Posts Tagged ‘postaday2012

31
Dec
12

Of endings and beginnings …

Of endings and beginnings …

2012 USA Women's Boxing Team

As is inevitable for this time of year, we relive our triumphs and disappointments and much like the wisdom espoused by the rituals of the Jewish High Holidays, may even set about examining those aspects of our lives we are most proud of and those we may be at a loss to explain.

In considering my own 2012 I certainly ran the gamut from graduating with my master’s degree to emerging from surgery on my shoulder with a pathetic wing that has taken months to set right.

Meanwhile, my own highs, lows and in-betweens are graced by the luxury of lots of comfort, a loving family and a Brooklyn home that experienced nary a sprinkle during Hurricane Sandy.

I’ve also gotten a book contract, my straight right back and a husband who even squired me to the movies two days running over the weekend!

Counting myself among the luckiest of the lucky, I also keep in mind the triumph and trials of my pals at Gleason’s Gym, the thirty-six young women who courageously took up the gloves to box at the London 2012 Olympic Games and another year in the history of women’s fight for equality whether it be in the boxing ring or the hope that a bus ride home in New Delhi doesn’t result in a brutal gang-rape and death.

Maybe it’s the latter that saddens me most.

I’ve been around a long time and the fact that a woman still isn’t safe whether it’s in New Delhi, Johannesburg, London or the Bronx reminds that me that for all our female bravura at embracing martial sports, the fact remains that there is always some part of what we do that is informed by our need for self-defense.

Talk to my thirteen-year-old about it and she’ll regale you with how to leg sweep a potential attacker or such street savvy stratagems as using big glass store front windows to check on who is walking behind her. The operative thing here is that she is thirteen and has already experienced men saying gross things to her on her short walk between school and home. And while her martial art, Aikido, is defensive in nature, it hasn’t stopped her from figuring out that sometimes the best defense is offense: that and the sense to scream, act crazy and run like hell.

So if we are talking New Year’s wishes, mine is to end assault with the first toll of midnight … that said, keep up the fight to claim the boundaries of the ring as your own, whatever your ring happens to be.

Happy 2013!

 

14
Dec
12

Some big Women’s boxing bouts on Saturday, 12/15/12! – UPDATED

UPDATE (12/16/12):

>>>In Guadelajara, Mexico, Mariana “La Barbie” Juarez (36-6-3, 16-KOs) defeated Japan’s Tenkai Tsunami (18-6, 7-KOs) after ten rounds of boxing by unanimous decision. Juarez was in command of the ring through out with Tsunami showing wobbly legs in the fifth and sixth round. La Barbie, coming off her loss to Ava Knight, should feel good at getting a fight into the “w” column as she hunts around for another title shot.

Interview with Mariana Juarez, post-fight (in Spanish).

>>>In Seoul, South Korea, Ju Hee Kim (17-1-1, 7-KOs) successfully defended her WBF World Light Flyweight Title on Saturday night defeating Thailand’s Ploynapa Sakrungrueng (9-3-0) by TKO in the 10th round. This was Kim’s third title defense and second title match against Sakrungrueng whom she defeated by TKO in the 6th round at their first meeting this past March.

Kim fought a tough match pressuring Sakrungrueng throughout. By the 10th round, the referee felt that Sakrungrueng had taken enough punishment and stopped the bout.

>>>Alesia Graf (26-3-0, 10-KOs) came out a winner last night when she defeated Liliana Martinez (10-12-0, 5-KOs) for the WBF Female Super Bantamweight Title at the Mitsubishi-Autohaus Gratzke in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Graf claimed victory in the 6th round of the 10 round bout.

Alesia Graf, WBF Female Super Bantamweight, 12/15/12

Some big Women’s boxing bouts on Saturday, 12/15/12!

Layla McCarter fighting Belinda Laracuente for the GBU Lightweight Championship of the World - 10 x 3 minute rounds Nov. 17, 2006 Orleans Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Layla McCarter will be fighting Belinda Laracuente on Saturday night, 12/15/12 in Las Vegas.

Mariana Juarez & Tenkai TsunamiThe big female bout this weekend on Saturday, December 15th, will be pitting Mexico’s super flyweight Mariana “La Barbie” Juarez (35-6-3, 16-KOs) against Japan’s own aptly-named Tenkai Tsunami (18-5-0, 7-KOs) in a ten round main event at the Arena Coliseo, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The fight is being promoted by Canelo Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Boxeo de Gala, and will be televised on Mexico Televisa and FOX Espanol. Juarez is coming off her loss by unanimous decision to Ava Knight for the WBC Female Flyweight Title this past October. Tsunami has lost her two most recent ten round bouts, in this past October and July respectively, but had a nine-fight winning streak prior to her two losses.

In Las Vegas, the great pound-for-pound boxing champion Layla McCarter (35-13-5, 8-KOs) will be fighting Gleason’s own Belinda Laracuente (26-27-3, 9-KOs) in what for them will be a six-round “walk in the park” given their previous meetings which included their history making ten-round classic with count ’em, three-minute rounds. The bout is being promoted by Sterling Promotions, but it does not appear that it will be televised — our loss!

Alesia Graf Fight Poster 12/15/12Alesia Graf (25-3-0, 10-KOs) will be fighting Liliana Martinez (10-11-0, 5-KOs) for the WBF Female Super Bantamweight Title at the Mitsubishi-Autohaus Gratzke in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Also on the fight will be a four rounder with lighweights Derya Saki (3-0, 1-KO) fighting Chrisoula Mirtsou (0-1-0). Alesia Graf, who is also listed as the promoter for the three-fight card, won the title against Thai fighter Jubjang Lookmakarmwan (3-5-0).

Graf is probably best known for losing to Australian fighter Susie Ramadan last February for the vacant WBC International Female Bantamweight title by split decision, 96-94, 94-96, 96-94. She was also cut above her eye in the bout. Martinez, fights out of the Dominican Republic and while she recently fought two four-rounders this past October and November, had been on an two-year layoff following her defeat by Maureen Shea for the six-round vacant NABF female lightweight title in July 2010. She lost by TKO in the third round.

In Seoul, South Korea, Korean fighter Ju Hee Kim (16-1-1, 7-KOs) will be defending her titles against Thai boxer Ploynapa Sakrungrueng (9-2-0). The four light flyweight titles on the line are from the WIBA, WIBF, WBF and Global Boxing Union. The two last fought in March 2012 with the 26-year-old Kim taking the titles by TKO in the sixth round of their ten round bout.

Meanwhile, the two big fight cards in the United States this weekend: The Nonito Donaire card (10 fights in all) at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas to be broadcast on HBO, and the Amir Khan card at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California (13 fights) set for Showtime — there is nary a female bout on either card. What gives???

12
Dec
12

Time marches on …

Time marches on …

Mayan Calandar, Credit: Shamangene.com

We are almost at the solstice which this year is also the alleged end of the Mayan 5,125 calendar cycle. To the “end of the worlders” out there this means an apocalypse of one kind of another marked by the end of time on December 21st and the ascendance of a lucky few on alien space ships among other things …

Oy …

Meanwhile back in normal space/time, gym or no, 100 sit-ups or no, writing a chapter or no, there is no pause button that allows us to step out of ourselves to la-di-da around until we’re ready, willing and able to rejoin the day-to-day.

The Traveler and Wesley Crusher, Star Trek TNG

I for one would love just such a Star Trek type of device–or heck, have The Traveler, Tau Alpha C, come teach me how to freeze time the way he instructed Wesley Crusher.

While not quite ready for another oy, the point is, there is no such device. Time moves on anyway.

The beautiful thing about the season we’re in is that we are entering the time of renewal. Come the solstice our days will grow longer again, and even though we haven’t felt winter’s wrath as yet in any appreciable way, those February snowstorms happen in the light of day. Okay, sure, the cynic might say, “great, just what I need more daylight to shovel out my car from a snow drift,” but heck, why not, Spring will come, eventually.

There’s also the joy of YouTube to keep alive so many of our memories as timeless interludes … or time-wasters perhaps when we are enjoying our past and not making our future?

Hard to say, but since, I am lately a charter member of the procrastinater’s club, I’ve got to err on the side of excellent device for mimicking the pause button even as the calendar marks down the days as painfully as a Chinese water torture … you know, the one that goes drip, drip, drip.

Meanwhile, Ravi Shankar died yesterday. He is another icon of my childhood that my very young, bohemian mother played on our Victrola ad infinitum along side of her Dave Brubeck and John Coltrane albums in the early 1960’s.

It puts me in mind that whatever our magical thinking time doesn’t stop. We move forward whether we’ve made our deadlines or not.  The trick is to get everything done without causing too much damage along the way!

 

10
Dec
12

Katie Taylor, “Women’s Boxing Ambassador”

Katie Taylor, “Women’s Boxing Ambassador”

Katie Taylor, Gold Medal Women's Lightweight, 2012 Olympic Gold Winner, Credit: Leinster Leader

The news that Katie Taylor has been named the “Women’s Boxing Ambassador” by AIBA, (the governing international amateur boxing organization), in the run up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil is a big boost for the sport.

Her appointment is important and when Taylor says, “I want to help elevate women’s boxing to ensure it sits at the pinnacle of sporting achievement,” these are not mere words echoed by the Irish Gold Medal Olympian for the press release.

Nor are Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu’s, President of AIBA’s sentiments when he stated, “She has inspired a generation of women boxers and the acceptance of women’s boxing in the Olympic program has been in part a result of her outstanding achievements.”

Taylor’s amateur boxing career in an out of the ring exemplifies what it means to forge forward using her talent, gumption and immense athletic skills as an entree into a larger world as her following in Europe and Asia shows.

Beyond that, in her native Ireland, a scan of local headlines gives a sense of her importance:  “Boxing Sensation Katie Taylor to Visit Limerick” read a recent one in the Limerick Leader, while another touted readers to  “Win a VIP meet and greet with Olympic Boxing champ Katie Taylor at Whitewater this Sunday,” in the Leinster Leader.

And she is so beloved in Ireland that a couple of years ago Taylor was the Grand Marshal of the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade — no mean feat for a girlboxer from Bray representing a sport that was illegal in Ireland twenty years ago.

What she is now is not only the pride of Ireland, but the face of women’s boxing to the world; a young woman who through her boxing will help continue to push the barriers that have led to a wide acceptance of women’s boxing in her native country.

We can only hope that she is as successful on the international stage.

Girlboxing offers our heartfelt congratulations!

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!!!

05
Dec
12

Beginnings and endings …

Beginnings and endings …

Voyager 1 from Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The news that NASA’s Voyager 1 is hitting the edge of our Solar System has struck a huge chord with me. Having grown up in the 1960s, I am, among other things, a true space age baby. I have vivid memories of John Glenn’s spaceflight, the moon landing and took Star Trek for my anthem of what was “out there”.

By the late 1970s when the Voyager program started, I was, admittedly, disappointed that NASA was choosing technological feats of fancy for exploring our galaxy rather than charting a path to exploring Mars, but, Trekkie that I am, did enjoy the continuing exploits of “Vger” which brought my beloved Star Trek crew back into space in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Given that I have an actual tri-corder from the original series–that’s TOS to the initiated–I figure I have the cred to speak about it, but it is the actual trajectory of Voyager I at its “end” that is so intriguing.

Voyager 1 at the edge of the Solar System caught in the eddies of the Solar Souther Hemisphere "Winds" and the pull of the "Magnetic Highway":  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Voyager 1 at the edge of the Solar System caught in the eddies of the Southern Hemisphere “Winds” of the Sun and the pull of the “Magnetic Highway.” Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Apparently, with all systems still go and traveling at 35,700 miles per hour till at least 2020, Voyager 1 has hit a region of space at the end of the Solar System and the beginning of “out there”: interstellar space on the other side. NASA made this momentous announcement earlier in the week noting that the edge of the solar system is shown through remarkable readings, very much like ocean tides that interact between the end of the magnetic pull of our Sun and the next area of space labeled the “magnetic highway.”

Voyager I has been traveling between these two areas of space since July; the tiny space craft that could beaming back yet another round of its remarkable stream of data for us to interpret. As NASA’s Yoyager project scientist Edward Stone put it: “Although Voyager 1 still is inside the sun’s environment, we now can taste what it’s like on the outside because the particles are zipping in and out on this magnetic highway.” (Link to article)

The great “out there” remains a mantra of sorts for Trekkies and other fellow “travelers” who were bitten by the space bug. As with many instances of contending with the unknown, we human beings have a tendency to create fanciful stories and myths of what lies beyond our barriers. Surely Voyager I is in great company when it comes to the dragons that lie beyond the mark of the known world, but that is what makes it such an exciting prospect. This particular border crossing comes with the ebbs and flows of collision between one set of rules and another making it tricky, but once past the gate, the great “out there” offers us a new and wonderous beginning.

;

04
Dec
12

Eating like a “boid” …

Eating like a “boid” …

Stuffed Cabbage, Credit: Big Oven.com

Many women I know (and a few men-truth be told) are perpetually on a diet. Sometimes its even to the point where their diets are on a diet and the kind of thing where one can discern the caloric and fat content of a Starbucks Morning Bun at fifty paces.

Way back in the day — say when I was fourteen and in my grandmother’s kitchen in Far Rockaway — She’d put a plate of food in front of me that could feed half of Queens and then, sitting next to me, patting my hand would say, “Eat, darling, eat.  You eat like a boid. Eat, darling eat.”

Now mind you I LOVED her stuffed cabbage, but, we are talking one at a time, not three, not to mention, the candied yams (at any time of year), stuffed derma (never one of my favorites) and a large breast of paprika chicken.

Matzah Ball Soup, Credit: Saveur.comThat was just lunch — not a holiday meal where a plate like that was the appetizer to be followed by Matzah Ball Soup (hmmm), gefilte fish (’cause there had to be a fish appetizer course), Turkey (if it was Thanksgiving), what my grandmother called “meat” which was pot roast, carrots and potatoes baked with tomatoes to the point where the meat was in strings, the aforementioned paprika chicken, and assorted vegetables such as beets, potatoes and peas and carrots.  And we can’t forget dessert, which was usually cake (macaroons on Passover) and pieces of candy or fruit from the endless supply of bowls filled with the stuff, plus coffee (instant), tea (Lipton), fights over sneaking real milk (not kosher) versus the dried milk substitute, oh and when my Uncle Bunny was over, shots of Slivowitz for the adults at the table.

The period from Thanksgiving through the New Year brings to mind my Grandmother’s bounteous table–or as I like to call it a heart-attack-on-a-plate. And even with her many admonitions about my avian-like behavior, which frankly I never really understood, because I always felt like I ate enough for a week!

Later in my twenties, I made the schlep to Far Rockaway to an older, svelter Grandma who in fighting off her high “sugar” count (aka Type II Diabetes) had dropped from a size 18 to an 8. Still, she’d put a humongous plate of food in front of me, as if I’d been out on the velt chasing lions or something before hopping the A train and with nary a thought to what it might do to my health.

More to the point, her sense of proportion reflected a feast-or-famine mentality honed I suppose from her experiences raising a family during the Depression and her own childhood in places like the Lower East Side and East Harlem where money was always tight.

A lot of years later, however, a portion of that size is an automatic five-pound weight gain (even thinking about it gives me at least a pound or two), not to mention a GERD attack (indigestion plus a throat on fire) and an instant case of narcolepsy.

While counting calories feels incredibly luxurious in a world where many people would still look on one of Grandma’s plates of food as something miraculous, Western types with jingle in their jeans and a ready source of fabulous foods face different challenges. And if you’re a woman of a certain age like me, “water weight” no longer cuts it as an excuse.

What is required is a mindfulness about food that takes into account the body’s carbohydrate, protein, fat and caloric needs, the state of one’s health, and a moment of reflection from time-to-time on where food comes from and how it gets to one’s table. After all, most of us do not go to the back forty to pick our own tomatoes, green beans and sweet peas (except maybe in summer at our country places), nor do we pluck our freshly killed chickens, milk cows or gather our eggs at 5:00 in the morning. What we do is wander through the aisles of a supermarket or Whole Foods or the local deli or maybe even make it to a Farmer’s Market to pick up fresh foods or more than likely prepared meals (frozen, boxed or fresh) or skip it all and eat out or better yet, order in Thai.

What we don’t necessarily do is take the time to reflect on what we are eating and how it got there or how its many nutrients pass through the miracle of the body to be stripped down into constituent parts to fuel our many activities.

Chocolate, Credit: Kitchen TalkWhether its eating too little or eating too much, what we owe ourselves is eating “right” especially as we enter that period where food abounds and whether through many temptations (hmmm, yes, chocolate), lots of holiday gatherings or just plain anxiety, how we eat seems to get laden down with a lot of extra baggage, plus a notch or too on our belts.

Whatever your persuasion during the next several weeks, be aware that issues around eating will definitely be on the table … so think twice and if you do have that yummy extra helping of freshly made potato latkes, what the heck, enjoy, after all, it is only once a year!

03
Dec
12

Up and at ’em …

Up and at ’em …

Women's Service Corps, ca 1945, Credit: Washington State Magazine

 

Whether its early morning calisthenics, a five-mile run to get the “juices flowing”, or cracking the books one more time for an exam, the old “up and at ’em” attitude is a great way to push oneself to whatever task is at hand.

Monday mornings also have a way of setting the tone for the week ahead whether its starting a new diet (or getting back on an old one), ticking off chores on the “to-do” list or getting back to the gym after a long hiatus. A Monday that is also the first one of the month has the added feature of jumping off into a fresh start with 30 or so days of opportunity to meet one’s goal.

Woman running 1920s, Credit: Baltimore FishbowlIt’s not exactly training for a prize-fight — but setting off down a path towards something to accomplish can certainly feel that way. That can mean losing five pounds, writing a paper (or a couple of chapters!), running five days a week, perfecting a new kind of glaze or learning five new chords on the guitar.

Whatever the goal putting in the work to do it means a lot of well deserved self-congratulations for persevering and at the end of it that fabulous “I’ve done it” fist-pump in the air.

Whatever the goal — one is also never really alone in it either.

We are all here doing the same thing and for every quiet cheer we might let out for ourselves we are also championing our friends who are along the path of their own achievements … at least that how I like to think of it!

So, if you’re out there today embarking on something for the month of December, know that a whole lot of us are riding along side you eating salads with low-fat dressing, waking up early to do doing crunches at 6:00 AM, perfecting sun salutations and memorizing the periodic table of elements.

 

30
Nov
12

Shelito Vincent keeps it perfect …

Shelito Vincent keeps it perfect …

Shelito Vincent, 11/29/2012

From the moment Shelito Vincent (6-0) walked into the ring at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island, the night was hers.

The hard-fighting bantamweight who trains under the legendary Peter Manfredo, Sr., dominated her opponent, Canadian fighter Rosie Sherine Thomas who had sported a 2-0 record before entering the ring.

Shelito Vincent making it 6-0, 11/29/12Vincent, showing a savvy, ring acumen and lightening speed took the win with decisive scores from the judges who easily handed her the decision 60-54, 59-55 and 59-55.

This was Vincent’s first six-rounder having previously fought in four round bouts.  This is also her second win in as many months having walked over Louisiana native, Ivana Coleman (0-3) by decision, taking all four rounds.

For Shelito, however, keeping her record perfect has another meaning.

Having struggled early in her life, each day represents another kind of win. It is a triumph over personal demons, run-ins with the law, and a young-adulthood steeped in troubles. Boxing has been part of her recovery — and what a recovery it is for those who have watched her not only defeat her challengers, but the many challenges that have plauged her life.

Way to go Shelito!

 

 

28
Nov
12

Women on fight cards …

Women on fight cards …

Susi Kentikian will be battling Carina Morena this weekend in Dusseldorf, Germany for the vacant WBA Flyweight Championship.

On the theme of professional women’s boxing … I thought I’d check out the fight cards for this coming Friday, November 30th and Saturday, December 1st using the World Schedule on BoxRec.

Should be fun!

 

11/30/12 (Total of 3 bouts out of 26 Fight Cards, No televised fights)

Ginásio Municipal de Esporte Luiz Fragossa, Vila Anastácio, Sao Paulo, Brazil

4×2, Super Flyweight, Michele Da Silva (Debut) v. Fabiana Morais (Debut)

Lugogo Stadium, Kampala, Uganda

4×2, Light Welterweight, Florence Muthoni (4-2-0, 2-KOs) v. Shabilla Namaga (0-2-1)

Eclipse Convention Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

4×2, Lightweight, Yolanda Ezell (2-2-0, 1-KO) v. Liz Drew (11-10-0, 4-KO)

 

12/1/2012 (Total 5 bouts of out of 31 Fight Cards, 1 televised fight)

Hershey Centre, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

4×2 Light Welterweight, Natalie Brown (5-2-0, 3-KOs) v. Tammie Johnson (4-3-2)

Mastergym, Duisburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

4×2 Lightweight, Michele Thon (4-0-0) v. Derya Saki (3-0-0)

Anhalt Arena, Dessau, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany

4×2 Lightweight, Nicole Wesner (Debut) v. Hana Horakova (2-6-0)

Burg-Waechter Castello, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

(televised on Germany SAT1)

WBA Female Flyweight Title

10×2, Flyweight, Susi Kentikian (29-1-0, 16-KO) v. Carina Moreno (22-5-0, 6-KO)

Gimnasio Los Naranjos, Boquete, Panama

10×2, Super Bantamweight, Chanttall Martinez (17-5-0, 7-KOs) v. Migdalia Asprilla (9–2-2, 8-KOs) — Main Event

 

And the winner is … Germany with a total of three fight cards with a female bout on each one!

The big female fight, of course is the WBA Female Flyweight title match between Susi Kenttikian and Carina Moreno, which, thankfully, is being televised on Germany’s SAT1, but …. please, this is pathetic.

And here’s a question. Saturday night’s Austin Trout v. Miguel Cotto fight has a total of nine bouts on the card. Given all the incredible talent among NYC professional female fighters, not to mention women fighting out of the Northeast, not one female bout could be added by any of the count them, three promoters involved in putting the fight card together (that would be Golden Boy Promotions, SMS Promotions and Promociones Miguel Cotto)???

Oh right, it’s Showtime, but even HBO Boxing has female bouts on the undercard.

What gives???

 

27
Nov
12

The same old song …

The same old song …

One would think that HollyThe Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (31-2-3, 9-KOs), the current IBA & WBF lightweight welterweight champion, who is set to fight a world title defense on December 7, 2012 against Diana Prazak (11-1, 7-KOs) on a much ballyhooed card called “Fire and Ice” would command the attention of the boxing world enough to land the fight on HBO Boxing, Showtime, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sport, PPV — heck ANY sports network that broadcasts boxing.

But no …

This much-anticipated bout, following on the heals of Holm’s two tough, hard-fought contests against France’s own Anne Sophie Mathis which should have promoters beating down the door at Fresquez Productions will not be aired.

And this AFTER the Olympics when women kicked serious butt and the US women’s team brought home not one, but two medals courtesy of Marlen Esparza (Bronze) and Claressa Shields (Gold).

So what gives?  What’s a “girl” got to do to get some friggin’ air time in the United States?

If fighters of the caliber and quite frankly fame of Holly Holm can’t get a fight broadcast, up-and-coming fighters don’t have a “prayer” to gain any visibility beyond a loyal crowd of followers and the potential for a local cable station to broadcast the fight card and/or video streaming of the event with the hope that it gets loaded on to YouTube.

No one’s talking either.

Meanwhile when it comes to MMA, women routinely fight on nationally broadcast fightcards such as Strikeforce — and even UFC is planning on adding women to their PPV fight cards in 2013. UFC in particular is readying to promote Ronda Rousey, who won acclaim and a lot of fans when she captured her women’s bantamweight championship belt on Strikeforce.  Rousey’s championship fight in August of 2012 also drew big numbers to Strikeforce, no doubt playing an important part in the calculus of UFC’s decision to bring her over as a UFC fighter on a PPV fight card. (See Dave Meltzer’s excellent piece here.)

But not so with boxing.

Is it that the sport itself is too stale and out of ideas on how to creatively promote itself in a way that can include the talent, heart and boxing savvy that women bring to the ring?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of answers — mainly just frustration and disappointment that yet again, a fabulous outing will be lost to viewers aching to watch it unless they can manage to glean a video stream.

25
Nov
12

Heather “The Heat” Hardy to box on December 8, 2012 …

UPDATE:

Heather Hardy with a fierce bodyshot sealing her UD against Ivana Coleman, Credit: Heather Hardy

Heather Hardy with a fierce bodyshot sealing her UD against Ivana Coleman. The win brings Hardy to a 3-0 record. Credit: Heather Hardy

 

Heather “The Heat” Hardy to box on December 8, 2012 …

Having shadow boxed at Gleason’s Gym yesterday for the first time in several weeks, it brings to mind the tremendous effort required to perfect one’s skills. Looking around me I felt humbled by the effort and work of my fellow gym denizens. From 8 to 80 it seemed, men, women and a fair number of kids were working hard to perfect their skills.

The person who struck me the most, however, was Heather Hardy (2-0) who is readying for her third professional fight on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

Heather Hardy Pro Debut, 8/2/12, Credit: Edward Diller Photography, Inc.

Having turned pro in August of this year, Heather is considered a fighter’s fighter. She works with hard-edged discipline and never stops moving. A national Golden Gloves champion, Heather has called Gleason’s Gym her own for several years training with Alicia Ashley, Devon Cormak and Hector Roca. She is also a talented trainer in her own right giving her students a well-rounded workout that includes a fair amount of core work in addition to boxing skills in and out of the ring.

The mother of a seven-year old, Heather works for her family and for the chance to be a world champion. She also works for the love of the sport with an attention to the nuances of boxing second to none.

If you are in and around New York City on December 8th, this is a must see fight!

For ticket information, contact Gleason’s Gym at (718) 797-2872. General admission tickets are $50.00.

24
Nov
12

Off to Gleason’s Gym …

Off to Gleason’s Gym …

 

I’m off to Gleason’s Gym today for the first time in a while. PT has been helpful in bringing back a good portion of my range of motion and strength, but I’m about to put all of it to the test when I work the speed bag for the first time.  Since I’m still only at about 165 degrees (should be well past 180), it’ll be an interesting challenge to say the least.

More than anything, I’m looking forward to seeing my trainer, Lennox Blackmore, who is himself coming back from knee replacement surgery!  Talk about the “blind leading the blind,” but given my state of things slugging s-l-o-w-l-y will be just about my speed.

Coming back from any injury is never easy. If I can use mine as a case in point, I will note first off that as savvy as I thought I was about what the surgery and recovery entailed, I truly underestimated how much it would affect my life and how long the process would take.

Setbacks also happen–thankfully not in all cases, but in when they do, as in mine when my shoulder “froze” it may mean adding months to the recovery process.

Losing the use of one’s dominant arm or other part of the body that is intrinsic to normal functioning for several weeks also takes its toll physically as well as psychologically. If one has been very active, the sight of one’s clipped wing or damaged leg is no fun and no matter how many pep talks one gives oneself, there are those moments.

Mine came when my physical therapist demonstrated an exercise on my body that I literally could not do without his help. It was about 12 weeks into the process and there was something so visceral about not being able to do a movement that had seemed so simple that it released the flood gates of pent-up feelings about the experience.

It was certainly a “first you cry” moment, but in the parlance of my grandmother when it’s all over you wash your face and “do.”

Those cathartic moments are likely a component of any recovery process and if they happen, there’s nothing wrong with giving into it until one can shake it off to go back at it the next time. In my case, I was able to do the movement on my own at the next appointment – and I will say it remains my proudest moment in PT.

Unfortunately, we don’t have Dr. Crusher to wave a magic wand on our limbs to heal our ills.

The fact is as great as orthopedic medicine has become the aftermath to surgery entails a bit of a slog to get back to full physical health.

As experiences go, however, it is certainly far from the worst that life has to “offer,” and each bit of progress brings one that much closer to the goal of regained strength and mobility–all it takes is perseverance, consistency and patience!

23
Nov
12

And now the rush …

And now the rush …

I’m off to work today where I shall relish the quiet when most people are off.  I’ll be able to get through the pile of tasks that always seems to make their way to the bottom, have the chance to catch up on correspondence and the little things like reorganizing file folders on the shared drive that always get in a tangle when I’m in a rush.

My day will be the opposite of the usual hustle of the work-a-day world where the mindset is to operate at a constant double-time pace and even meals are gulped down as afterthoughts to emails, drafting reports and in the minutes between meetings.

For those with four days off this holiday week, today, so-called “Black Friday,” will bring on a rush of a different kind.  Armed with circulars, coupons and for the tech-savvy, Smartphone enabled electronic badges, folks fortified by turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie will elbow their way through crowds to grab whatever “doorbuster” prize they can snag with a “beat the clock” mindset as minutes wind down till the sales items switch on and off as if they were nothing more innocuous then the periods of a school day.

Yep it’s 6:00 AM Barbie followed by 7:00 AM Nintendo and so on and I suppose if one has 14 nieces between the ages of say 5 and 7, snagging Barbie at $2.99 a pop versus the usual $9.99 might be worth getting up at 3:30 in the morning to make one’s way to Toys-R-Us or Target or wherever to push through the crowds (yep, crowds of crowds) to grab just the right Barbie in that magic hour between 6:00 and 7:00.

I suppose when it comes to saving $1,000 on a washer/dryer unit that exactly matches the model one has been pining for a 5:00 AM quick run to Lowes makes sense, but otherwise, I’m not so sure.

And then there are the Black Friday shopping tips that one can read up on that give advise on what to avoid:

Among the most common occurs when a consumer is drawn in to the store by the possibility of an amazing door-buster deal. Usually, these deals are available in very short supply. When shoppers are shut out of such deals, sometimes they go ahead and buy a similar item—for a much more expensive price. (Time Magazine)

This year’s permutation has included earlier start times cutting into family Thanksgiving celebrations for shoppers—not to mention “no holiday” celebration for the many workers who need to show up hours earlier.

What it brings to mind is that all of this rush for the supposed start to the “holiday” season has an opposite effect if rather than thinking through finding the perfect gift for a loved one is reduced to a cage-fight reminiscent of an MMA bout.

And I guess that’s my point. This crazy rush to buy things has little or nothing to do with why we exchange gifts or of the notion that we honor those we love by putting thought and care and even a dose of mindfulness into how we go about that process.

Sure, I know that folks have monetary issues and that holiday gifts are often ways of delivering the things that folks need—especially when it comes to clothing for kids who by the New Year period have started to grow out of their Fall clothes. So yep, the arena that is 5:00 AM at Walmart may be a necessary evil for some people. What I would question is why those sales can’t happen anyway and whether our “buy-in” to this annual slugfest hasn’t compromised us to the point of throwing away the meaning behind our gift giving.

The question is, if we all said no to the frenzy, wouldn’t retailers find another way to sell us their wares? I think the answer is yes and for prices that are just as attractive. For my money, I’d rather fight in the ring.

Happy Friday …

22
Nov
12

Giving thanks …

Giving thanks …

Orange Cranberry Relish

Sometimes holidays sneak up as not so much unbidden, but as a surprise that hits one square on with a flood of emotions. It’s that “oh sh*t” moment when the understanding that nothing has been prepped, decisions on what to do haven’t been taken nor the landmines of things like what to do about Aunt Sissy’s nasty yorkie.

Thanksgiving falls into that category. A big family extravaganza with civic rituals that span back to George Washington’s time layered on with all the “blah, blah, blah” about Pilgrims and the Patuxets … or as my fourth grade teacher Mr. Samuels taught us, the Indians.

We have Abraham Lincoln to thank for a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” He proclaimed this day in 1863 with the Civil War raging–a not unhopeful event given the circumstance–and the final Thursday in November as the annual date.  In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt who was faced with five Thursdays in November set the date to the fourth Thursday in November hoping to given merchants an extra week to hawk their wares for Christmas.

What it all boils down to–bended history, rank commercialism and the boogie-monster of “family” aside–is the chance to truly take a moment collectively as a nation, as a community, as a family and individually to tease out the good and the bad, the things that are truly praiseworthy along with the not-so-goods that need to be jettisoned.

For those New Yorkers still battered by Superstorm Sandy having come through the storm at all is primetime for taking a Thanksgiving moment or two knowing full well that there are families who were shattered by unfathomable loss. A late season hurricane does seem like an obscene joke especially one that is followed by a snow storm less than a week later.

Still we are good at picking up the pieces and if nothing else the tragedy has created a sense of everyday-as-Thanksgiving as scores of volunteers literally from around the nation as well as around the block have come to the hardest hit areas to work.

This is a long way of saying that the greatest gift of giving thanks likely comes down to helping others and whether through physical labor or a timely monetary donation to fund such endeavors we are truly a community–one that pitches in when we need to even after the bright lights of the media have moved along to other events.

So whether it’s “ugh” time when Uncle Louis prattles on about football or a joyous moment when the newest cousin in the family waddles over to Grandma take a moment to smell the orange cranberry relish and feel free to join me in feeling really, really lucky.

A special thanks to Girlboxing readers too for hanging in lately, it is truly appreciated and know that you have all my best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

 

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.




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