By aragorn546 1 Comments
My current goal is to reach the NY Daily News Golden Gloves. Let me be clear, my goal isn't to win the gloves (though that would be nice), just to reach the first round. If I can get myself to the level of receiving my amateur licence and qualifying for the gloves I'd be happy.
Growing up in Brooklyn, the Daily News was the paper of choice in my house. My father was a city worker and we were squarely in the working class, what Daily News founder J.M. Patterson called the "Sweenys". The middle class has always been the target audience for the Daily News, writing at an accessible level without pandering to the lowest common denominator like the "Post" or "Newsday." Don't misunderstand, my father was highly educated, and yes we would get the NY Times on occasion, but that would always be for special sections like the science times or the book review. We appreciated getting our news in the serious and straightforward manner that the news used to offer.
This focus on the working class, the heart blood of New York City, is precisely why the Daily News began the Golden Gloves tournament back in 1927.
You see, boxing used to be the sport of the downtrodden, the sport of the immigrant worker in this city, the same people reading the daily news each day on the docks, behind a lunch counter or riveting steel. You can actually use a history of the Golden Gloves as a timeline to show how different ethnic groups rose in status through the years in NYC. In the early days it was primarily the Irish and Italians (of which I am a half each), switching to Jewish pugilists about ten years later. African Americans hav e had a strong presence for a large block of time as well, until they too were supplanted by latino and hispanic boxers in modern times. If you follow heavyweight boxing in the past five years you may be wondering where the hell all of the eastern european boxers are coming from. Well, here's your explanation, they are the new up and coming working class.
Judging from my classes we should be seeing an influx of either Asian, Indian or perhaps Haitian boxers in the next ten years as I have noticed more and more working class families in these groups. It fascinates me, this symbiotic relationship between boxing and immigration.
Anyhow, while growing up, boxing was a staple in the household and the Golden Gloves was a part of that. While we rarely went to the actual bouts, I would pour over any information from the beginning of the tournament to the last fight. I'd read interviews with fighters, enraptured by the tapestry of stories each one had. Many of them were family men. A surprising amount were teachers, which always surprised me as a kid. I would try to imagine my 6th grade science teacher in a boxing ring and would laugh my head off.
It was something we discussed, my father and I, for as long as I could remember. Over breakfast in the 3rd grade, in the car to my job during my senior year of high school,
sitting in a hospital room during my college years after one of his operations to remove a cancerous mass. The golden gloves was a steady narrative thread entwined completely in the story of our relationship, and for that it holds a dear, dear place in my heart.
I want to be a part of that. When my son is old enough to discuss the Gloves, I want to be able to tell him about the time his father fought in the tournament. I can taste it in the back of my throat and I curse my late start. At 29 years I have very limited time to make this a reality. Most of all I continually kick myself for not doing this while in college, when my father was still alive to see it happen.
To be part of such a rich history is my ultimate goal, one which I intend to reach no matter what.
For a very well written full history of the NY Daily News Golden Gloves go to this link: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/goldengloves/history/index.html
A little bit of housekeeping: today was my training session with the coach. On top of that I did a battery of ab exercises. Pretty successful in staying away from soda, only had one glass today. Lots of water.
Also, the image adding tools on this site SUCKS. Just let me do straight HTML dammit
Until next time, work the body.