Friday, October 18, 2013

A Rematch for Andre

This time, I was all the way at the train station when I realized I left my camera at home.  No time to turn back, so I just went on to Hamlin Park's boxing show.  The photo above is from last October.

Barry was there, and he was disappointed that all of his fighters couldn't show up.  I think he had one kid in the show; everybody else had called and told Barry they couldn't make it.  "We're gonna have to have a meeting about that," Barry told me.

I ran into Meg, who told me she was back in action at the gym after an illness that kept her out for a long time.  She told me that people often get on her for boxing at all (I know the feeling), and it seemed they were complaining even more about her participation when she became ill.  But Meg is tough.  She had been cleared health-wise, and she won the fight she had.

Gary was there, also.  I hadn't seen him a long time.  He told Big Andre, who was the only guy from Loyola's adult boxing gym who was at the show, that he could come to the Chicago Fight Club and get some work in.  "Just tell them that Gary sent you,"  he told Andre.  Chicago Fight Club is owned by a guy who loves boxing, but has never been a boxer.  Fearless Fernando, Antonio, and Boban train there.

Johnny, a local promoter, took it upon himself to sing the National Anthem.  Johnny didn't do a bad job.  He also had the announcing duties.

Alan, Andre, and myself were all prepared to relax for a little bit.  Andre's fight was to be the eighth one of the night.  But when Andre went to the table to get his gloves, we learned that his fight had been bumped up to being the third one of the evening.  We had to scramble to get Andre ready because by that time, the second fight was in progress.  While Alan was using the punch pads to warm up Andre, an announcement came over the speakers that Andre should come to the glove table.  I went to check what was going on.  "Andre has his gloves already," I told the people manning the table.  "He still has to be over here," a beefy guy told me without giving further explanation.  Andre found out the reason was they wanted the fighters to sit and stay in an area that was set up near the glove table.  Alan shook his head at the request, Andre was irritated, and I wondered what difference did it make where Andre sat?  We've always sat out in the audience before our fights.

The female fights seemed rather intense to me.  One girl who looked to be 18 or 20 years old took a strong right from her opponent near the end of their match.  It looked as if she may have been cut open.  In another fight, an even younger girl was knocked to the canvas.

Oscar, the coach over at Seward, saw me and asked where Gabriel was.  Alan thought that Gabriel, Professor, and perhaps Matthew would have come to the show, but they didn't.  Oscar took a look at Andre's opponent.  "Didn't he fight that dude before?" he asked.  "Yes. . . .it's a rematch," I answered.  I noticed that Alan and I didn't match as far as our corner person's jackets.  I was wearing my Loyola jacket, but Alan had on his old Clarendon jacket.

During the first two rounds, Andre was tagging the heck out of his opponent.  The match was similar to when they fought during Loyola's boxing show last month.  The other boxer hung in there with Andre, but took a lot of hits.  The crowd got lit up when during the third round, the other boxer got several hits in Andre and backed him up a little.  But Andre went right back to work, throwing hooks and body shots.  Andre won the fight.

We stuck around to see another fight which involved a much smaller boy, William Perez, and a tall boy.  Perez worked to get punches in, but couldn't quite get close enough to throw body shots.  I told Alan, "That boy reminds me of me when I'm sparring with people taller than me!"  Alan agreed.  Andre and I were really rooting for the smaller kid, but in the end, the other kid -- one of Hamlin's own -- got the victory.

Oscar said there may be a match for Andre at Seward Park's show, which is next month.  Andre's had about four or five fights; Oscar's guy is 27 years old with no fights.  But Oscar is confident he can train the guy to take on Andre.

I may get a fight at Seward since I missed out on getting one at Hamlin.  But that may depend on my left leg and knee.  "Why are you limping, Hillari?" Alan asked.  "This has been happening a lot lately.  It comes and goes," I sighed.  I was just at the doctor earlier that day, too, but I said nothing about it.  I guess I wasn't in the mood to be poked at some more and getting yet another medication prescribed to me.

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