Posts Tagged ‘postaday2011

19
Nov
12

The first time …

The first time …

Boxing at Gleason's Gym. Credit: Malissa Smith

The first time I walked into Gleason’s Gym in January of 1997, I had a feeling of trepidation mixed with excitement and a healthy dose of exhilaration. This was a real boxing gym complete with the sites, sounds and smells I’d gleaned from a mixture of old boxing movies and my imagination.

Having lived on the Lower East Side as a child, I’d grown up watching men play dominos, so as my eyes took in three enormous boxing rings, my ears were honed in on the thwack of a domino clicking on a small table with three men, each looking like someone out of central casting for the part of boxing trainer, animatedly playing the game.

From the sounds of the dominos to the rhythmic beating of heavy bags, speed bags, focus mitts and bodies, each to its own beat punctuated by the loud dings of the ring clock that kept time at three-minute intervals with a warning at two and a half minutes and a ding at four minutes to start the clock all over again, I was hooked.

The sounds alone were an improvisational cacophony worthy of the best of John Coltrane or Rahssan Roland Kirk — still I felt a bit intimidated asking myself why in the world I was there and what had possessed me to think that I could actually box in a real gym. Sure, I’d taken a boxing class at Eastern Athletic Health Club in Brooklyn Heights and yes, I still remembered the old one-two my uncle had taught me when I was twelve, but this was different. This meant that I’d have to be serious, that the years of watching boxing and thinking about boxing were culminating in my taking those first concrete steps up to the second floor of the Gleason’s Gym building in DUMBO long before it was trendy and filled with cute coffee bars and babies riding around in eight hundred-dollar strollers.

If I’d thought I’d have a fight on my hands as a women crossing the divide of what even I thought of as a male domain I was mistaken.  Quite to the contrary, I was greeted by Bruce Silverglade, the owner of Gleason’s Gym who touring me around made a point to make me feel welcome.

I’d come that day to actually box having brought handwraps and a pair of boxing gloves and while I didn’t really know what I was doing yet, wrapping my hands that afternoon was the beginning of a physical and emotional journey I could not have imagined.

Within a week of that first visit, I’d been taken on for 7:30 AM training sessions three days a week with Johnny Grinnage, a trainer of the OLD old school who didn’t believe in new-fangled things like focus mitts or even the speed bag. His idea of training was beginning a workout using a broom stick for stretches before jumping rope for three rounds. From there it was onto a wall bag to learn how to throw a jab, a straight right and a left hook for three rounds. Those early weeks we’d end the training with three rounds walking up and down the slip rope and it had to have been a least two months before I actually hit a heavy bag.

After those first training sessions I took to writing out my punch counts and found myself punching the air and slipping whenever I could. I also found myself tearing up at the oddest times finding in the extension of my body a connection to a physical power I never knew I possessed–one that left me feeling bereft at the years and years of having never understood how much strength I actually had.

It was the first of many lessons boxing taught me and continues to teach me and while I’ve had an on-again off-again relationship with boxing in the ensuing sixteen years, Gleason’s Gym remains my home and the sport still gives me a warm glow that courses through me when I need a dose of something wonderful.

06
Dec
11

The boxing gym.

The boxing gym.

My daughter had an assignment to write an essay using imagery for her 7th grade English class.  She rocked my world with it!

Gleason’s Boxing Gym
     Gleason’s Boxing Gym is a place in Dumbo that many people go to. When you hear about Gleason’s, what you may picture is a nice clean gym with the best equipment in the world. However, once you go all that you really see is sticky duct tape holding the heavy bags together, and dirt that is probably two years old.
    This is what I love about Gleason’s the most:

    When you walk into Gleason’s, what you see are boxers that are young or old, the heavy bag swishing back and forth. People are skipping and sliding trying to dodge the fast perfect jabs from their sparing partners. I hear the speed bag that sounds like a helicopter, the encouraging loud criticism from the trainers.

    In Gleason’s Boxing Gym all I can smell and taste is the stench and sweat that comes from lots of hard work. However, as soon as I start to train I can feel the cotton of my hand wraps, the linen covering the ropes. I can feel the pads that I hit, the concrete when I try to strengthen my hands. I can feel the leather speed bag hitting my hands and then coming back, as if asking for more.

    In conclusion, I think and believe that Gleason’s Boxing Gym, home to many pro-fighters, is an amazing place filled with imagery. At Gleason’s everything that happens sets your mind into a frenzy of images that will come back when you think about the moments that you have had at Gleason’s Boxing Gym.

 

02
Dec
11

Reminder! Holly Holm vs. Anne Sophie Mathis 2night! (12/2/11)

Flash Update! >>>

Anne Sophie Mathis KOs Holly Holm, Credit: (c) Chris Cozzone

Anne Sophie Mathis knocked out Holly Holm in a stunning victory last night at 1:38 in the seventh round.  Photographer Chris Cozzone described it as a “big right”!

More here.  Plus GREAT shots of the fight by Photographer Chris Cozzone here.

Reminder! Holly Holm v. Anne Sophie Mathis 2night! (12/2/11)

Anne Sophie Mathis (L) v. Holly Holm, Credit: Chris Cozzone

The World Dominance fight card is finally here!  Let the boxing begin!

In their much anticipated main event bout, Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (30-1-3, 9-KOs) will face France’s knock-out queen Anne Sophie Mathis (25-1, 21-KOs) as they battle for the IBF Welterweight and WBAN Championship belts.

Both fighters weighed in “lean and mean”:  Holly Holm @ 145.6 lbs. and Anne Sophie Mathis @145.4 lbs.

On the undercard female flyweights will also do battle.  Brandi “Baby Doll” Montoya (0-2) weighed in at 111 lbs. and her opponent Tonia “TNT” Cravens (2-6-2, 2-KOs) weighed in at 111.8 lbs.

The card is promoted by Fresquez Productions and will be held at the Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque, NM.  Doors will open at 5 PM/MT with the first bout slated to begin at  7:00 PM/MT.

***Oh, and one more thing, from what I’ve been told, the fight will *NOT* be televised live***  Talk about an outrage!  I have found an online resource for the fight here: boxing.trueonelinetv.com 

If any one else knows of any, please add to the comments!

01
Dec
11

Golden Girl Promotions women’s fight night in Georgia on 12/3/11!

Golden Girl Promotions Women’s Fight Night in Georgia on 12/3/11!

This coming Saturday night, December 3rd, Ijeoma “The Praise” Egbunine and her Golden Girl Promotions will feature a night of boxing with count em’, three women’s bouts at the Mableton Banquet Hall, 6114 Mableton Pkwy., in Cobb County Georgia.

The main event of the evening will be a ten round WIBC welterweight championship title bout between Lisa Garland (7-5, 4-KOs) and Sara Kuhn (3-2-1, KO-1).

On the undercard of the card, Jackie Breitenstein (6-1, 5-KO) the Georgia Female Fighter of the Year will be fighting Kerri Hill (3-21-1, 1-KO).

Welterweights Karie Contraras (1-0, 1-KO) and Lacey Crawford (1-2 ) will round out the evenings events.

Weigh-in for the event will take place on Friday, December 2 at Ijeoma Egbunine’s Team Praise Gym in Austell, Ga, west of Atlanta.

Ijeoma (17-2, 10-KOs) is also hard at work training for her upcoming December 26 rematch against Gwendolyn O’Neil (18-7-1, 7-KOs).  The match will take place in Ijeoma’s home country of Nigeria for the vacant WBC heavyweight title, and the WIBA and CODA titles.

Ijeoma plans to promote another all women’s card in late February or early March 2012!

29
Nov
11

The big fight in New Mexico! Holly Holm v. Anne Sophie Mathis

The big fight in New Mexico!  Holly Holm v. Anne Sophie Mathis

December 2, 2011 may well prove to be one of those seminal nights in women’s boxing when two of the great pound-for-pound boxers of the sport will face off at the Route 66 Hotel & Casino at the Legends Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Touted as the World Dominance fight card by Fresquez Productions, Albuquerque’s own Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (30-1-3, 9-KOs) will face France’s knock-out artist Anne Sophie Mathis (25-1, 21-KOs) for the what will arguably be called the bragging rights to the number one position in women’s boxing.

The bout will ostensibly be for the IBA Welterweight title and WBAN Championship Belt, but for fans of the sport, the evening represents the best of what women’s boxing has to offer.

The undercard includes the following bouts (subject to change):

Joel Vargas (3-4-1) vs. Josh Torres (5-1-1);

Eleazar Loya vs. Christian Cabral;

Brandi Montoya (0-2) vs. Tonia Cravens (2-6);

Matthew Baca vs. Daniel Gonzalez;

Leonardo Sanchez (1-0) vs. Devon Simmons;

Joel Gonzalez vs. Antonio Garcia (1-0)

For ticket information contact startickets.com or purchase tickets at the casino.  Tickets run from $25 – $200.

23
Nov
11

Thankful? You bet!

Thankful?  You bet!

Orange Cranberry Relish

Being a vegetarian, the turkey thing is not exactly my idea of Thanksgiving.  What the holiday does bring is the run-up to my annual heathenish/Jewish/I love Christmas anyway month of reflection on why, with a nod to Lou Gehrig, I am the “luckiest” person “on the face of the earth.”

I could start with the blessings of an amazing daughter and fabulous husband — or that I even have the opportunity to wake up each day with enough food to eat, the ability to work, hot running water, and an iPad, iPhone and Macbook to play with.

The point being that whatever sorrows and triumphs I may experience over the course of a day, a week or what has become the sum total of my lifetime, the process of saying “thank you” to the folks who make those experiences possible is one that requires more than just a day to sit back, overeat and watch football. Rather the point of it all is to live in a realm of “thank you,” where common courtesies, extending oneself to others even when one doesn’t have to, and otherwise being mindful of the other seven billion on the planet is a way of life.

So if I haven’t said so lately, thank you to all the friends who have extended themselves to me by reading Girlboxing. You’ve all made it a place where I feel comfortable enough to jot down my thoughts and opine to my heart’s content on the little things and big things that have meaning to me. Most importantly, you’ve all helped to expand my world and my way of thinking — something that has been an incalculable gift.

Please also accept my best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Orange Cranberry Relish

(1) 12 oz. package fresh cranberries

(1) cup sugar

(1) navel orange

Grated orange peel from one orange

(2) – (3) cups orange juice

Rinse and pick over the cranberries.

Place in a heavy 2 – 3 quart saucepan, and cover with orange juice under medium flame.

Add in sugar and grated orange peel.

Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. (You should be attentive at the stove as the cranberries will start to pop.)

Reduce flame and simmer for about 40 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens, stir occasionally throughout.

Place in a festive bowl and allow to set and cool (about an hour or so).

Cover tightly with plastic wrap before refrigerating.  Will keep for three – four days.

22
Nov
11

USA Women’s Boxers getting ready to rumble!

USA Women’s Boxers getting ready to rumble!

While most Americans will be at home enjoying their Thanksgiving feast with friends and family, five members of USA Women’s Boxing will be participating in one of two events:  the Olympic Test Event set to run from November 24 – November 27 at the ExCeL Olympic Stadium in London or in Surgut, Russia as part of the squad competing in the World Cup of Petroleum Countries.  That second squad will also go on to compete in Ukraine for a head-to-head dual competition.

In total there will be five women and thirteen men competing.

Olympic Test Event Roster

132 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash.
141 lbs/male: Jamel Herring, Coram, N.Y./Camp Lejeune, N.C.
165 lbs/female: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md.
201 lbs/male: Joseph Williams, Queens, N.Y.
201+ lbs/male: Lenroy “Cam” Thompson, Lenexa, Kansas
USA Boxing National Coach: Joe Zanders, Long Beach, Calif.
Coach: Gloria Peek, Norfolk, Va.

European Tour Roster

108 lbs/male: Eros Correa, San Jose, Calif.
112 lbs/female: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas
114 lbs/male: Shawn Simpson, Chicago, Ill.
123 lbs/male: Tramaine Williams, New Haven, Conn.
132 lbs/female: N’yteeyah Sherman, Barberton, Ohio
132 lbs/male: Jose Ramirez, Avenal, Calif.
141 lbs/male: George Rincon, Carrollton, Texas
152 lbs/male: Errol Spence, Desoto, Texas (2012 Olympian)
165 lbs/female: Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa.
165 lbs/male: Jesse Hart, Philadelphia, Pa.
178 lbs/male: Marcus Browne, Staten Island, N.Y.
201 lbs/male: Jordan Shimmell, Hudsonville, Mich.
201+ lbs/male: Laron Mitchell, San Francisco, Calif.
Coach: Ron Simms, Stafford, Va.
Coach: Ken Porter, Akron, Ohio
Coach: Ed Rivas, Abilene, Texas
Technical Advisor: Bruce Kawano, Pearl City, Hawaii
Team Manager: Ken Buffington, Marshalltown, Iowa





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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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