Thursday, December 05, 2013

Missed Punches at Portage Park

Portage Park field house recently re-opened their boxing program, and tonight was their boxing show.  Alan picked Teacher John and I up from Loyola Park's field house.  We took a roundabout way to get there to avoid rush hour traffic.

There had been a fight set up for John.  We got there around ten minutes after six, and John weighed in.  After about fifteen to twenty minutes passed by, John and Alan learned that the guy John was supposed to fight called in sick.  John was really disappointed.  He wanted to be able to take a trophy with him back to South Korea.  Unfortunately, stuff like that happens all the time at boxing shows.  People think they've got a sure thing and then the deal is off.

We did get to see how Portage Park's boxing gym had been remodeled.  Kenny and Colonel really wanted to see it because they used to train guys there a long time ago.  John was impressed that they had a glove rack where the gloves (which were all new, by the way) could dry in-between uses.  The ring is on the floor, like the one at Loyola Park, but there's a lot more room.

The field house has more heavy bags to work with, and two speed bags.  The rest of us were commenting on how good everything looked, but Alan wasn't impressed.  "It's cleaner," I told him.  "Yeah, but when people walk into our gym, it looks and smells like a real gym," Alan said.  I've heard people say before that a lot of newer gyms are just too sterile, and not gritty enough for their tastes.  I can see their point.  But there's something impressive about having a new space and new equipment.

John is going back to South Korea tonight to return to work; he teaches math and science in an international academy there.  We'll see him again in July, right in the beginning of next year's park district boxing show season.  "I'm going to be ready for Loyola's boxing show next year," he said.  John, Kenny, and Colonel and I also talked about participating in the Ringside boxing tournament next year as well.

We didn't stick around to watch the fights.  Alan had to go to a company holiday party, John had to finish packing, and the rest of us just went home.  There are a couple more boxing shows left:  Brooks Park next week, and Scottsdale Park in February.  Too late for me to get geared up for anything this year, so I'll try again in 2014.

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