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


21
Nov
11

Women’s Boxing Results: IBF Championships 11/20/11

Women’s Boxing Results: IBF Championships 11/20/11

Ada Velez retains IBF Super Bantamweight Title, Photo: Chris Cozzone

In a stunning evening of women’s boxing at its best at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas, Ada Velez (20-2-3, 6-KO’s) retained her IBF Female Super Bantamweight championship belt in a hard-fought contest against Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper (21-2, 11-KOs).  The judges scored the bout 98-92, 97-93 , 95-95 giving Velez a majority win. People on the scene found the third judges score surprising as they otherwise had Velez decisively dominating Cooper throughout the bout.

In what was an upset win, Dominican fighter Dahiana Santana (28-6, 12-KOs) soundly defeated former champion Stacey Reile (10-4, 4 KOs) to become the new IBF Female Featherweight Champion.  Both boxers fought a hard tough fight with the final decision scoring noted as 98-90, 97-90, 97-91.

The undercard bout with Las Vegas’ own Tatina “Lil Tyson” Anderson (5-1-1, 4-KOs) was no less exciting with her third round stoppage of  Victoria Cisneros (5-13-2, 1-KO).

Sue Ti Fox of WBAN covered the fight along with photographer Mary Ann Lurie Owen.  I highly recommend checking WBAN for some fabulous photos and cover on the bouts.  The link for the quick results is here.  I’d also recommend checking back later for her longer piece.

Chris Cozzone also covered the fight for Fightnews.com.  His piece is here.

20
Nov
11

Women’s Boxing and the Media

Women’s Boxing and the Media

Queen Underwood ahead of her Pan Am Games fight, Photo: Pat Graham/AP

With large kudos to CNN, ESPNW and even media outlets such at USA Today, women’s boxing has been hitting the media of late — and the perspective has actually been positive.

Case in point has been the skirts issues which has seen a surfeit of pieces in mainstream media running the gamut from BBC to Huffington Post.

There have also been lots of profile pieces of up and coming Olympic hopefuls alongside their sisters on the professional side of the sport, as well as pieces on the world-wide participation of women in boxing from Afghanistan to India to Uganda.

Here are some links to pieces.  Have a read and show your support if you can.  The more we advocate and respond, the greater the opportunity to keep the trend going — and maybe even find women boxing’s bouts back on ESPN, Showtime & HBO.  Hmmm, about time wouldn’t you say??

 

Skirts issue

Drawing a (hem)line in the sand by, Bonnie D. Ford, ESPN

Skirting the issue: boxing’s step backward, Kathryn Bertine, ESPNW

Skirts won’t make women’s boxing any more ‘womanly’, Christie Brennan, USA Today

 

Boxer profiles

Latina Olympic hopefuls (Marlen Esparza), Soledad O’Brien, CNN

Christy Martin a fighter at heart, David Picker, E:60, ESPN

Queen Underwood is fighting for a cause, by Meri-Jo Borzilleri, ESPNW

 

Women’s Boxing – World Wide

Afghan women strike blow for equality, Mike Thomson, BBC

Uganda’s women step into the ring, Nicole Dreon, ESPNW

19
Nov
11

Awesome, stupendous women’s boxing 2morrow (11/20)!

Awesome, stupendous women’s boxing 2morrow (11/20)!

Talk about a great fight card!

The main event features Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper vs. Ada Velez II for the IBF Superbantamweight title.

But it doesn’t stop there!

We’re talking a second IBF world title match!   Stacy “Stay-Lo” Reile (10-4, 4-KOs) fighting out of Miami, Florida will be defending her IBF Featherweight belt against the Dominican Republic’s own Dahiana Santana (27-6, 12-KOs).  

Two other women’s bouts will be on the card including a the popular Las Vegas area, fighter TaTina “Lil Tyson” Anderson (4-1-1, 3-KOs) will be fighting the very game Victoria Cisneros (5-12-2, 1-KO) who lost a ten round decision in her last outing against Holly Holm in June..

The other female bout on the undercard will be  the winner of the WBC reality show “Reto de Campeones,” Irma Garcia Nunez against an opponent TBA.

The card is being promoted by Sampson Boxing, LLC — and shows a huge commitment to female athletes at the top of their game.  Pablo Betancourt’s Executive Entertainment, LLC has also worked alongside Sampson Boxing to make this dream card happen at the Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission in support of battered women.

For ticket and view information please note the following!

Tickets will be available at www.texasstation.com, TEXAS Station Gambling Hall and Hotel: 2101 Texas Star Ln., North Las Vegas.

Doors open at 2:30 pm and the fights will start at 3:00 pm. Ticket prices are: $25.00 for General Admission and $75.00 for Ringside.

The event will be televised LIVE by: MAPI T.V., Supercanal, Dominican View, Tele-El Salvador, TDS, Comcast, Cable-vision, RCN, Time Warner, Verizon and Fios. Viewing countries: The United States (Dallas, Tampa, Baltimore, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, Ft. Wayne, Richmond, Norfolk, Pittsburgh, Providence, Buffalo, Harrisburg and Syracuse), Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, South America and Russia.

17
Nov
11

Women’s Boxing: The brave, the few.

Women’s Boxing: The Brave, The Few.

Afghan Women Boxing, Credit: AFP/Katherine Haddon

First off a huge shout out to the BBC for their article on my favorite women on the planet the members of the Afghan Women’s Boxing Team.  The article by Mike Thomson, entitled, Afghan Women Strike Blow for Equality, brings focus once again on these remarkable athletes who are no less brave than the denizens of Virgil’s Aeneid, when they don the gloves.  The quote from the Aeneid, a favorite of boxers around the world, not to mention the words printed on the back of every Gleason’s Gym T-shirt are worth repeating in the context of these very courageous young women:

“Now whoever has courage, and a strong and collected spirit in his breast, let him come forward, lace on the gloves and put up his hands.”

There are no words than can truly describe the tenacity and grit of these young women — but I shall extend that to any women who overcomes adversity as a metaphoric taking up of arms.

Think of this.

Think of the violence that women are subjected to by lovers, husbands, fathers, stepfathers, cousins, uncles and so on.

Think of Rola El-Halabi who has had her career taken from her by her stepfather who shot her in the hand, the knee and the foot.

Think of Christy Martin who was left for dead after being stabbed, beaten and shot by her husband.

And yet both these women have arisen.

Both stand tall and proud as beacons of hope for the hopeless.

The young Afghani girls who have taken up the gloves are also symbolic of hope; hope for their Afghani sisters who in many parts of the country are still terribly brutalized; and hope for all women who continue to be at risk for violence and abuse.

Sometimes all it takes is one step — and if in taking that step one finds oneself knocked down, there is always, always, always the next step to take to keep us going. In my view, those young Afghani girls are showing the way of just how to keep those steps coming.

 

 

 

 

15
Nov
11

Interview with Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper ahead of Cooper vs. Velez II!

Interview with Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper ahead of Cooper vs. Velez II!

Melinda “La Maravilla” Cooper  (21-1, 11-KOs) is hungry — and she wants her IBF Superbantamweight Title back.  She is set to meet Puerto Rican fighter Ada Velez (19-3-3, 6-KOs) in a rematch and in what promises to be a tough, taut battle, La Maravilla and Velez will meet for a ten-round championship fight on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at the Texas Station Gambling House and Hotel in Cooper’s hometown of Las Vegas. Given her popularity, it is expected that the bout will be fought in front of a sell-out crowd — who are equally as hungry to see her back in the ring.

Melinda "La Maravilla" Cooper (r) vs. Ada Velez

La Maravilla, 26 is known as a tough savvy boxer and is considered one of the best fighters in women’s boxing today. Both women met last March in Costa Rica when Velez took the belt by a split decision, 96-94, 96-94, 94-96. That outcome, which many believed was a poor decision at best certainly stunned Cooper and her team, but ever the champion, Cooper is grateful for the rematch and is looking forward to taking the belt back. Neither fighter has been in the ring since their outing in March, but Cooper feels confident that she is ready.

Melinda graciously agreed to take time from her busy training schedule to answer a few emailed questions. This is what she had to say!

How are you feeling about meeting Ada Velez for the IBF Female Super Bantamweight Title?

>>>I feel amazing about the upcoming match between Ada and I. I’ve been training hard and taking Genesis Sports Nutrition to ensure my body is recovering properly. I’m ready; it is going to be a great fight!

Your bout in March resulted in a split decision with two judges scoring it 96-94 for Ada and one judge scoring it 96-94 for you. Did that factor into setting up the rematch?
>>>Undoubtedly!
You had a perfect 21-0 record coming into your match back in March, how has that affected you and your training coming into this bout?
>>>It has made me hungrier!
You are considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, at 26 you are also relatively young given that there are a lot of elite women fighters still in the game well into their 30’s, what’s next for you?
>>>After I win the IBF title and with the support of my sponsors: Silver Nugget, Lucky Club and Opera House, I plan to move down in weight to 118 and fight for a title. I would also like to fight at a couple of different weight classes for world titles.
Most of your bouts have been in the United States — although your three most recent bouts have been out of the country in Costa Rica and Mexico. Do you feel you will increasingly need to fight out of the country?
>>>No I do not feel I will need to fight out of the country to get competitive fights. I believe if promoters put more female bouts on in the U.S. it would reduce the need to fight abroad.
In thinking about women’s boxing in general, what do you project for the sport in the coming years?
>>>I feel the recent inclusion of women’s boxing into the Olympics will only serve to bring more (much deserved) positive attention to the sport from those who are already familiar with it; as well as making it more attractive to mainstream audiences.
Videos!
Melinda Cooper sparring with Laura Serrano prepping for her upcoming fight:

Melinda Cooper boxing highlights video

14
Nov
11

Rola El-Halabi’s day in court.

Rola El-Halabi’s day in court.

Rola El-Halabi in court, Photo: Axel Schmidt / dapd

Rola El-Halabi (11-0, 6-KOs) is 26 years old and had a full career ahead of her as an elite female professional fighter before her stepfather shot her in the hand, knee and foot in her dressing room prior to her fight against Irma Balijagic Adler of Bosnia for the vacant IBF lightweight title this past April.

El-Halabi, originally from Lebanon was the pride of Ulm, Germany when she defeated American fighter Mia St. John for the WIBA and WIBF Women’s Lightweight Titles in March of 2010.  She subsequently returned her titles due to a domestic situation and had been away from the ring for a year.

Rola El-Halabi

Her promising career also ran afoul of her stepfather’s sense of honor which eventually led her to fire him as her manager back in January.   He had allegedly vowed to put her in a wheelchair — and nearly did, though her tenacity and has seen her to face her attacker in a German court.

The showdown with her stepfather has led to a guilty verdict and a nearly seven-year sentence in prison.

While one speculates that this is vindication for the horrific attack against Rola El-Halabi, the fact remains the injuries she sustained have left their mark and she will likely never enter the ring again.

Stephen Brown over at Frontpagemag.com has a terrific piece entitled Unfair ‘Honor Crime’ Fight in Berlin that is well worth the read.

>>>UPDATE>>>

AP story published in Washington Post here.

UK Guardian story here.

 

13
Nov
11

In celebration of the art of boxing.

In celebration of the art of boxing.

Mischa and Kristina

My schedule has been hectic and fraught with the conflicting needs of family, job and thesis writing, so getting to the gym yesterday felt triumphant.

Lennox Blackmore and I had miscued on our time which meant I did most of my work out on my own starting off with my usual four round sets: shadow boxing, heavy bag, double-ended bag and speed bag.  When Len arrived, I pulled out four more on the pads working my jab-jab-right combination plus the right-left dig, left hook combo.  My last was to work my way through 80 ragged sit ups — but they did count.

The point of writing about it is less to “crow” about boxing for a solid hour — and more about the work itself and the work of everyone in the gym.  ‘Talk about inspiring, everyone and I mean every last person was pushing themselves and hard.  That meant young kids, older kids, men and women of a “certain age” and everyone in between, not to mention the boxers sparring with speed and tartness prepping for upcoming bouts!

It got me to thinking that with all the controversies of late whether it’s bad refereeing, bad judging, obnoxious fighters mouthing off unnecessarily or the specter of female athletes wearing short mini skirts in their debut at the 2012 Olympics, the other side of boxing, the miraculous side is all the time spent in the gym, working.

That is what boxing is, isn’t it? At its essence? The magic of aligning the mind and the body to perfect exacting movements so that when a boxer enters the ring there is an opportunity to soar as an improvisational artist at the height of his or her craft.

As with jazz musicians who spend hours a day practicing scales and sonorous trills to keep their lips, fingers, hands, arms, legs and every other part of the body in condition, so does a boxer spend hours at a time perfecting the body and the subtle movements necessary to ply the art.

That doesn’t only mean round after round of throwing the intricate combinations, but understanding the subtleties of the pax de deux — after all, boxing is not a solo sport, but an intricate dance. No tag team, it is a one-on-one battle of skills, stamina, ring knowledge and what we all call heart. It is also performance art as there is that extra shot of adrenaline that happens precisely because it is a competition on a stage bounded by the four sides of the storied boxing ring.

And that is part of it — despite the hype and the crappy stuff that seems to accompany the professional side of boxing and even the amateur side; the ring itself is an arena of magic. It is the place where all of those hours of gym work and road work and mental work thinking about boxing gets played out in the brief snippets of time between the bells.

I know that boxing can be a heartbreaker — as terrible and cruel as any indifferent lover, but it is also a place of work and pride that at the end of the day every practitioner can feel triumphant about.

So yes, while the split decision of the latest Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez championship bout may feel like ashes in the throat to some, we should also celebrate the hard work of boxing, it is after all what brought those two remarkable athletes into the ring in the first place.

12
Nov
11

Ava Knight v. Arely Muciño IBF Flyweight title fight video from 10/30/11!

Ava Knight v. Arely Muciño IBF Flyweight title fight video from 10/30/11!

Ava Knight (r) v. Arely Mucino, Credit: HG Boxing

In case you missed it, here’s the Ava “Lady of Boxing” Knight v. Arely Muciño fight from October 30, 2011. California’s own Ava Knight (7-1-3, 4-KOs) won the IBF Female Flyweight Championship after a terrific body shot, left hook combination sent previously undefeated Arely Muciño (14-1-1, 8-KOs) to the canvas.  Mexico’s Arely Muciño  had held the title since January 2011 when she defeated Chantel Cordova (9-3-1, 3-KOs) for the vacant championship belt.

One hopes these two women warriors will fight again!

Here’s a link to a great piece about the fight by Ryan Maquinana.




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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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