Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Happy Valentine's Day

Had another crazy week at work and missed a few workouts as a result, but sparred today for the first time in weeks and felt good. Felt terrific, actually - fought smart and smooth and went five strong rounds. Definitely got a huge boost of confidence from today's workout and sparring session, especially since I was working with a guy who's a solid amateur fighter and likes to keep the pressure on. Didn't gas, didn't really get caught, and my counterpunches were timed perfectly - all of which are usually concerns when I get back in the ring after a layoff.

In terms of measuring myself for my bout next Saturday, I feel like I'm about an 8 - in great shape, sparring with the best of them, but just don't quite feel over the top yet. The bout is just an exhibition though, so that in itself will be just another measuring stick and stepping stone to bigger accomplishments. And, moving forward, I know that it will all only get easier - I doubt (hope) work can't maintain this breakneck pace, but even if it does, I know that I can maintain a relatively solid training schedule. More on training later though - tonight I'm focusing on spectating.

Going to spend Valentine's Day watching what, in my opinion, is a pretty great solid card on HBO. (What? You think anything comes before boxing training/fandom, even on Valentine's Day? Psh...) I've seen everyone on the card fight before - for some reason I like having scouted fighters a bit before watching them - but am most excited to watch Cintron/Martinez and Angulo/Rivera. I've always been a big fan of Cintron's and felt bad watching him wilt under Margartito's pressure (both in the ring and his breakdown after) twice and now feel worse that those two losses (his only two) might have been due to his opponent loading his wraps. At the same time, I can't help but be more and more of a fan of Martinez. His slick, sound style and ridiculous speed are literally inspiring - after watching him fight a few times, he's become one of a few fighters whose traits and styles I've tried to emulate a little more. The only strike against him is that he's a southpaw - I hate southpaws. Both fighters are looking for that huge, career-bolstering win tonight, and I see Cintron being unable to land his flush kayo punch and Martinez outpointing him for the win in an entertaining bout.

Rivera is a a fringe contender turned journeyman and I anticipate a reasonably lopsided fight where Angulo will simply overwhelm and overpower the salty veteran. Gotta love fighters like Angulo - you know exactly the type of fight you'll get from him everytime he climbs in the ring.

Campbell/Funeka should be a good fight, but I'm pretty unfamiliar with the latter and still new enough to Campbell that I can't quite bring myself to be overly excited for one of his fights. That, and the idiot couldn't make weight which peeves me beyond words. (You're getting six figures for a bout and have months to get down to a set weight. No excuses - get down to that weight or I reserve the right to dislike you for disappointing me.) All in all, it's a well-rounded card with the potential for some serious fireworks.

So here's to Valentine's Day and my love for boxing. I've been working hard and training harder, and I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday than sparring in the a.m. and watching some great fights at night.


willfrank said...

Hey Jonathan-- Willfrank from a poster on QR here. Checked out your blog (trying to take some solace after watching Kerm's disappointing performance). Its a title is a great hook (not in a boxing sense--although you may have that too!) and I found some great insights in a quick read. All my best as you keep working hard towards your dreams-- I always have a ton of respect for guys like yourself actually having the steel to step into the ring(as opposed to guys like me whose time is now passed (in their early 40's) chained to a desk and are just wannabes/never dids. Sorry you've had to bear the burden of being a KC Royals fan. (of course, they've yet to come close to my Phils record for franchise losses!)

willfrank said...

Jonathan-- sorry for the proofread-less message very late last night. A little bleary eyed and dazed/confused by all I watched last night. Anyhow, was so intriqued by what I saw last night that I came back this morning and found myself immersed (for some time) in reading some of your other musings. Its fantastic stuff-- well written, clever and just exuding in the joy you feel in what you are doing. And I'm a sucker for inserting out of the blue trivia/pop culture references too-- to the chagrin/annoyance of most of my close friends and colleagues. Hope you don't mind if I follow along and occasionally add my two cents (with just a tinge of envy as I watch you follow a path which I should have chosen a decade (OK-- its now two) ago!

willfrank said...

I neglected to wish you good luck in your bout next week. And I think your 1/15 entry helped me to understand a little bit of what happened last night much better. My only question now-- how does Kerm fix it?

Jonathan Moreland said...

Hey WF,

Thanks for the comments and kind words. Glad to have another reader, especially one that publicly comments and goes as far as to catch up on all my previous posts. Your readership and feedback is welcomed and much appreciated!

In terms of Cintron, my suggestion to him is to see a sports psychologist. Seriously. He has the skill and physical tools to be great, but his strategy and heart always seem to be lacking. In the early rounds he showed that he had the speed to keep up with Martinez...he just never used it. Kermit has turned into quite the enigmatic fighter IMO.

willfrank said...

Thanks Jonathan. Will be checking in from time to time to hear how its going, and (hopefully) your collection of a bunch of knockouts along the way- starting this week. And you have a boatload of my respect just for hitting the gym after a "regular" day at the office.

And wouldn't you know I just got done leaving another of my LONG messages at QR which came to the same conclusion on Kerm (although from perhaps a slightly different angle). While press folks using the term "choke artist" as their story "hook" makes me angry (I had 2 roomates in college (U of Penn)who became sportswriters--and believe me, they possessed no athletic skill whatsoever but an opinion on just about everything), I should have made clear that I thought an opinion like yours deserves a bit of more deference (I don't think I did a good job a making that clear upon rereading but then again I always in need of an editor to begin with).

Again, Good luck this week.