Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Vibe at Eckhart Park

There wasn't a full moon out, so I don't understand why the boxing show at Eckhart Park seemed a little off.  Not many of the gyms showed up, but some of the ones that did had a good number of fighters there.  However, only seven fights were made because there weren't enough good matches to be made among the ones in attendance. 

Anton, one of the guys who help out Thomas, the boxing program coordinator, wondered out loud if any girls were participating.  George, the coach at Garfield, said, "I don't mess around with girls.  Ain't no money in that.  Right, Hillari?"  Unfortunately, I had to agree.  Despite the fact, there are plenty of women who box, and some superstars like Claressa Shields, for example, have risen up, professional women's boxing still doesn't have the earning power.  Lately, I haven't noticed many girls or women appearing in the amateur shows.

A fight between boys from Portage Park and Ogden Park was going along at a fast pace for two rounds.  The boy from Portage Park was being overwhelmed by the boy from Ogden Park.  A few seconds into the third and final round, the Ogden Park fighter quit.  The reason?  "I'm tired," the boy told the referee.  Kenny, the coach at Ogden, didn't look pleased.  I personally don't believe in getting on kids for losing fights or having fights stopped on them.  But if that was my fighter, I would have made an exception in that case.  If the boy had pushed through to the end, he probably would have won.

George loudly let his displeasure be known when one of his fighters didn't win their match.  Alan, Keith, and I were the judges.  "I don't know what fight the judges were watching!  The judges were blind!" George grumbled.  None of us responded to his rantings.  I just shook my head. 

A couple of fighters waited until the last minute to get suited up then took their time about getting to the ring.  I wondered: are they here to fight or not?  The very last fight of the night was an exhibition match, and the bell didn't ring to signal the end of the last round. 

I had no fighters at the show.  When construction work began abruptly at La Follette, the work cheated the youths out of the last two weeks of the summer session.  Everyone took off, and I wasn't successful in pulling people back to participate in the boxing shows that have taken place during the current session break.  The boxing shows are taking a week off, then the first show in September will be at Portage Park.  But if construction delays the opening of the gym for the fall session, I won't have anyone at that show. 

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