Archive for the ‘Amateur Boxing’ Category
Dunkin Signs Arizona Fighter, New York
Waits & Iron Boy 7
Less than 8 hours after Nonito Donaire lost his WBO Super Bantamweight title to Gullermo Rigondeaux,rampant rumors suggesting Rigondeaux failed a post fight drug test and therefor would face a suspension and forfeit the title he won from Donaire on 5/13 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. After spending a few hours trying to track down the rumors, I decided to call Donaire’s manager Cameron Dunkin who didn’t respond. Then I called the New York City Athletic Commission and tried to talk to Edison Alban in the Public Relations Department. He wasn’t there,but I did leave my information with an assistant who promised to pass on my request to Edison. After making the call, I sent a formal request asking for results of the drug test. If either party fails the test,the bout will be ruled as a “no contest” and the fighter who failed the test will be placed on suspension and fined heavily. New York administers a very stringent test and anything and everything is detected or so I’m told. A number of fighters aren’t able or don’t even try to fight to fight in New York because the state requires a very tough physical before a boxing license is issued.
While waiting for NY to respond, Laz Benitez, PIO, New York Department of State, sent an email asking me to forward specific questions, so I did. New York is good about responding quickly. His response came 20 minutes after I emailed him. The official test results will be in toward the end of April and readers will know when I know. In this day and age of social media, readers may inform me.
I mentioned placing a call to Cameron Dunkin. The reason was two fold.My second reason for touching base with him was to chat about his signing of 17 year old Arizona boxing prospect Alexis Zazueta who recently won a 114 lb division title at the Regional Finals in Nevada. The win qualifies him for the Nationals in Salt Lake City Utah In May. Alfonso Olvera, another Arizona amateur, also made it to the finals in Salt Lake. A win for both men would be huge.
Alexis has fought in state and national tournaments shows and I have watched some of his You Tube footage. Gook looking fighter with some pop in his right hand. He has all of the intangibles, good attitude, strong work ethic and an ear for listening. Based on what I have seen, my report on his is excellent and he should make a solid professional. I was calling Cameron to ask him if he was going to allow Alexis to box in the Golden Gloves National. There is always danger of an injury and for that reason, Alexis might be pulled from the Golden Gloves competition. Hopefull, Cameron or Zazuets Trainer Armondo Lopez will lift the phone and relay the decision. I always wondered why boxing didn’t pick up Pepto Bismo as a sponsor. Cameron also manages Victor Ortiz, Kelly Pavlik and many more. Dunkin is a perennial candidate for Fight manager of the year and boxers swear to his loyalty. So, he isn’t a sharp dressed man, but who cares?
Iron Boy 7: Featherweight Guy Robb has replaced Joel Diaz on the May 17 Iron Boy 7 show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. Diaz opted out for a spot on an upcoming ESPN Card which is understandable. Matchmaker Mike Sanchez hopes to present Diaz on a future Iron Boy Card. Robb is 10-1 and will fight a yet to be be determined opponent in a scheduled for 6 round event. Vido Carbajal, Nephew of the 5 time world champ, has replaced Tim Riddell on the card and will face Wilber Lopez in a 4 round amateur contest. Other fighters in the card include: Carlos Castro, Juan Garcia, Chris Lopez, Duardo Valenzuela and Pancho C. De Vaca aka Francisco C De Vaca. Pancho was scheduled to make his debut on the last Iron Boy card, but his opponent failed to make weight. The kid can fight, so let’s hope his debut happens this time around. Oh yes, Isiah McFadden will not be on the May 17 because of the uncertainty of his contract with Fan Base Promotions. McFadden thinks his contract with Fan Base has expire, but, Sanchez say the legal uncertainty surrounding his status isn’t worth the a possible long and expensive legal hassle.
Sanchez, speaking on behalf of Iron Boy, told me the Iron Boy boxing show philosophy is to present the best of Arizona prospects and occasionally showcase a young rising star from outside the Grand Canyon state. That was the intent with Diaz.Sanchez also disclosed he is looking for Middleweights and up to give the card a more divisional balance on the future Iron Boy Cards.Iron Boy hoped to sign Heavyweight Michael Hunter for their May 17 show,but it isn’t going to happen. In other Iron Boy news, veteran featherweight Orlando Salido is working out at the Iron Boy Gym in South Phoenix. Salido, 39-12-2 may move to Arizona according to a close source.
Boxing News: The world boxing community mourns the loss of former heavyweight contender of Carl “The Truth” Williams who passed away at age 53 recently from cancer of the throat. Williams has been described as a poor man’s Muhammad Ali. May be a reach, but he was a very good fighter who unfortunately foughtin the same era as Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson….Victor Ortiz is the fifth pugilist to enter ABC Network’s “Dancing With The Stars” reality show. Expectthe former champ to be eliminated, soon….Highly touted Mario Esparza (1320 hopes to make his professional debut in May. In the meantime, the youngster is sparring with Juan Garcia and Fernando Samaniego at Grant Park Gym under the watchful eye of is trainer, Tom Garcia. Mario is a good kid and talented prospect… Central Gym protegee Daniel Garcia turned 17 on May 17 and will make his professional debut in Las Vegas sometime in August. Happy Birthday and good luck. Daniel can punch and the lad is definitely a top 10 prospect…..Alfonso Olvera won the western Regional Golden Gloves title now he will pursue the National Crown in May in Salt Lake City, Utah. If he wins, according to his Neutral Corner boxing coach Brad Carlton, the young family man who has only 1 amateur loss will turn pro. He is a good defensive pugilist with a strong right hand. and a winning attitude… 16 year old Phoenix amateur standout Alexis Urbina won the USA Boxing Youth National Title in the 141 pound division in Spokane Washington, recently. . He is trained by Brother In Law Andrew Sotowho also works with Mrs. Andrew Soto, Sulem Urbina Soto, a highly talented boxer, hopes to qualify for Mexico’s Olympic Team in 2016…..Local amateur standout Edgar Brito may turn professional in May…. …Tolugh Diamond Baier lost to Detroit prospect Erick De Leon (Top Rank) in New York at Rock City Music Music Hall on April 13. His record is 2-5-1; however, all of his professional fights were against winning fighters with a combined 67-4 record when they met Baier who didn’t turn pro until he was 32. Baier and his manager, Tom Garcia have nothing to be ashamed of. Before the boxing gentleman headed for New York, I talked to him at length and his story will be in my next column…..Light Welterweight sensation Jose Benavidez Jr. is still sporting a soft cast to protect his injured hand but that doesn’t stop him from working soup kitchens and lending his heart and soul to worthy causes. Jose and 5 time world champion Michael Carbajal are expected to attend “Night of Miracles, a fundraiser for Breast Cancer at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix on May 4. Call 602-379-2888 for tickets. 30-40 current and former athletes are planning to attend..Doors open at 6 p.m.
Two Salutes: Former two time welterweight champion Curtis Cokes celebrates his 76th Birthday on June 15. He lives in Dallas Texas and you can be a part of his celebration by sending him a card to: Curtis Cokes, 618 Calcutta, Dallas Texas, 75241….Our second salutes goes to boxing fans Krystal V. Iglesia and Lumer Ryanyl O Agot. The sweet hearts will wed on May 27 at the Historical Central United Methodist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Their wedding preamble is taken from the scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. May you find happiness…Until Next Time!
Kickboxing Grading for Ying Yang Team
Noel Kickboxing Club
Recently the Malta Kickboxing Association (MKBA) organised its second grading for this year. Around 50 students from 3 Maltese Kickboxing clubs were graded in the discipline.
35 of them train under Master Noel Mercieca, the founder of Ying Yang Team Noel Kickboxing. All of them gave an excellent performance of all the Kickboxing techniques that are part of the syllabus. At the end of the grading each group had to apply what they learnt while sparring with other students. Even though it was a grading all athletes had to wear full body protection for safety reasons.
The students and their respective belts were: Red: Joan Seisun, Logan Galea, Jan Tanti, Kurt Mizzi, Salvatore Santonbelo, Kieth Pace, Mark Azzoppardi, Etienne Stanmore, Michael Grech, Nicholas Laurier, Glenn Dimech, Thea Dimech, Adrian Attard, Amanda Grech, Roxanne Azzoppardi, Glenn Zammit, Daniela Zammit, Abigail Bonnici, Melvin Fenech; Green: Brian Vella, Claudio Camilleri, Kevin Farrugia, Reuben Magro, Charlo spiteri, Donio Vella; Purple: Giancarlo Benetti, Sasha Silvio, Gianella Mifsud; Blue: Bernice Casha, Antonella Caruana Seguna, Joachin Mifsud Attard, Liam Mifsud, Brandon Spiteri, Darien Doneo; Brown:Alan Ellul.
The grading is just one of the activities organised by the MKBA. In June, in collaboration with Gladiators Promotion, it will be organised the next Gladiators Night in the Greek Theatre at Ta’ Qali. For this event there will be matches for Maltese National Titles in different weight categories in Kickboxing and K1 rules.
The main event will be the Re-match between the local professional Kickboxer Daniel “the Jet” Zahra and Bruno Torres from Portugal. “The Jet” will be representing Malta and Ying Yang Team Noel Kickboxing Club. On their previous encounter Torres was given the victory by a controversial decision. They will compete once again for the World Title Belt in K1, which is currently held by Torres, in a 5×3 match under the World Kickboxing Network (WKN) banner.
For more information go to www.yingyangkickboxing.com or contact Master Noel Mercieca on 79208283 or email@example.com
By Don Smith
Boxer’s Family Requests Help: Humberto Avila, aka “Beto”, loves boxing and he trained relentlessly at the Devil Dog Boxing Gym in Chandler, Arizona. He was an amateur fighter who had no aspirations to become professional, but he valued the sport as a tool for physical and spiritual growth. Beto was a winner, regardless of his record.
His training was interrupted. late summer 2012, when he was struck by a vehicle while he was jogging through a crosswalk in Tempe, Arizona. According to a family member who recounted the incident after hearing details from the victim, two vehicles swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting Beto who instinctively jumped in the air and landed on the hood of a SUV, one of the involved vehicles. Avila suffered lower back pain and a deeply bruised ankle which was slow to heal. He went to a nearby Urgent Care facility after a police report was filed. Humberto was given a prescription for pain and then released. The medical inspection didn’t include an MRI which brings up the question of how thorough was his physical exam.
So far, the two insurance carriers have been reluctant to address the incident to the satisfaction of Beto and his family. It is not known whether either driver was cited for possible negligence. The family may hire an attorney to mitigate and settle an issue that could have been resolved by now; ifthere is an open line of communications.
It took several months for Beto to rehabilitate himself and the 29 year old audio/visual specialist was feeling pretty hyped about the prospect of returning to boxing and living a healthy and productive life. He had bills to pay and places to go. Avila is a audio/visual specialist for Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center while Nico works as a chef at Pita Jungle, a popular eatery in Tempe. Friends and co-workers describe them as a loving couple with strong community ties. They are the typical American family: hard working and responsible and certainly not immune from the trials and tribulations that test us all on a daily basis.
On Christmas Eve, Humberto and his lovely Wife (Nicolette David Avila ) of six months, loaded their 2006 Nissan Versa Hatchback and headed for Ajo, Arizona where they planned to spend their Christmas Holiday with friends and family. Aboard for the trip were the family dogs (Leela & Naru) and their masters, Nico and Beto. Mr. Avila decided to drive and let Nico catch some much needed sleep. It was sometime between noon and 1 p.m. when the couple left Tempe. Ajo is approximately a 115-120 mile drive from Tempe which translates into a 2 hour journey give or take a few minutes.
The newlywed couple were on Highway 85, 7 miles away from their Ajo Exit, when Beto fell asleep at the wheel and Nico was also asleep. Their car began to drift across the center line of the highway and was obviously out of control. Frank and Katie Le Master just happened to be traveling on the same road and they knew the vehicle in trouble belonged to Humberto and Nicolette because they knew the family personally for many years. Ajo is a small town where everybody knows everybody, including their pets.
Immediately, Frank, a law enforcement officer, went to his horn in an effort to wake up his friend whom he assumed had fallen asleep. He was very familiar with the sight before him After a few horn blasts, Beto awakened; saw the looming crisis and panicked by over steering and applying the brakes too hard. As a result.their vehicle rolled over 2 1/2 times and finally stopped after traveling a distance of 45 yards off the highway. The car was totalled and the lives of Beto and Nico will never be the same and it all happened in a matter of seconds.
Frank and Katie are the perfect people to handle any type of crisis; cool, calm and collected. Frank or Katie called 911 and gave precise directions on how to reach the scene of the accident. Katie,a former Lifeguard, talked to the two victims and relayed useful information to the first responders. The couple also set up a volunteer task force from the number concerned travelers who stopped to help .After the traumatic rescue was completed, Katie and Frank received special praise from the first responders and members of the victim’s family.
The Le Masters knew, after insightful questioning, that Humberto would probably need to be airlifted to a Special Care Unit Facility because he told his friends he was numb and that meant paralysis and possible spinal cord injury. Beto was trapped inside the car when the professional responders arrived and he was carefully removed from the Hatchback and swiftly flown to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix where he was admitted in the Barrow’s Neurological Institute wing of the hospital.
Miraculously, a battered and bruised Nico was up and walking at the scene. It had to be a combination of adrenalin rush and concern for Humberto. Whatever the reason, it was a huge sigh of relief for her husband who wasn’t so fortunate.
Beto suffered a broken neck and a spinal cord injury that left him without movement below his shoulders. Mr. Avila remains at Saint Joseph’s Hospital where he has shown slight improvement,but the road to recovery will be long and uncertain.
While insurance is covering some medical expense, It doesn’t provide for loss of income and special needs that he might be require for his rehabilitation process. And, now that the family has been reduced to one bread winner, bare necessities, such as food and rent, will be harder to pay for.
To cope with their mounting bills that may exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars, Nico’s sister, Nellie has started an account for online donations to help this young family in their time of need. If you have the will and means to help, please go online:
Nico’s father, Hollister David, has asked members of media(participating in the donation drive) to thank all donors for their generosity and a special thank you to the first responders who were vital in the rescue of Beto and Nico Avila. Until Next Time! Read the rest of this entry »
AZ. Boxing News: Bad Boy Boxing, Rosado Visit, Iron Boy Boxing and much more
For 7 years, Felko Promotions and Fort McDowell Casino have teamed up to offer “Bad Boy Boxing”, an event that features amateur Boxing and amateur MMA action within the confines of a Hexagon Ring. Ironically, the presentation isn’t sanctioned by USA Boxing or the Arizona State Boxing Commissionbecause the Arizona State Boxing Commission doesn’t have a inter Governmental Agreement with the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation; therefore, a hands off policy is in effect. The next Bad Boy Fight Show is scheduled at Fort McDowell Resort Casino inside the Radisson Ballroom on Friday, September 28 at 8 PM. Championship Night follows on Friday, November 30 at the same venue starting at 7 PM.
Interested applicants between the ages of 18-40 are required to pay a $50.00 registration fee and pass physical requirements. All applicants must be amateurs and there is no previous fight experience required. If an applicant lies about his or her fight experience, he/she could be disqualified. All fighters are required to sell an allotted number of tickets. The September 28 show wont include women on the card but Bad Boy Boxing has included women in the past. Entertainment is provided by the “Bad Boy” dancers and the announcing chores are handled by two Felko Promotions associates. Don’t expect to see Jimmy Lennon, Ralph Velez or Michael Buffer on mike at center ring, if you go.
Bad Boy Boxing draws well but some local amateurs refuse to get involved because they see the show as gimmicky and unprofessional. According to these same critics, applicants are poorly screened and the officiating isn’t consistent even though some of the personnel received training from the Arizona State Boxing and MMA Commission. The other concern is safety; Bad Boy Boxing fans can get very rowdy after a few big gulps of beers….remember when local bars used to stage tough guy contests…you get the picture.
Before Felko Promotions assumed the role of promoter after Fort McDowell approached others to take the job;but they said no thank you. In light of the controversy surrounding Bad Boy Boxing, an attempt to contact the Arizona Department of Gaming is still ongoing. Interested men and women meeting requirements can contact Len Hayko at 480-772-6000 . Please, don’t jump into the ring blindly….read the fine print.
- Junior Middleweight Contender Gabriel Rosado, alias “King” started training at Busted Knuckle Gym (9/5/12) in Phoenix for his Friday, September 21 battle with Charles Whittaker of the Cayman Islands. 26 year old Rosado, 20-5 w/12 knockouts, is favored to best his 38 year old opponent (38-12-2 with 23 knockouts) and lay claim to the #1 IBF Junior Middleweight ranking. The Cayman Islands are best known for offshore investment and not producing high caliber pugilists; but, Whittaker is ranked #2 while Rosado trails at the #3 position…. winner is promised a title shot at IBF Junior Middleweight Champion Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage down the road. The televised bout (NBC Sports) is being broadcast from the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a hop, skip and long jump from Rosado’s hometown of Philadelphia. In actual driving miles, the distance is 61 miles or 98.169984 kilometers. For directions to the Cayman Islands ask Mitt Romney.
Gabriel Rosado turned pro at age 19 after a mere 17 amateur fights. Rosado has some intense supporters. One of them recently posted a boastful challenge to Saul Alvarez on behalf of the “King”…..be careful of what you wish for! Whittaker is a bit of an unknown despite his high ranking and he will face a hostile and skeptical crowd at the Sands on 9/21.
Rosado got the VIP treatment while he was in Phoenix; thanks to his marketing manager (Michelle Rosado) no relation to the fighter. She took her client over to The Phoenix Boys Center, a Arizona historical landmark, where he looked in awe at all the pictures and posters of more than 50 legendary fighters that adorn the walls of the Center made famous by its’ legendary owner and founder Al Fenn. After the tour, he climbed into the Center’s ring and worked out with tough Phoenix Middleweight Isiah McFadden. A few days later (9/11), Michelle arranged an open media workout and press conference for Rosado at the Phoenix South Mountain KROC Center at 1375 East Broadway in Phoenix. Despite the overcast weather (Monsoon warnings), 75-100 boxing fans and local members of the media showed up to watch the contender workout with his trainer Billy Briscoe. Phil Johnson (Phil The Grill Catering) feed everyone ,who got in line, a scrumptious plate of barbecued pork, baked beans and coleslaw . Phil, a Native New Yorker, knows how to quiet a hungry belly. Rosado posed for pictures and answered questions after the workout. Good way to connect with fans.
- 34 year old Albuquerque New Mexico welterweight boxer Hector Munoz has lost 7 of his last 9 fights; but, he is convinced that he can pull off the possible upset of the year when he meets undefeated 23 year old Sadam Ali (15-0- w/ 9 knockouts) in a 10 round bout scheduled for October 27 in Brooklyn, New York, Ali’s hometown. Hector (20-8-1 w/13 knockouts) attributes his new found confidence to a new radical high tech conditioning program and a supportive cast of sponsors (including KNUXX Media and Apocalyptic Sports Nutrition) who have helped restore his self confidence . Ali is ranked #8 by the United States Boxing Association (USBA) and #12 by the North American Boxing Organization (NABO). Ali is a huge favorite over the unranked Munoz ;but, Hector lies in waiting hoping to give Ali an early Halloween surprise.
- SHORT JABS: Congratulations to Muhammad Ali for his prestigious Liberty Medal of Freedom which was awarded to him in Philadelphia on 9/13…… Arizona favorites Javier Loya, Jose Benavidez Jr. and Trevor McCumby will fight on the 10/13 card at the Home Depot Center in Carson California . The trio must be delighted to be under card attractions on a show that features ” The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire 29-1 VS. Toshia Nishioka 39-4-3 and Brandon Rios VS. rugged Mike Alvarado. Rios and Alvarado posses identical records; 33-0-w/23 knockouts. Rios will be making his debut as a welterweight and the event will be aired on HBO PPV…. Most boxing fans think Timothy Bradley got smoked with the announcement that Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2 w/38 Knockouts) will face old nemesis Juan Marquez (54-6-1 w/39 Knockouts) for a fourth time, December 8 on HBO PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas …Does Bradley feel a chill?….. Expect Jose Benavidez Jr. to be on the under card….14 year old Alfredo Escarcegar Jr.(Central Gym in Phoenix) is trained by his father Alfredo Sr. In a past column it was reported that Jr. is trained by Jose Benavidez Sr. who does work with the kid; but, Alfredo Sr. is the official trainer. Young Alfredo hopes to make the US Olympic team in 2016.
- Local boxing announcer Ralph Velez is the subject of a short documentary which has been submitted to the Sundance Film Festival. With one in the can, film talk, Ralph is working on another cinematic project and details are forthcoming. Next boxing gig for Velez is the Celebrity Theatre Show for Iron Boy Promotions On October 6. He will also emcee Iron Boy’s September 29 Press Conference at the Filiberto’s Restaurant located at 3220 E. Baseline Road in Phoenix. The event is open to the public and fighters are very accessible and happy to sign autographs and pose for pictures. Here is the lineup for the October 6 Celebrity Show produced by Iron Boy Promotions. Doors open at 6 PM.
Main Event: 135 lb contest Victor Castro (6-0) Phoenix, Arizona VS. Ephrain Martinez (4-2) La Cal, Mexico
128 lb contest Chris Lopez (4-0) Phoenix, Arizona VS. Diamond Baier (2-2-1) Phoenix, Arizona
122 lb contest Emilio Garcia (6-0) Phoenix, Arizona VS. Jensen Ramirez (2-1-1) Tucson, Arizona
135 lb contest Thomas Valdez (3-0) Tucson Arizona VS. Jesus Aguinaga (0-0) Tucson, Arizona
7 Pro Fights 122 lb contest Carlos Castro (1-0) Phoenix, Arizona VS. Angel Gonzalez (0-2) Phoenix, Arizona
168 lb contest Lanell Bellows (2-0) Phoenix, Arizona VS. TBD
190 lb contest Keith Bush (0-0) Phoenix, Arizona VS. Douglas Jackson (0-0) Phoenix, Arizona
3 Amateur 122 lb Contest Francisco D De Vaca VS. Aron Lopez Mexico
122 lb contest Edgar Brito Phoenix, Arizona VS. Andrew Duran Phoenix, Arizona
Bouts 175 lb contest Anthony Sims Las Vegas Nevada VS. TBD
- Iron Boy promotions may make a major announcement at their 9/29 press conference if not here is the scoop. Iron Boy will open a gym in the near future and the fledgling boxing company will soon announce future plans for future shows. Roberto Vargas (CEO) has no plans to pick up stakes and run. The October 6 show is the fourth of five planned shows at the Celebrity Theatre. Click on www.ironboypromotions.com for the latest news…UNTIL NEXT TIME!
Olympic Boxing: “With This Ring” – a new documentary lifts the lid on problems facing women boxers in India
By Michael O’Neill
Women’s boxing was one of the great success stories of London 2012 and not just from an American,British or Irish viewpoint – indeed the sport’sInternational Boxing Association (A.I.B.A) declared that the introduction of women boxers – the last Olympic sport to include both sexes – was considered to be one of the highlights of the entire London 2012 Olympic Games, enticing spectators and media from around the world to one of the hottest venues of the past weeks.
The Katie Taylor/Claressa Shields and Nicola Adams stories have been featured in just about every corner of the earth and not just in their home countries - and rightly so , yet here let us look at the great achievement of another of the world’s finest pugilists, Mary Kom from Manipur – pinweight Mary was one of those who had to move up two weight classes just to qualify for the Olympics but yet ‘Magnificent Mary’ managed to pull off a Bronze behind new Olympic champion Nikki Adams and China’s world title holder Cancan Ren.
Mary has long been one of the pioneers of women’s boxing and indeed has won the World Championship crown on five occasions. Mary and the otherIndian women have come up against every possible barrier in their home land to gain acceptance for women’s boxing and have had to fight against numerous prejudices. Later this year there will be a new documentary “With This Ring” which should be compulsive viewing for every boxer male or female and not only in India but worldwide. The documentary’s producers Anna Sarkissian and Ameesha Joshi have spent the past six years following the braveIndian women boxers around the world, mainly at their own expense. So what particular problems do the Indian women face?
Let Ameesha and Anna speaking from Canada tell us of some of the many problems they do face and that will not go away “immediately” despite Mary Kom’s bronze in London.
“The 35-strong Indian women’s national boxing team trains year-round, six days a week in blistering heat and heavy downpours. As you can imagine, women’s boxing is neither popular nor widely accepted in India, where many women are pressured to marry and abandon their career aspirations.
They are some of the best boxers in the world. And the most under-appreciated.
These women are trailblazers in the purest sense, who can inspire others around the world to step out of the mold and pursue their passion. Though some women have risen to power and achieved prominence in India, many are still treated like second class citizens. The rate of female infanticide and sex-selective abortions is alarming, to say the least. Though these issues are complex and linked with religious, financial, and cultural concerns, suffice it to say that these boxers have had their share of hurdles and there is so much we can learn from their journey.
Though Mary is now becoming a household name (finally!), the other boxers train in relative anonymity, with little to no recognition for their achievements. There are numerous world champions (at different grades inc youth and junior) on the team who started out with nothing and fought against centuries of tradition to rise to the top. Without this film, their inspirational stories would be cast into the shadows”.
“Young women in India are usually known as somebody’s sister, daughter, wife or mother. For the first time, they are gaining independence by setting their own goals, living independently, and taking the world by storm.
Yes, some have short hair. And yes, they show their legs and wear athletic gear–something which most Indians would frown upon. As one woman that we interviewed put it, wearing shorts amounts to “degrading women.”
Their parents are concerned. At least, they are at the beginning. With bruises or scars on their face or hands, they worry that their daughters will never marry. The importance of holy matrimony cannot be underestimated in India. It’s the most important day of your life.
Then, the boxers start winning. In the case of five-time world champion Mary Kom, her parents only found out she was a fighter when they saw her picture in the newspaper. Her father wasn’t pleased. Mary is now the most successful amateur boxer (male or female) in history and supports her husband and two children financially. Her family came around.
Boxing isn’t all about glory or world championships. Many of these women are boxing to get out of poverty. Successful athletes are often rewarded with government jobs in the railway or police force, complete with pensions and benefits. It’s almost like hitting the jackpot.
All this doesn’t come easy. The Indian women’s national boxing team, composed of about 35 boxers, trains year-round. Whether it’s 50 degrees or 5 degrees, they wake up at dawn and start working. They generally train two to three times a day, six days a week, for up to 2 hours at a time.
Some of the boxers are also in school at the same time. Their schedule goes something like this: train, eat breakfast, school, train, eat lunch, school, dinner, train, sleep. It’s non-stop “.
True, all women have had to fight against prejudice for many years to even get to the Olympics, and many great former champions have never made it , but few have faced the struggle that Mary Kom has - she became India’s first ever women’s Olympic medallist – against all the odds.
You can see clips from the documentary here via Youtube
And follow the making of the documentary via: http://www.indiegogo.com/withthisring
More Clipts About India’s Mery Kom