latest media incarnations of the sport are attempting to work through the genre elements to arrive at a statement about who we are and where we are as a people at this particular point in time.  A lot of our old middle-class dreams are falling away — and in that instance, what’s left?  Strip away mortgages, high-priced dinners and all the other trappings of the middle-class life and one is faced with a sort of raw truth of life on the margins: of making it or not based on family relationships and one’s own gumption.

A return to boxing seems to imply a reglorification of the ring as a stand-in for our own sense of what we’ve lost and what we can find.  Boxers as heroes and demi-Gods has a potent place in the mythology of the sport — and as a pointer for the new reality of folks facing displacement from their dreams, it offers an alternative stream of what life can offer.  That’s certainly good for all those young kids preparing for the Golden Gloves this year, and as a marker for the “grown-ups” in the crowd, offers a kind of hope for redemption from the ills of economic debacles and all the rest that happens when dreams fade and die.

01
Nov
10

Of circles and squares

Of circles and squares

At the end of Frederico Fellini’s seminal film, 8 1/2 , all the varying characters and important figures in Guido’s life (the protagonist played by Marcello Mastroianni) gather on the preposterous set of his latest film project.   In the finale of the scene, everyone walks along a concrete rise as Guido urges them on in the guise of a Master of Ceremonies at a Circus.  The shape of the rise, which is circular, provides the context for the resolution of Guido’s many demons:  his questions about himself as an artist, his mistresses and wife, his early sexual escapades, the death of his parents and finally the meaning of life.

The resolution which is joyous and raucous with all past sins forgiven puts me in mind of how much “stuff” we all carry around inside our heads.  Those of us who bring ourselves inside the boxing ring often are accompanied by our own load of “demons.”  The tease of the ring and the discipline of the training are a boxer’s way of reconciling those disparate elements to find the clarity necessary to fight.

To my mind, the boxing ring is a space set a part from everything else.  During a fight, even sparring at the gym, the rules of the space engender a respect for what happens there.  For the participants, the space is defined by the “combat” set to three-minute intervals and it is only in the one minute “interregnum” between rounds that the fighter interacts with the folks in his or her corner.   As every boxer will tell you, however, boxing is really about one’s ability to keep the demons at bay long enough to truly be “present” in the fight. If not, it’s like boxing with only one hand.  All that junk gets inside to cloud the mental picture of clear thinking necessary to truly box.

A boxing event will have all the elements of a circus.  Crazed hawkers, a boisterous and celebratory crowd addicted to the potential for danger, and “acts” themselves: the boxers who are one part entertainers, one part artists and one part gladiators.  Each has a meaning to the crowd, but more importantly, each has meaning to the boxer plying his or her craft.  The boxing event is a fighter’s way of orchestrating the fight so that the job is done and done well, with all senses in tact, and as with Guido, the chance for a resolution with all demons aligned and playing nicely together.  Would that it were that easy.




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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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