Sunday, July 15, 2012

Canceled Due To Rain

The young lady in this photo is Clarissa Shields, who is currently in London as part of the US Olympic boxing team.  While in the gym on Wednesday, Sara gave me a copy of the New Yorker magazine, which featured an article about the Flint, Michigan native.  On ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights", she was shown in an interview segment with other members of that boxing team.

Speaking of "Friday Night Fights", it was broadcast from the UIC Pavillion here in Chicago.  There were two main events, Juan Castillo vs. Ivan Popoca, and Andrzei Fonfara vs. Glen Johnson.  I would have went in person and tried to meet boxing analyst Teddy Atlas (like I did last year when he was here), but finances wouldn't allow me to buy a general admission ticket. JJ and Paul were fighting there that night, too.  Instead, I planned to see Andres fight at Garfield Park's boxing show, which was also happening that evening.  I set the DVD player to record the fights.

I met Alan downtown at the Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue.  Traffic was bad, and the traffic cops had no patience with any of the drivers.  The Taste of Chicago was going on, and it seemed that everyone in the area was going to that.  Andres was stuck in traffic out in the 'burbs; he was on his way to Garfield from a job interview he had that afternoon.  A torrential rain had fell earlier in the afternoon, and I got caught in it just as I was leaving work for the day.  It had begun to rain again, but not as hard.

Alan called Garfield Park via his cell, only to find out that the boxing show had been canceled due to the rain.  That park always has their show on the outside.  But Alan and I wondered why the ring wasn't set up on the inside of the field house in light of the weather.  Andres was called to let him know not to make the trip to the west side.  The boxing show was rescheduled for next Friday.  "Hillari, let's go get a beer," Alan said.  Actually, Alan had the beer.  I had rum and Coke.

The coach and I had a pleasant conversation for awhile, then he dropped me off at home.  I got in before "Friday Night Fights" began, so I recorded it in person, cutting out the commercials. 
Popoca had a hard time of it, getting cut open.  The ringside doctor pronounced Popca's face to be "a bloody mess", but he allowed the fighter to continue.  Finally, Pete, a referee who I've seen at the Chicago Golden Gloves many times, stopped the fight, claiming Popoca was too cut up and didn't have a chance of winning.

Johnson went the distance with home town favorite Fonfara, but the 43-year-old didn't get the win.  In fact, he announced his retirement after the fight was over.  I was hoping that JJ and Paul would get airtime, but neither of the main event bouts ended early for that to happen.  But both of them won their bouts:  JJ stopped his guy in the first round, and Paul stopped his guy in the second round.

JJ is on the left in the photo above (posted originally on Facebook), standing next to Glen Johnson.

This photo shows JJ standing with Teddy Atlas.  If JJ and Paul stay on their respective undefeated streaks,  Mr. Atlas may be commenting on their fights soon on "Friday Night Fights".

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