Why I Still Love Boxing

Why I Still Love Boxing

I have a new appreciate of boxing, I know that MMA (mixed martial arts), is the more popular from of hand to hand fighting now.

But I’ve taken up boxing at my local gym (practicing on the heavy bag), and really understand that its hard work beating people up.

I also am reading a lot of technique, footwork and all that goes into the sport the people call “the sweet science”.

I understand in this day and age of concussions, head trauma & chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), I know there is great caution in physical sports.

I’m pretty sure I’ve had three concussions in my life, two from car accidents and one from playing park district football.

So I’m careful too, I’ve had a CAT Scan done when I had a blood pressure spike a few years ago and it came back negative.

Still I’m an old school southside guy and I like to see a good butt whipping, I can’t help it, it’s in my DNA.

And yes I’ve had a physical confrontation or two in my day and may have asked a few people “if they wanna take this outside”.

My late dad and I used to watch the fights on TV when you could see a good night of fights on HBO, of course we used to love watching Mike Tyson box. Even before that we used to watch the old ABC world wide of sports on Saturday afternoons and see boxing.

My late maternal grandfather was also boxing fan (and later wrestling), and he would talk about the great fighters of his day.

I came of age just at the end of the golden era of boxing, the late Muhammed Ali was winding down his career, Sugar Ray Leonard was doing his thing but still we looked up to whomever was “The Heavyweight Champion of the World”.

Having the WBC and other belts still meant something, I mean if you were the heavyweight boxing champ you were the “baddest man on the planet”.

And now I know why.

Having spent the last few nights with my gloves on (pictured), going at this heavy bag is hard work. Its exhilarating, tiring, somewhat emotional and a workout like few others that I’ve done.

I’ve long been a ride the stationary bike and then do weights workout guy. This goes back to my Brother Rice High School days.

Speaking of which I remember my junior year one of the coaches I worked for as a baseball manager my freshman year asked me about boxing.

See my freshman year I was five feet tall, a hundred and twenty pounds soaking wet with two bricks in my pockets.

My junior year I was 5’9 (the height I am now), and about 170 lbs. I used to be at open gym playing hoops (badly most of the time) but I was more athletic than before.

But boxing scared me then, plus peer pressure and all that stuff, so I didn’t do it.

I admit when I first started on the heavy bag at the gym earlier last week I was nervous. It’s an intimidating sport.

The heavy bag at my gym is almost dead center in the back, there’s a huge mirror so you can see yourself boxing poorly and everyone doing weights and people in the hall way by the bathroom can see you not box well too.

Plus the people walking by outside getting pizzas next door can see you struggle at boxing as well.

I guess I get into it (any of you who know me personally know how passionate I get about stuff), I think I scared someone (he looked over at me and moved away from me), because I’m trying to improve my footwork, so I’m kind of all over the place and throwing jabs and uppercuts.

No I’m not picturing beating anyone’s butt in particular but just getting in a rhythm and getting my workout in.

I see now why there are some “boxing only” gyms because it’s a total workout, its somewhat fun and you get that tired but “I had a good butt kicking working” feeling afterwards.

It’s hard to explain and there’s a lot of technique that I’m still learning about, guess that’s why it’s called the sweet science.

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    Charles W. Johnson

    I'm a lifelong writer (since I was 8 years old), and have been doing this blog in some form or fashion since 2004. I'm a DePaul University alum, class of 1999 and prior to that Brother Rice class of 1994. . And I appreciate you taking to the time to read what I have to say, feel free to email charles.w.johnson@hotmail.com

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