Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Hamlin Killers

A guy who used to come to our gym switched over to the Hamlin fieldhouse's boxing program. He could get more days of training there. He told me that there was an expectation that everyone who worked out over there was going to compete. "That guy is training killers over there!" he told me. I thought about that while some of us were there this evening for a boxing show.

Bill, the coach at Hamlin, is well respected. Several boxers have come out of there and done well, including Fres Oquendo, who was a National Golden Gloves winner. He boxes professionally as a heavyweight these days. The boxers who are there now are a tough lot. However, tough doesn't always make for victors.

The most exciting fight took place between Jovan, one of the guys in our youth boxing program and one of Hamlin's guys. Jovan is similar to Junior in that he is very fast, but while Junior can be a little restrained sometimes, Jovan is wild. It was as if he was trying to permanently put his opponent down. His opponent wasn't a slouch--the kid had won a Golden Gloves championship. He wasn't going to be intimidated. Jovan's left hooks were dangerous, the other boy went down, and Jovan ran off with the trophy.

Neil was solid in his match earlier, catching his opponent with some sharp jabs. Neil showed signs of being tired in the third round, and it looked as if it might have been all over. The judges gave the win to Neil. Lan taped the last round, and Neil said, "But that was my worst round!"

Lan got a fight, which was surprising. She was so happy to hear that. Steve was looking for her and said that there was a possible match up. A few minutes later, Lan arrived and went to be weighed in. She came back out very excited to hear that she was going to fight. Unfortunately, she did not win. She was up against Jessie, who is one of the Hamlin women.

Becca, another Hamily fighter, received an award for Most Outstanding Fighter at that fieldhouse. She is a pediatric doctor by trade, and a tough fighter. A local news station did a profile on her around the time the movie Million Dollar Baby was nominated for Oscars. I congratulated her, and she told Lan and I that we should stop by more often for sparring. I would love to do that; the last time several of us came by, none of the women were on hand, and I missed out.

Unfortunately, Larry, Alex, his brother Kevin, and Sam didn't get matches. Little Diego did, and I helped Barry out by videotaping it. That fight was a crowd pleaser, with Diego and his opponent putting on a good show. Diego got a trophy for his efforts.

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