Sunday, March 8, 2009

Overdue recap

A write-up of my bout last Friday is more than overdue, but has been delayed by, well, life. My hectic schedule outside of the gym has continued - part play, mostly work - and kept me from putting together a colorful post about fight night.

But, long story short, my bout could not have gone better.

Seriously.

The biggest problem with trying to give a first-person narration of a boxing match is that, in the heat of battle, you're a little (way) too preoccupied to take detailed mental notes and outline your blog post in real-time. Each and every step, bend, punch and fluid movement gives way to the next so quickly that each is instantaneously forgotten - melding into the gelatinous mess of adrenaline-laden memories, while setting the stage for each of its successors.

As such, I remember flashes of each round - the satisfying pop of a counter right down the shoot, "knowing" a hook was coming next and beating it with one of my own - but am nowhere near able to piece together a semblance of a play-by-play.

I don't know why I keep thinking I ever will be...

So Reader's Digest version: Round 1 was very much the typical "feel-out" round. I've come to learn that I'm very good at these rounds - more often than not my opponent is more wound up than I am, so I'm able to dictate the pace by just keeping my guard high and jab in his face, conserving some energy, not showing all my cards and only throwing power punches when they're absolutely appropriate. I used this efficient - but effective - approach to win the first round, taking some detailed notes (do's and don'ts) back to my corner.

Round 2 didn't go as planned, as my opponent made some adjustments of his own and, rather than cooperating and keeping his head on a tee, busted out some lateral movement that made by punches hook and loop a little too wildly. Luckily, this was more me missing big (and wild) than me missing badly - the difference being that missing badly gets you rocked, while missing big just makes you look like a jackass for finishing every combination with an errant haymaker.

My cornermen scolded me between rounds - as if I didn't know I had gotten ahead of myself throwing bombs - and told me to go back to keeping my jab in his face and let the right hands come to me - shorten them, quit loading up, and throw them when there's an opening rather than, well, when there's not.

Round 3 was mine. Mine mine mine. Controlling both the ring as well as the tempo with a healthy diet of 1-2's, I figured out my opponent's shenanigans and kept catching him with rights as he tried to dance away. I caught him with an especially hard cross as the 30-second bell rang, so, smelling blood (as if I didn't already need the motivation - the 30-second bell in the 3rd round unleashes something alien and angry in me) I was all over the kid in a heartbeat, ripping hooks and body shots as he leaned against the ropes. Knowing how much trouble he was in, I stepped back and nodded, spitting out a "let's finish strong, baby!" through my double-end mouthpiece to make sure he was still with me. He nodded, we touched gloves, and he took his beating like a man.

Which isn't me talking trash - he was a classy kid, got gassed, caught, and whupped in the final round. It's hard to explain - it was part warrior's code, part exhibition-mentality, part me just wanting to make a point rather than leave a mark.

Whatever the case, the sum result was that I simultaneously put on a hell of an exhibition while getting some very quality rounds in. When I got sloppy, he made me pay. When I kept it tight and fought my game, I took over. And most importantly, when I had to dig deep in the final seconds, I found a huge reservoir of energy that let me finish the fight with a resounding, dominating sequence. It was a competitive bout that gave me some more direction and experience, but all in all I could not be any happier with how I prepared and performed.

While my training didn't reflect it this week, I plan on taking all the steps necessary to be able to build off this fight and repeat it. However good it's felt basking in a strong performance, my work has only just begun.

1 comment:

willfrank said...

Congrats Jonathan on your latest success in the ring (and overcoming your flu bug).