Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday Night On Addison

Carlos was shaved clean.  He and Alan sat near the front entrance of St. Andrew's Gym.  I had been there for about a half-hour before I noticed them at the other end of the building.  "I just wish I could get it over with," Carlos said, referring to his fight.  "You're in there for about six minutes, but you have to wait two or three hours before you get into the ring," Alan commented. 

The familiar faces were in attendance: Rita, Percy, Ted, Tracy, JJ, Rico, Alan R., Mike Q., Gentleman Jim, Gino, Chupa, Sam, and many others.  I met a guy named Little John while we both waited on the Addison bus.  Little John had won the Gloves back in 1991.  Johnny B., a fight promoter, showed us his hands.  "See? I got into a fight on the street," he said.  "You're too old to fight," Alan said.  "That's what's the other guy thought," Johnny B. laughed. 

Bill, the coach at Hamlin, told me that he has another girl for me to fight.  "She's a total novice, unlike Meg," he told me.  After the two fights I had with Meg, this new girl may be easy pickings.  But it's never a good idea to underestimate any fighter. 

Sam told Alan that referees were in short supply.  There's a pro fight going on elsewhere this weekend, and it seems most of them will be officiating there.  Sam said, "I'm trying to get some of these retired boxers to become referees and judges."  Alan later told me, "The referees are a tight group to get into," which I figured they were.  I've only seen a woman ref a fight once, and that was at a Park District bout.  She didn't look as if she was an official referee, but someone who had been pressed into service at the last minute to replace someone else.

Ted posted the fights, but Carlos' name did not come up.  His fight date has been postponed until March 18th.  "You've got more time to train," I told him.  Carlos had been antsy all night, and he was a bit disappointed.  "I know, but I really wanted to go tonight," he said.  Carlos and Alan watched a few more of the fights, and then they cut out early.  I stuck around until the end.  The first four bouts of the evening all followed the same pattern.  One boxer would get a couple of eight counts, then the next time around, the fight would be stopped on them.  One boxer kept turning his back on his opponent, and the ref had seen enough. 

I believe the Addison bus going eastbound stops running after 9:30 PM, so I walked back to the Addison Red Line train stop.  When the train showed up, I wondered, "Why is it so packed?"  I had forgotten that people are out celebrating St. Patrick's Day this weekend.  Some obnoxious and most likely drunk guy on the car I stepped on decided he was going to be a welcome ambassador to the new passengers.  I and several other ignored him.  The partygoers on the train thought the guy was funny and indulged him.  Those of us who wanted to have a peaceful ride were happy when it was announced that the train was going express.  The riff-raff, no doubt on their way to bars, got off. 

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