Sunday, January 29, 2006

Some More New Faces

Cole and his roommate Nathan appeared in class recently. Cole is a musician who is a friend of my ex-roommate Anna. He spotted me in the gym last week and asked, "Aren't you Anna's ex-roommate?" His roommate looked as if he had some training before. They can only attend the gym once a week because they have Bible Study on the other day the gym is open.

Gym was closed this past Friday because Steve and several others traveled to Rock Falls for the IL State Championship. I didn't go because Les was not going to be at work due to an all day seminar, according to his schedule. Due to all the changes going on at my job, it wouldn't have been a good idea for the both of us to be gone at the same time. Les did show up that afternoon because he scheduled two interviews, which he told me nothing about ahead of time. It was just as well, because the elder of my church passed away last Monday, and I attended his funeral Friday morning. My week wasn't that hot.

Can't wait to hear what happened down in Rock Falls.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Session Bets Are On

Four new people showed up for the first day of the winter session this past Friday: Leslie, who works at a bookstore; Corey, who showed up with his son; Andrew, who's in his early 20s; and Cassandra (a different one). Leslie said that she doesn't want to spar, and I suspect Cassandra doesn't want to, either. Cassandra complained big time during the exercises that Steve put the new people through, and she was the first one of them to leave the gym. She may also be the first to drop out, but time will tell.

Junior held the pads for me, and he did a good job. I was good and tired afterwards, but that was exactly what I needed. Between my diet and boxing, my weight should get down.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Fight At An Old Show Palace

The Sabre Room was big time years ago. People like Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli and Dean Martin would perform there. It's popularity as a concert venue has gone down, but people still rent the place for weddings, proms and parties. A boxing show was held there last night. Mike, Larry, and Junior showed up to fight, but only Larry and Junior were matched. One of the things I noticed was that the cigar smoke wasn't as heavy as it usually is at other show fights we've attended. Based on conversations I heard, the audience seemed to be more knowledgeable about boxing than at the other shows, too.

I had seen a stocky, tall man standing near the room the boxers used to change their clothes and get matched up. He looked familiar, but I didn't slow down to pay better attention. Later, he was introduced as one of the special guests that evening. He was Ernie Terrell, a former heavyweight champion who once boxed Muhammad Ali.

Larry gave up a few pounds to box a guy from the Evanston Boxing Club. Boxers from that club don't seem to be that good, but they manage to make it into competitions such as the Golden Gloves. The guy was muscle bound with tatoos that made him look like a regular at a bikers' bar. Larry handled business early, causing the referee, a jovial guy named Kitchen, to give his opponent an eight count. Then Larry became winded at the end of the second round. He still managed to cause the ref to give his opponent a couple more eight counts. Maybe the ref should have stopped it after that, but the fight continued, and the tide turned. Larry ended up getting hurt and getting an eight count on himself. The fight was stopped soon afterwards because Larry was too tired to go on. We had to help him out of the ring. Larry laid down for a long time back in the boxers' room. He later told Steve, "Man, in all the sports I've played (b-ball, football, wrestling, kickboxing), I have never been THAT tired."

Junior fought a guy out of Garfield Park named Derrick. He seemed a little tentative at first, and there were times during the rounds when they circled each other, hesitating to throw punches. A frustrated guy in the audience yelled, "Come on, this is not chess!" at one point. When Junior got going, he was on point. As Steve said, Junior made adjustments when he figured out Derrick's moves. Junior likes to showboat sometimes. In the middle of a round, I think it was the last one, he taunted Derrick by telling him "It's over!" For Derrick, it was. Junior had bloodied his nose and hurt him several times. The judges gave Junior the decision.

Unfortunately, Derrick decided he was going to act hard. Immediately after the bout, Derrick tripped Junior near the judges' table. "What's the matter, man?" Junior asked him. Derrick got up in his face barking, "What's up, man? What you want to do?" I recognized that west side temper right away. My sisters and I often employed it during street fights when we were kids. But last night, we weren't on the street, and Derrick had picked the wrong moment to defend his wounded pride. Junior later said that he was not going to back down. Fortunately, an assistant coach from Fuller Park stepped in and put the breaks on the situation.

Steve told George, who is Derrick's coach, that he would never, never tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior out of any of his boxers. Common sense should have told George to reprimand Derrick on the spot. Instead Steve was told, "You're talking to the wrong guy. I don't care what he does." Excuse me? His boxer could have set off a brawl which could have jeopardized having any more boxing shows at the Sabre Room, brought the police in, got a whole lot of people hurt, etc. He didn't care about that? Totally tripped out.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Lan told me last night that she'll be shipping off to training to another state soon. She's in the Army Reserves, and waiting for her orders. It means she'll be gone for several months. Then I ran into Cassandra on the bus this afternoon; she's moving to another town, not returning to Chicago until summer.

I wasn't in the gym on Wednesday due to not feeling well again. Earlier on Friday, I had a chest X-ray taken to finally determine why the crud in my chest keeps hanging on. Guess I find out the results sometime in the upcoming week. I felt a little wore out as the night went on, but I trained away.

Steve has a new system for tracking progress among the boxers this year. He had his laptop with him last night. He has created a spreadsheet to record what we do in the gym like jumping rope, sparring, etc. I got a gold star because I did the most, but I still didn't do all of what Steve had mapped out. I asked if he was going to put the new people on the spreadsheet who'll come in next week when the winter session begins. "Most of them probably will drop out after a couple of weeks," he said, which is true, unfortunately.