Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Apocalypse Right Now!

This is downright surreal. I am watching a video of one of the new fighters. His name is Ryan. He is about 30. He has boxed for a while. He really started to box in the past couple of years. Big guy, about 240 lbs. He hits hard and has some great handspeed for his size. His body movement is a bit slow, but his hits so hard!

Now the video I am watching, it is some fights that are very much in the style of the kind of fights we put together in the backyards. The first couple of fights appeared to be in an office. The others out in some yard and the third had a bunch of big trucks surrounding a homemade ring in the dirt. It looked a whole lot like the stuff we have been doing. Men and women. People yelling with excitement. People having fun. Male boxers. Female boxers. Similar quality. About the same amount of organization. People as young as 18 and people in their 50s, but most in their late 20s.

But this was different. This video is from Iraq. The fighters are in the army. My student Ryan had been boxing in Iraq. He had a few fights over there with his fellow soldiers. The video was striking in the similarity to the Hoosierweight bouts. You might be able to see the ring and surrounding spectators in the above picture. It had the same on the edge feel. It was a progression of the crowds and the grear. Same kids. The big difference was that the crowd was wearing uniforms. You could see fuel trucks driving by in the backround. Many of the soldiers were armed with M-16 rifles right next to the ring as they cheered. Armored personnel carriers regularly passed by with troop carrier helicopters flying low. Fellow soldiers, sergeants, captains and lieutenants are sitting on the side casually judging. It was very Apocalypse Now type of situation. The soldiers were bloodied, getting back up and boxing more. Very primal. Very real.

Ryan can hit too. From what I see of his fight in Iraq are amazing. He knocks guys out. He is a monster. He keeps the pressure up. I think he is going to fight on one of our cards. I hope so.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old. New news?

2:41 PM  

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