Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Guys and Sparring Wars

Valdez (in the white shirt in the photo above) stepped into the ring with Andre Two (the guy in front of him).  Alan warned the both of them to take it easy.  Valdez is 280 pounds; Andre Two is 260 pounds.  "Damn," Andre One commented when he heard their weights.  It wasn't long before a few hard shots were thrown, and the war was underway.  Valdez stopped at one point during the rough action to have Alan refasten his gloves.  "You all aren't listening to me," Alan said. 

I found myself jumping back from the ropes several times, as both men crashed into the ones near where I was standing.  They both stopped pounding each other thirty seconds before the end of the last round they did.  Valdez had been hit in the mouth a few times, and he was bleeding. 

Franco, who recently returned to the gym after a few years, stepped into the ring with Andre Two next.  Alan told Andre Two, "Keep in mind, Franco is a hundred pounds lighter."  That sparring session quickly turned into a war as well.  But Franco held his own, getting off some good shots on Andre Two and moving around the ring quickly.

Franco said afterwards, "Andre Two is a big guy. . .I had to move!"

Andre One sparred with Max for one round, and Andre One's punches seldom missed Max's head.  "Easy, easy!  You've got to work together, man," Alan told Andre One.  Max had enough after the bell rang.  I think Andre One wanted him to do another round, but Max waved it off.

I sparred with Sarah, which I hadn't done for awhile.  Andre One told me that I didn't get enough body shots in.  "It's hard because she has longer arms," I told him.  "You have to set her up in order to get the body shots in.  We'll work on that on Wednesday," he said. 

Art and I got in the ring for one round before he sparred with Andre One.  He told me the previous week that he wanted someone to throw punches directly at his face and head so he could get used to slipping them again.  I did not go hard on Art, but I moved around enough so he could get the practice in.  It was good practice for me, too.  I have a habit of aiming everywhere else except for someone's face and head, and the exercise helped me focus on doing that. 

Art does not hold his hands in the traditional way that boxers do.  He has martial arts training, so his guard is up and out a little farther than usual.  Before they got into the ring, Art kept joking that he wished that Max would have softened up Andre One a little more beforehand.  Andre One was dancing around Art, who really didn't want to chase him around the ring. 

Paul had to chase Andre One as well when they sparred.  "He's so fast," Paul commented.  "That's what I said the other week when I sparred with him," I said.  I can't easily chase people around the ring -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- easily anymore.  I have to rely more on strength, but that has its drawbacks if one can't get close enough to an opponent to get punches in.

Alan got a copy of the Chicago Park District boxing tournament schedule from Barry.  Scottsdale Park had a show already back in February.  The rest of the shows begin in July, which is late; usually, they begin in June.  Loyola Park's show is not until late September.  I noticed a few parks were missing from the list, including Simons Park.  Simons is probably not listed because there's no coach in place over there -- I'm guessing.  I still haven't heard back regarding my interview for that position. 

A check of the boxing web site I'm putting together revealed that I did a lot more work on it than I thought I had.  I'm just now getting back to writing more content after slacking off for several weeks.  Once I figure out how to put images on there -- thank God I have plenty of my own photos to place on there -- and how to monetize it, I'll be in business. 

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