Saturday, August 07, 2010

Wednesday Night and Friday Night Fights

I learned that I had missed some excitement in the gym this past Monday.  Some 190 pound guy came in and sparred with Ralphie.  Ralphie slipped and fell to the canvas, and the bigger guy hit him while he was down.  Professor was looking for the guy on Wednesday.  "I don't feel like sparring, but if that guy comes in, I'll spar with him," he said.  Nobody could remember the guy's name, and he didn't come in that night. 

I held pads for Professor, but that's something I don't do well.  I don't have enough practice with it.  Professor borrowed my pads to hold them for other people.  From what I could hear, Professor did well holding the punch pads.  He was giving a lot of advice to people.

ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" was in town to tape last night at the UIC Pavillion.  Antonio's fight wasn't taped for live broadcast, unfortunately, and his was the last of the evening.  It was quick.  His opponent, a guy named Bokhart, didn't have good balance.  Antonio clipped him a few times in the head, and Bokhart stumbled.  Antonio never stopped moving, and eventually he backed Bokhart into a corner in the second round.  Bokhart was in a fetal position when the referee stopped the contest.  Antonio got the win, which was great for his first professional boxing match.

I could see Rita and Tina in the VIP section talking to boxing analyst Teddy Atlas for several moments from where I was sitting.  "I wish I could meet him and Joe Tessitore," I thought to myself.  Shortly after the live broadcast was over, Tessitore was gone.  Atlas stayed around for while, and he was taking pictures and talking with other people.  I moved as close as I could down front to get a better look at Atlas.  He made his move to leave right before Antonio's fight began.  "Mr. Atlas!  Mr. Atlas!" I called out.  He began to walk my way, but another guy a row over had caught his attention.  Atlas glanced at me, then went to shake the hand of the other guy.

He then jogged back down to me and shook my hand.  "I really liked the book you wrote," I told him, referring to the biography he put out a couple of years ago.  "Thank you very much.  What's your name?" he asked.  I told him, and he thanked me again, then gave me a hug before leaving the arena.  The old cliche about, "they look and sound just like they do on TV" was true in that case.  Atlas is one of my boxing idols, and I was very pleased to have had a chance to get to talk to him. 

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