Friday, July 07, 2017

Judging Battles at Garfield Park

Garfield Park's boxing show took place yesterday, and thankfully, the weather cooperated despite reports of rain.  Every time I walk into that place I'm reminded of when my late mother and I went there back in the mid-1960's so I could get my shots before starting school.  We used to live a few blocks away from the field house back in the day.

George spotted me walking on a cane.  "Stop faking with that cane!" he said, grinning.  The man gave me some good advice about stopping my knee pain, including losing weight, which I've long needed to do.  While I knew that George had been working for the park district since 1972, I didn't know he had been involved in boxing since 1964.  That's a long time.

Iz and Abraham weren't able to get fights because there was no one available to match them up with.  We might go to Taylor Park in a couple of weeks, but Iz is going to be out of town then.  Most likely, we won't attend another fight until the one at Seward Park in about three weeks.  I need to give time to Maurice and Jamire to catch up so they're ready for matches.  But between the two of them, Maurice appears to be more interested in actually fighting.  I plan to allow Maurice to start sparring in the gym next week.

Before the show began there was a touching tribute to Ed Brown, known as 'Lil Ed, who fought out of Garfield.  Brown was shot and killed several months ago not long before he was going to have a fight on Showtime.  He had 300 amateur fights and was undefeated.  Brown was also undefeated as a professional boxer.  His father and step-mother were present at the show and his step-mom read a letter from a person to whom Brown' kidneys were donated to after his death.

I spent the evening helping with judging the matches, and there were some good ones.  A girl from Taylor Park, I believe, really took it to Mikkela, who fights out of Portage Park.  I saw the Taylor Park fighter in the washroom afterward and gave her a big compliment.  Solomon and Matt, both fighting out of Loyola, did their best but did not get wins.  The younger kids (fighting out of Garfield, Taylor, Fuller, Simons, Ogden, and Portage) went wild on each other all evening.  One boy got knocked to the canvas, and the match was stopped soon after.  An eight-year-old girl agreed to fight one of the boys, but he got the best of her.  She took a hard pop to her nose and that fight was stopped.

Summer seems to be flying by.  We're almost in the middle of July, and there's still a lot of work to do.

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