Now I know a smidge more about boxing than I did this morning. I know all the weight classes and that there’s a huge difference between the light flyweights and the super heavy weights (a hundred pounds, give or take). The light flyweights at 106# weigh less than I would like to and they are all small and sinewy- you can see every fiber of every muscle. The super heavy weights are downright scary looking-at 200+ pounds, you can see every fiber of every muscle.
I discovered that I like the 4 three minute rounds format. It all moves very quickly and a minute can make or break a prospective Olympian. I like that the referees used sign language to instruct the boxers since there were contenders from over 120 countries including Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and also Nevis, one of my favorite island countries in the whole world. Did you know that the ref can do a standing eight count any time he wants to make sure a fighter isn’t going all wonky eyed and it doesn’t count against him? At this Olympic amateur level they want to make sure no one gets permanently adulpated.
I heard numerous national anthems because they held a medal ceremony for each of the eleven weight classes, complete with flag raising and floral bouquets. All the anthems sounded like either Pomp and Circumstance or some goose-stepping march. I figure there’s a good business in writing new anthems and designing flags, especially over there in the former Soviet Union.
What I really enjoyed (other than the ringside seats, nicknamed “spray seats”) was the diversity of the Chicago crowd in attendance. There were cheering sections for Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Italy. The Mongolians booed the Chinese, the Russians the Thais and so on. Every taxi driver I’ve ever encountered here in Chicago was there cheering for the home team.
It was all very exciting and only a little bit of eye-closing and wincing (when the USA guy slammed the Thailand guy in the arm and it went “pop” and the fight ended, then and there). I ate a hot-dog, Dippin’ Dots and popcorn. I saw the Mayor, the heads of the Olympic committee and a bunch of Russians in suits who looked exactly like KGB actors in a 007 movie. I thought that I might take up boxing because it looks like a great way to keep fit and channel aggression. Amateur boxing? I’m a fan.