Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer's New Faces and Questionable Judging


The guy is the photo above was named Nat Hiken.  He was an author, producer and songwriter.  He created a few classic TV shows including "Car 54, Where Are You?" and "Sgt. Bilko".  I put his picture here because Mr. Hiken was also a boxing fan, and Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Graziano, and Jake LaMotta appeared on episodes of "Car 54".

It was an easy night down at the gym Monday night, considering it was the first day of the summer session, and six new people showed up including, James, who's from Australia originally, DJ, Andy, Sara, John, and another guy who's name escapes me at the moment.  That guy arrived with DJ.  Of the regulars from the winter session, only Amy, Gene, and Andre One came in.  Sarah, Amy's sister, is taking a break for the moment.  I don't know where the other guys were.

The only tense moment was when Igor came by.  Carolyn had given me the attendance sheet.  She let me know that John's name wasn't on it because he just signed up that afternoon.  Igor's name wasn't on the sheet.  Last week, Alan told everyone to either sign up that week or sign up on Monday because Mary is cracking down on people continually working out at the gym for free.  Yes, it would be nice if there was a day fee, as Andre One and I talked about later in the evening, but that's not how the Chicago Park District is set up for the boxing programs they run. 

"Did you sign up for this session?" I asked Igor.  Even when people do sign up in advance, sometimes, their names don't appear on the attendance sheet.  Igor's English skills aren't the best, which often makes communication difficult.  But sometimes, I believe he understands more than he lets on.  I repeated the question several times as Carolyn unlocked the gym door, and Igor kept mumbling, but not answering the question directly.  Then Igor starts going on about he's going to pay next week.  I got irritated because I felt Igor was trying to bulldoze over me to get in.  Alan had told me not to get into with those who haven't paid, but I made an exception for Igor.  "You need to pay today, because the session starts today.  These aren't my rules, they are the park district's rules.  Go to the front desk and pay the fee," I told him.  Carolyn patiently stood in the doorway of the gym, waiting to see what Igor was going to do.  He mumbled something and walked away, but he did not come back to the gym. 

I went over the equipment and how Alan runs the gym with the new people.  I was thankful that Andre One also helped with training the new people.  We did several rounds of doing jabs and rights, and then did a couple of rounds of speed boxing while running/jogging in place. 

Andy mentioned that he had boxed way back in high school - he's in his mid-40s.  A few others said they had some martial arts experience, mostly kickboxing and tae kwon do.  I believe Sara was the only new person who had no experience whatsoever. 

Gene asked, "Did you see an iPod around here?  I've been looking for mine."  I had locked it away in my locker after Alan found it on his desk last week.  No one in the gym knew to whom it belonged.  I thought one of Barry's kids had forgotten it.  "I'm so glad you found it.  I was upset for two days about this!  I thought that was $200 bucks down the drain!" he said.  Gene explained that it was brand new.  I would have had a fit if I had left something that expensive behind, too.  Good thing I held on to it.

Early this past Sunday morning, I got up to check the Internet to see the results of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight.  I was shocked to see that Bradley won.  "I wish I had seen that fight!" I said to myself as I jumped out of my chair in surprise.  But then, I read the blow-by-blow reports, and the outrage over what many thought was questionable scoring by the judges.  I like Bradley, but it appeared that he didn't do enough to get the win like the judges thought.  Of course, the calls for a rematch are mounting. 

Wouldn't be the first time people have shouted, "What fight were the judges watching?"  I can't remember the one fight -- it took place several months ago -- where judges were called in front of a state's boxing commission to explain why they came to the conclusions they did.  It was a similar situation where it was believed that the boxer who received the higher scores didn't do much during the fight to merit receiving those scores.  In that instance, the judges were slapped with penalties, which I believe included being suspended for a time. 

I heard and read about a lot of disappointed fans grumbling, some stating they were going to stop following boxing because of what they felt was constant robbery of boxers who deserved to have wins.  "This is why boxing has become a niche sport!" one person complained.  Others talked as if the Pacquiao-Bradley match would be the incident that finally kills boxing off.  I don't believe boxing is dying; all sports have an element of violence, and as long as people like watching it, and living vicariously through it, boxing will survive, along with football, basketball, and others.  But alleged incompetence among judges and officials don't help to make boxing appealing to some or gain new fans for that matter.




1 comment:

Herbal Tea said...

It was a similar situation where it was believed that the boxer who received the higher scores didn't do much during the fight to merit receiving those scores.

Thank you for post..

Herbal Tea