Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Go-To Girl

While several of us waited on Alan to open the gym door on Wednesday, Leroy expressed a thought that I had heard several times before.  He said he needed to have more hours to train, but the Loyola Park gym doesn't offer enough of them.  That's one reason why Steve, the former coach, would say that people needed to do extra workouts outside of the gym.  But I can understand why guys like Leroy, who really want to compete, would want to have more time in a gym.

Jacob and Leroy sparred, and they were good matches for each other.  Jacob was really working his jab, and Leroy was answering punches very well.  Ray was giving extra instructions from the side. 

Alan told me to get ready because I had a line of women wanting to spar with me.  Abby and I sparred for one round and we went light.  She was pawing most of the time, and Alan encouraged her to put her punches all the way out.

Brandy and I sparred for three rounds and her punches seemed to be harder than the last time we were in the ring.  A few times I had my hands down, but I quickly remembered to put them back up once I was rocked with some hits.  I caught a right fist to my left eye, and several punches reached my mid-section.  I kept trying to deliver hooks, but Brandy was very good at backing up and avoiding most of them.  I got her with a jab, and her right eye blinked furiously.  "Are you okay?" Alan and I asked.  "It's just my contact moving around," she said.  Afterwards, Brandy said that it was very easy to telegraph my overhand right.  She dodged it each time.  I'm either going to practice and get it right or stop doing it altogether. 

Melinda sparred with Sarah, and she immediately threw hard punches.  Sarah returned the same, and Melinda became tired quickly.  Alan told Melinda, "If you start throwing bombs, Sarah has no choice but to defend herself and hit hard back."  Then he put Sarah in with Jacob.  Alan was saying that perhaps he should put Sarah in with guys more because of her punching power, and several others in the gym -- including me -- agreed.

Alan had his finger surgery the day before, so he had a cast on.   That made it difficult for him to help people suit up, so I was doing those duties.  It's going to be six weeks before his hand is back to normal.

Today, Pastor Roger asked if I had thought about being paid to coach boxing.  I'm often offered to coach individuals for free when asked.  Amateur boxing coaches do get paid, like the ones in the Chicago Park District system (Alan, George, Jack, Bill, etc.).  But I didn't think most who were not associated with a gym did.  "Why don't you coach both amateurs and professionals?" the pastor asked.  "I'd have to be licensed as a professional coach to work with pros," I said.  I told him I want to have one more fight, but I don't get as many fights as the guys do.  Pastor wondered if I could be a professional boxer, but I explained that the same health issues that keep me out of sanctioned amateur matches would also keep me from getting a professional boxing license. 

"What about doing MMA?" Pastor Roger inquired.  "I'm tough enough to take the knocks that I get in boxing, but I'm not sturdy enough for the take downs that happen in that sport.  If I was 20 years younger, I'd be all over that."

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