Sunday, March 16, 2014

Knockouts In The Ring and Drama Out Of The Ring

Alan and Andres react to something that happened during one of the fights at the Chicago Golden Gloves out in Cicero.  I think a super heavyweight fight was going on when this photo was taken.  That fight ended with a fighter being knocked clean out.

The first fight of the night ended prematurely as well, ending when a fighter was knocked down, and the referee stopped the action.  Alan helped Jack, the coach from Brooks, in the corner with that one.  But the fights didn't zip along at the fast pace they did the other night when we were at the Gloves.  Most went the distance.  The best fight of the night was between two women in the 114 pound category, a Latina and a white woman.  The Latina had great form, and she was throwing some hard punches.  She won the fight.

The coach from Simons Park was sitting behind Andres, Alan, and myself.  He also admired the fighting skills of the Latina and sighed, "I wish I had a woman down at my gym.  I could teach her to fight like that."  He echoed the same thing that I have been saying and writing about for years -- the women show up, but they don't stay.  "As soon as a woman asks me if there are other women in the gym, I know she's not going to stay long.  It's not like the guys are disrespectful of a woman in the gym, but a lot of women don't feel comfortable in a gym full of guys.  I guess that's just something the women have to learn to get over," the Simons Park coach told me.

I also learned more about the drama that's been going on behind the scenes of this year's Golden Gloves.  Some people had been removed from leadership positions, and the tournament was in danger of losing its non-profit status.  It seems some paperwork had not been filled out properly.  Rumors were going around that the tournament almost didn't happen this year because of internal issues.  I understand that those issues are being worked on, and some have been resolved.  But it would have been something else if the Chicago tournament -- which began in 1923 -- would have not happened this year.

Alan and I were in Andres corner during his fight which was number fourteen on the roster. Andres fought a guy from McGarry's Gym.  About two seconds before the bell rang for the first round, an official asks both Alan and I to show him our coach's passbooks.  Luckily, we both were carrying them on our persons, and didn't have to run somewhere to get them.  Near the end of the second round, I heard the 10 second warning, and I got up off the stool I was sitting on.  I wanted to be ready to stick it in the corner for Andres to sit down.  The same official told me, "Coach, please sit down until the bell rings."  All this was new to me.  Not wanting to jeopardize Andres, I complied, but I wished I had a little more warning about all these things long before the match started.

It was a tough fight.  Andres threw some good body shots and backed the other guy up a lot.  But the other guy was not going to go down easy, even after some hard jabs and rights that Andres doled out.  By the time the third round was underway, both fighters were tired.  Andres was throwing a lot of jabs at one point.  "Use both hands!" Alan yelled out.  Andres and the other guy started getting tangled up more and more, prompting Joe, the referee, to step in often to break them up.  The other guy hit Andres with something, a left jab perhaps, that backed Andres up for a second.  The crowd went, "Ooh!" in response.  But when it was all over, Andres got the victory.

Alan and I left almost immediately because he had to go to temple (it's Purim), and he had to drop me off at the train station. We hoped that the official told Andres when his next fight is, which should be the final, since Andres is competing as a senior novice in the super heavyweight category.

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