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Golden Gloves

Last-minute invite from my friend Alan to see some Golden Gloves boxing at the (fancy!) New York Athletic Club. A lot of the rounds were not that exciting—fighters without much technique & who tired out quickly. A couple were great.

There's that dumb expression in baseball (& probably other sports): He came to play. Well, didn't everyone come to play? But that was my first thought about one of the young men last night, Michael Calvin. He had his game plan, which was to hit hard and constantly, & it wasn't going to be interrupted by anything, least of all his opponent. Who gave up 55 seconds into the second round, the only fight that didn't go the full three rounds.

The best fight was the last, two actual fighters, with footwork and strategy. Dzhonibek Nazriev was somewhat the better fighter, but Michael Hughes had heart & definitely won the second round. I thought it could go either way, & it was the only split decision, with Nazriev winning.

I know boxing is frowned upon, but these young men all wear headgear & really didn't get beat up. I know from fighting in karate how fun it is to face someone in this way—I come away with love for most of my opponents, & last night's fighters all embraced in a way that made me think they felt that too. Most of them won't go any further in the sport but they will always know they were willing to get in a ring in front of a lot of people and try their best, and take a lot of hits.
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