Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Grinage

19
Aug
11

Christy Martin and the decision: Is a hand worth more than an eye?

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.

02
Feb
11

Protecting yourself at all times

Protecting yourself at all times

One of the great mantras of boxing is to protect yourself at all times.  That construct proved pivotal to Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby” and as every trainer will tell you, never turn your back on a fighter.

The art of the handwrap — while not as dramatic an idea as getting cold-cocked by Lucia Rijker does give a boxer the protection required to keep their hands reasonably safe from chaffing, cuts and broken bones.

My first trainer, Johnny Grinage used to wrap each of my hands with two handwraps, placing a foam rubber pad over my knuckles with the second wrap.  This was just short of a “professional wrap” with batting and adhesive tape — which he did for me once or twice and I have to admit it felt great.

In those days, he had me training in 18 oz. gloves on heavy, heavy bags.  As Johnny was famous for shouting “I don’t want to see no pitty pat,” this meant that my hands took a lot of punishment – so my protection was to have “mummy wraps” and even then I had a lot of red knuckles at the end of a training session.

When I train now, I use the “Mexican” wraps, extra-long with a little bit of spandex in them.  I wrap them fairly snug, but not too tight — and as I train with 10 oz or 12 oz gloves I only need one on each hand.  When Lennox Blackmore wraps them, he uses a technique that adds a little extra padding to the knuckles, but I find that I am okay without them.    I’ll add that when I do a lot of heavy bag work, I will add a bit of foam to keep the knuckles safe.

There are also handwrap “gloves” on the market filled with foam or gel.  I personally find them to be uncomfortable inside a pair of boxing gloves, but will use them for speed bag work or the double-ended bag.  These types of gloves resemble MMA grappling gloves and are generally filled with some type of gel solution or foam.  The ones I use are made of leather and have thick foam over the knuckles.

Still, nothing beats a professional tape job by a master boxing trainer!

21
Dec
10

Miles Davis and me

Miles Davis and me

While I used to listen to my mother’s John Coltrane and Miles Davis records when I was a young child, I discovered jazz for myself when I turned 12.  My grandmother had given me a small portable AM/FM radio and fiddling with the dial I came across the radio station WLIB.  This was 1966 — and at 4:00 each afternoon, Jazz pianist Billy Taylor opened his show with Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage.

What I waited and hoped for each day though was the chance to hear something by Miles Davis.  Billy Taylor usually obliged with tunes from Miles Davis’ ESP or Miles Smiles albums or a song like So What from such newly minted classics as Davis’ Kind of Blue album.

Years and years later training with Johnny Grinage down at Gleason’s, Johnny used to talk about Miles the boxer.  I’ve never really heard the speed-bag in his trumpet, but I still love the thought that the staccato of his solos could have come from his days of training in the ring.




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