As a New Yorker, September 11th has a particular meaning — especially this year on the 10th anniversay. One way of honoring the friends and fellow citizens who lost their lives is to embrace all that is positive and wonderful about life!
So, if you looking for something to do that is positive and fun, come on down to BookCourt in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn for a fabulous evening of women’s boxing and readings about boxing!
The evening will include a wonderful exhibition of the sport by Alicia “Slick” Ashley and Camille Currie!
Alicia Ashley and Camille Currie
At 43, Ashley is the oldest women’s boxing champion having recently defended her WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship title against the much younger Christina Ruiz. Alicia has also been Camille’s trainer and was in her corner when she won the 2008 Daily News Golden Gloves Championship at 132 lbs. Camille Currie will be making her professional boxing debut on September 17th.
Mischa Merz, Author, The Sweetest Thing
Binnie Klien, Author, Blows to the Head
The literary part of the evening will include Australian national women’s boxing champion, Mischa Merz, reading from her boxing memoir, The Sweetest Thing and author and radio personality Binnie Klien, reading from her boxing memoir, Blows to the Head.
Details of the event are as follows!
Sunday, September 11th, 7pm
163 Court St
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Things to do about boxing on a rainy day, read The Sweetest Thing!
It seems as if the East Coast of the US is in for several more days of rain. That might put a damper on roadwork, not to mention flare up old knee aches. If you decide that inside is better than out and can’t bring yourself to watching yet another network TV show … First and foremost, get on over to your nearest bookstore, or try the internet version of “ring, ring” to buy Girlboxing friend Mischa Merz’s fabulous new book …
The Sweetest Thing: A Boxer’s Memoir.
Part memoir, part wonderful reportage, this must read book about women’s boxing inside and outside of the ring is as engaging as it is insightful about what it takes to be an elite athlete in the sport.
As Lucia Rijker wrote, The Sweetest Thing is, “A beautiful journal-like book [that] documents the ins and outs of female boxing from behind the scene.”
I think you’ll agree that Mischa has captured the heart and soul of the sport as she not only describes such things as the relationship between fighter and trainer, but what it takes to win and lose in a sport that has only recently started to garner a modicum of the respect it deserves.
Mischa is also one of the sport’s champions in her own right and has become an important voice in promulgating what is best about the sport.
So Girlboxing friends, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to hit your local bookseller (or online equivalent) to get a copy of Mischa’s book and start reading!
Reminders! Lamonakis, Merz & a Uruguayan Women’s Fight Night!
Fight Reminder: Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis
Girlboxing friend Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis (4-0, 1-KO) will be fighting on the under card of the “East-West Showdown: Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz,” welterweight pairing on this coming Saturday night, April 16, 2011 @ the MGM Grand, Foxwoods to be broadcast live on HBO. Promoted by Lou DiBello Entertainment and the always exciting Sonya Lamonakis, ranked the number 3 women’s heavyweight contender in the world by will be mounting her 5th professional fight since turning pro last year against boxer Gigi Jackson (2-1) .
Tickets for the event start at $65.00, and can still be purchased through Gleason’s Gym (minus the ticket handling charges!). Contact Gleason’s as 718-797-2872 for tickets and further information.
Reminder: Mischa Merz Book Signing 2night!
Another Girlboxing friend, Misha Merz will be having a book signing 2night for her boxing memoir The Sweetest Thing at Gleason’s Gym running from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Misha will be on hand to read from her memoir to the wonderful sounds of the sweet science in the background. For further information you can contact Gleason’s Gym @ 718-797-2872. Or just come on by to 77 Front Street, Brooklyn, NY (in DUMBO).
Reminder: Boxing in Uruguay! Yep, Uruguay on April 19th!
Cecilia “La Reina” Comunales
Hold the date of April 19th for a great night of boxing in Uruguay promoted by Sampson Boxing. The main event will be UBO Women’s Lightweight champion Cecilia “La Reina” Comunales (7-1-0, 5 K.O.‘s) from Uruguay taking on Alicia Susana Alegre (7-4, 7 K.O.‘s) from just across the river in Argentina for an exciting evening of women’s boxing at its best. Dubbed “La Defensa Del Reino” or “Defending The Kingdom”, the event is being heavily promoted in South America and will be viewed on Vtv, in Uruguay. The fight will also likely be video streamed – so do some checking online.
A Tale of the Tape: Lisa Creech Bledsoe v. Mischa Merz @ Atlanta Corporate Fight Night 2!
So how exactly do two amazing women with awesome blogs meet up as the Main Event for the Atlanta Corporate Fight Night 2? While not exactly the rumble in the jungle, the two dueling scribblers will provide some “real deal” women’s amateur boxing at Atlanta’s huge annual corporate charity fund-raising gala on Saturday, April 23rd! The brain child of champion boxing trainer Terri Moss, ACFN2 will support small charities in and around Atlanta, plus offer a terrific evening of entertainment and great fun!
Main Event Tale of the tape:
Lisa Creech Bledsoe
Lisa: Professional online media, writer of the popular The Glowing Edge blog where boxing, rock & laundry meet in a perfect harmony!
Mischa: Journalist for the Melbourne Herald & the Herald Sun, author of the boxing memoir Bruising, and soon to be published, The Sweetest Thing(and for those of you in New York City, come check out her book signing event at Gleason’s Gym on April 12th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM).
Boxing or how I found myself in the ring!
Lisa: “I stumbled into boxing entirely by accident.” A happy accident for Lisa and her many fans who read her stories about life in an out of the ring as a 40-something amateur. More to the point, Lisa writes, “the single biggest catalyst in my transformation into an amateur boxer was watching my trainer Bonnie ‘Queen B’ Mann.” In working with Bonnie, Lisa came to understand the kinds of commitment, heart and soul it takes to get into the ring, and in crossing the ropes has never looked back.
Mischa: Mischa started boxing in the mid-1990’s at around the same time she returned to University to study creative writing. As Mischa writes, “I started boxing and that was when all my activities began to converge and I began writing about my experiences.” Along the way, Mischa published her first book, Bruising, and picked up some serious boxing chops, winning national championships in her native Australia, and more recently participating in USA Boxing Master’s Division competitions, winning the National Women’s Golden Gloves in her weight class.
Lisa: “I will be deeply honored to step into the ring with Mischa. I’ve seen her box and I think she’s incredible. The match is a privilege I have worked hard for, and am very much looking forward to.”
Mischa: “Lisa is a true warrior and I love her ‘can do attitude. That’s the ingredient you can’t teach anyone in the gym. You’re born with it and it’s called character. It will be an absolute honour to fight Lisa.”
Joe Frazier (left) and Mohammad Ali, Madison Square Garden, 1971, Hurley/News
One of the key things about boxing and life for that matter is figuring out one’s optimal distance from all manner of experiences. Fighters learn early on that distance is the key to a successful bout not only in terms of establishing range, but in allowing a fighter clean shots, good defense and not to be underestimated, a way of psyching an opponent out.
Best way to frustrate an inside fighter … you got it, stay on the outside, but being careful to get inside just enough to keep the fans in the fight because an even worse sin is when one fighter creates too much distance by rabbiting around the ring. On the other side of it, stay inside long enough and you end up in a Micky Ward/Arturo Gatti duel that while great for the fans is tough, tough, tough on the body.
Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward
And that’s the key isn’t it: creating an optimal space. A place where your jab is perfect and the hook off the jab puts you in a terrific position to counter-punch for the upper-cut; where your punches connect enough to give a great show, but where your understanding of maintaining your distance from your opponent gives you the advantage and ultimately the win.
In life, say with your eleven-year-old daughter who isn’t in the mood to hear Mom chide her about whatever topic of the moment Mom feels insistent about … there’s not a lot of difference. We can pray for the bell and go to our corners, we can tussle in the middle and both get hurt, we can parry and thrust and hope for the best or one of us, hopefully Mom, can know enough to go her third-way to find the perfect distance until the storm washes over us both enough to re-engage.
PS: Girlboxing friend, Margaret Reyes Dempsey of Conjuring My Muse has nominated Girlboxing for the coveted Stylish Blogger Award. Girlboxing stylish, hmmm? Well, why not! Thanks Margaret! In order to be considered for the award the following four tasks must be completed:
1. Present seven things about yourself
2. Name about a half-dozen bloggers you think deserve the award
3. Contact those people
4. Create a link back to the person who gave you the honor
As for the first task, here are seven things you don’t know about me:
1. The closest I ever came to Muhammad Ali was in September 1991 when I stayed at a tiny beach hostel name-sake in a small village on the Red Sea called, Dahab, Egypt. The town is best known as a demarcation point for Red Sea scuba diving — although I didn’t go there to dive, rather I was there for the fun of it. My space at Mohammad Ali’s had a sand floor, concrete walls and a ceiling made of palm fronds loosely layered on top. For my $1.00 a night I also got a candle (no electricity) and an insect repellent incense coil. The best part of Dahab was listening to Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff,” wherever I went.
2. The first dance I ever learned (aside from the hokey-pokey) was “The Wobble,” to Little Eva’s “The Locomotion” (and not to be confused with the current line dance, and not to confuse my “Wobble” with the dance “The Locomotion”). I was eight years old and was playing on the sidewalk in front of my building on East 12th Street. A girl named Lydia and her older sister Anna taught me the dance when the song came on Anna’s AM transistor radio.
3. I discovered the delicious flavor of Nutella in 1991 while on board a vessel in the Eastern Mediterranean traveling from Rhodes, Greece to Limassol, Cyprus. I spent the night sleeping on the top deck of the ferry and traded Turkish baklava from a bakery in the Old Town of Rhodes with the coveted Nutella sandwich on freshly baked bread.
4. I hate lists even though I use them all the time. The problem is I write them down, start to follow them and get bored. ‘Nuff said.
5. I met my husband bar-dancing at Puffy’s in Tribeca on December 6, 1996. We both loved James Brown and Salsa music. In other words, kismet! For our first date (two nights later), he wore a red sweater and beige jeans — and looked like the Nautica man. We ate Vietnamese food for dinner and walked along the Hudson River sitting at the old dock on Pier 26 for a while to watch the water.
6. My uncle taught my brother and I how to box when I was 12 — well sort of in that he only taught us how to turn a jab. And while I may have written about that, what you don’t know is that he taught me how to box southpaw.
I kept my southpaw stance until I started boxing at Gleason’s when I took up boxing at 42! Every so often, I will find myself in a southpaw stance, but having not practiced that way for a long time, I feel very uncomfortable.
7. It took me 37 years to graduate college! I went to a total of four colleges over that period of time (1971-2008) and finally got my degree in History from Empire State College.
Thanks again to Margaret at Conjuring My Muse for giving me this chance to spill my guts in public! But now comes the fun part, nominating others! Here goes:
1. The Glowing Edge – Talk about stylish, spend a minute on the site and you’re instantly calm! Aside from which Lisa Creech Bledsoe is a true woman warrior! As she says of her own blog, she is “speaker, writer, media ninja, live music fanatic, boxer chick. Online a bunch. Otherwise in the gym. Or possibly at a gig.”
2. Beats, Boxing and Mayhem – This blog has it all, terrific posts on boxing, hip-hop music and culture, plus some serious politics mixed in.