Friday, March 18, 2016

From The South Side To The Stadium

It was a long day.  It began with my stepmother's funeral, which was held at the same funeral home on the south side where my dad's wake took place twelve years earlier.  The situation felt very unreal to me -- a busy, lively woman laying in a coffin, looking as if she was only sleeping.  After the service, I went straight home.  I took the day off from the gym.

Later, I went up to Cicero Stadium.  It was Kathy's turn to step into the ring.  Kathy beat everyone to the gym.  She had been there two hours when I arrived.  Alan showed up a little while afterward.  Kathy's bout was the ninth of the night.  Alan told her to get ready, because the prior fights may end early.  The first two fights of the night did.  Another fight ended due to a disqualification.

When I first got to the stadium, I went to the washroom.  There was a woman, dressed to box, sitting out in the hallway.  Later I found out that she was Kathy's opponent.  During the boxing match, Alan kept yelling for Kathy to "punch!", but the other woman threw non-stop punches.  It was hard for Kathy to return any punches back.  Joe, the referee, gave Kathy an eight-count twice.  The third time Joe not only stopped the action, but he stopped the fight.

Kathy was not upset at the outcome.  She was relieved that all the tension that had built up to that point was finally over.  I told her she would probably sleep good that night.  "I bet I will!" she smiled.

I saw two people whom I hadn't seen in awhile.  I ran into Emmanuel downtown as I was changing trains to get to the stadium.  JJ was at the fights; he was telling Alan about an injury to his hand.  Other familiar faces were on-hand, too, including Rita, Tina, Sam, Percy, Shifty, heavyweight boxer Fres Oquendo, and ex-boxer David Diaz.

Kathy said she didn't know if she would fight again.  I hope she takes another chance, perhaps at one of the upcoming park district boxing shows.

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