Thursday, November 17, 2016
Brawls at Brooks Park
Several of the coaches attempt to make matches for their fighters at Brooks Park's boxing show in the photo above. Portage Park and Brooks Park seemed to have the most success with boxers getting fights. Alan wasn't able to get a fight for John, but he did get one for Rojan. Solomon, one of Barry's fighters, got a match as well.
It was a hardship driving up to Brooks Park. I didn't know that construction was happening on the route I took there for blocks. It was bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic. What should have taken an half-hour turned into a journey that took over an hour. Parking was tight in the small lot in front of the field house but I managed to squeeze into a spot.
Solomon and Rojan's fights didn't take place until later in the evening, so there was a long wait. In the meantime, there were a lot of good fights leading up to theirs. In my opinion, the best fight of the night was between two girls who looked no older than seven or eight years of age. One girl was from Brooks, and I believe the other girl fought out of Portage. The Brooks girl was on fire, landing most of her punches in the face of the other girl. The Brooks girl won. I was jealous because other than Ariel, I have no girls with the toughness the two young girls had in the ring.
No, Ariel didn't show up, and I knew Donovan, Maz, and James were not going to show up, so I had no one to put into the show. It's too bad since Brooks Park is the last show I scheduled to have LaFollette Park fighters participate in this year. Actually, the last show on the boxing show schedule is Scottsdale Park. But now that Rick, the coach at that park, has retired, it's likely that show will not take place.
Rojan's fight appeared to be close, as he and his opponent looked to have traded an even number of punches. But Rojan was hesitating too long at times to take shots, and the other guy kept backing Rojan into the ropes. The other guy won.
I ran into Cynthia Tolaymat, who along with her husband, is a fight promoter. She and her husband were sitting next to Jesse White, who is the Illinois Secretary of State. Mr. White was friends with my late dad for years. "I really liked your dad and stepmom; they were lovely people," he told me. While I was talking to Mr. White, professional boxer Adrian Granados came over to speak to him, and I got to meet him. I didn't know that Granados had once trained through the park district. He has a fight coming up soon on the Showtime network. Frez Oquendo was in the audience, too.
It was a good night, for the most part. Tomorrow, it's back to LaFollette, and trying to figure out how to keep the youths interested in the sport.