Sunday, April 24, 2016
Brenan kept running and turning his back during a sparring session with Suave. I put them in the ring first because I felt they were evenly matched enough. Brenan is always willing to get into the ring, but once inside, it's a battle to keep him engaged in the fight. No matter what his dad or I said, that session didn't end well.
As usual, Earl and TJ had excuses and no mouthpieces to spar. Earl tried to buy one from me, but there are none in the equipment room. "I told y'all that I may run out of mouthpieces. You'll have to go to the sports store and buy one," I announced to everybody.
I had to put Justen in with Suave. Before the bell rang, I warned Justen to take it easy. Justen popped Suave hard a couple of times. The next round, I got inside the ring to act as referee. Justen kept coming after Suave, and I got in-between them. "This is not a street fight!" I snapped at Justen. There was a promise to slow it down, but it wasn't long before Justen forgot what I said. He caught Suave in the face with a right. Suave fell to the canvas and stayed there.
Suave was sniffling and crying. I checked to make sure the boy's nose wasn't broken or bleeding. It was the middle of the round. "Do you want to go on?" I asked. Suave didn't answer me immediately. I offered to remove his headgear. "No," Suave said quietly. "I don't want to quit." He got up again, and Justen came rushing at him. Again I had to check Justen about his punches. Suave got caught with a jab and crashed to the canvas another time.
I was going to stop it. Suave refused to let me take off his headgear. "No. I'm going to keep going," he said. I smiled to myself. I don't think I'm going to have to worry about Suave not having heart during the boxing shows. He and Justen finished out the round.
Justen didn't get it, however. He was bragging to the other boys about "winning". "There's no winners in sparring matches. It's practice, and everybody is supposed to be working with each other," I told him. "Well, it's a win to me," he said. Uh-huh. Justen has got heavy hands, but he has to learn how to use them right.
There was a bit of peace in the gym this past week, and I was confused why it was a little quieter than usual. Then I noticed that Jermaine hadn't been in for days. I'm curious to hear what excuse Jermaine will give for missing a whole week of training, that is, if he returns.
I held pads for Terence, and that was the first time I had done that. I showed him how to parry punches away that come for his mid-section. As we danced around the ring, Terence joked, "I'm getting beat by an old lady!"
For the past few days, I kept the radio tuned to stations that were doing tributes to Prince. Prince's death really came out of the blue. Secretly, I hoped none of the youths would complain about "old school" music and ask to change the channel. They didn't. But Terence said, "I was more into Michael Jackson than Prince. Prince seemed to be way back there." I smiled because MJ was way before Terence's time, too. I told him about the poster of Prince that hung in my locker when I was a junior in high school My locker partner, Angela, had hung it up around the time Prince's first album was released. "Now I know Prince was way back in the day!" Terence said, shaking his head.