Last Saturday, I saw the future of boxing in Milwaukee and the second most anticipated match of the year on HBO later that night.
I must admit, I’m not a true fan of professional boxing, but I’ll watch local kids lace up the gloves and go at it.
The late Al Moreland looked down and chuckled to himself. He was pleased that the foundation he laid out a long time ago is still going strong.
In the 21 bouts of the evening, ring announcer Roy Evans said that in amateur boxing, everyone’s a winner. Well said. But we knew there had to be winners and losers.
It’s unlikely that around 95 percent of the kids who competed last Saturday may not choose a career in professional boxing. But watching them apply the hours of training in the gym in a boxing ring was worth it.
It should’ve been a packed gym at the King Center. Most of us will pack the gym for a boys high school basketball game. You never know if one day you would be watching one of those kids box on TV.
When the fight organizers put out the call to throw a “boxing party”, all the heavyweights of the local boxing community showed up.
Israel “Shorty” Acosta and boxers from the United Community Center camp were in the house. There were fighters from the Ace Boxing Club, Ford’s Gym, the Racine Boxing Club and Northern Michigan University.
Before the bouts began, there was a ten bell salute to Moreland and a moment of silence.
Somehow, the opponent of the evening’s first match got the memo late. Dominic Galati sat in his corner waiting for Jordan Faltersack. Evans announced the two-minute warning for Faltersack, who arrived with a minute left in the countdown. It actually took almost four minutes to put on the headgear and gloves.
Once he was ready to go, the 141-pound fight between the Racine Boxing Club members got underway.
Galati unleashed all that frustration out on his opponent, as if he punished Faltersack for making him wait too long. I’m sure he didn’t want to win by forfeit.
After the attack, the referee directed Galati to his corner and gave a standing eight count to Faltersack before waving his hands, ending the fight.
The match I was interested in watching was the 165-pound battle between Limberth Vieyra from the Alley Cat Boxing Club and NMU’s Darnell Parker.
Based on the intense warm-ups from Parker and the NMU boxing tradition behind it, I thought the fight would be a cakewalk for him.
To my surprise, the decision in the three-round bout went to Vieyra. It looked to me that Parker threw more punches, but the judges thought Vieyra landed more blows to the face than Parker.
As for the fight between Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman at Yankee Stadium, many people predicted a Foreman win. After all, he held the Super Welterweight belt (154 pounds).
Foreman, who wore a brace on his right knee, lost his balance in the middle rounds of the 12-round title fight. After the seventh round, he limped to his corner.
During the eighth, someone threw in a white towel, but it wasn’t from Foreman’s corner. It was probably from his wife, who couldn’t stand to see her man suffer like that. After 42 seconds of the ninth round, Foreman said that was enough, and the match was over. Foreman showed enough guts to go as long as he could.
If Cotto ever lie in his bed at night and dream of going down to 147 to fight Floyd Mayweather, he better wake up and apologize.
City Tracksters Compete at State Meet
Custer’s Cashay Harris said at the Homestead Sectional after winning the girls 100-meter dash that she wanted to win that race to make it to state. Harris didn’t have Tech’s Dezerea Bryant in her sectional.
Bryant blew away the field and won the state 100 and 200 titles in La Crosse and setting records. The junior also was on the 400 relay team that won. Harris finished sixth in the 100.
Riverside’s Jalen Gillie, who dedicated his season to his late uncle, Gerald, won the boys 100 and anchored the winning 400 relay team.
Gillie was asked at the sectionals what area he improved on from last year in sprinting. “Just getting out of the blocks fast and finishing the race strong,” he said.
Vincent’s Jeffrey Pigg ran in the shadows of Homestead’s Gabe Genovesi in the 800 at the Homestead Sectional and the state meet. He was second in the sectionals and fifth at state. Genovesi won the sectional and state meets, setting new records in each.
The Riverside girls 1600 relay team got the last of three spots at the sectional meet. “We had a goal when we came here (Homestead) and we accomplished our goal (qualifying for state),” Dalisha Edmond said recently. They finished seventh at state in that event.
Tech won the girls team title. The Riverside boys finished fourth as a team at state.