Tag Archives: weight

Fight #10: Boxing at the Fair!

My third and final fight of 2015 was another fun one, high up on my list of favorites. (I can’t actually choose a favorite fight… It would be like a mother picking her favorite child.) Our 2015 was extraordinarily busy at the gym, and this event served as a short get-away that felt like a mini-vacation. This was (and I believe still is) an annual event hosted in conjunction with the Georgia Carolina State Fair.

When we arrived, we learned that the boxing event was actually inside the fairgrounds, and not just in the same city as the fair. We thought it was funny that we’d be fair attractions, with “boxing” advertised alongside “circus animals,” “livestock shows” and “big rides.”


getyourticketsThere wasn’t a separate admission price to get into the boxing show, which I thought was pretty darn cool. The venue was an open building on the fairgrounds where people could wander into and out of the fights as they pleased. From a practical business perspective, I was curious about the financial arrangements between the fair and the hosting boxing club. How did the club pay for the event? Did they get any of the money from the fair’s ticket sales? Etcetera. Learning how to promote shows at our own gym has made me view other events differently, with more appreciation of the amount of work and all the details that go into the whole thing. This is what the space for the fights looked like, photographed from just inside the door:


It’s a good thing this event was in October, or it would’ve been hot as heck in there. To the left there was a passage to a big hall full of exhibits, which is where a lot of boxers warmed up. As you can see, it was nothing fancy, but I don’t think that detracted from the event. Not with a whole fair right outside!

We brought three of us to fight from our gym, but one guy’s match fell out at the weigh-in that morning. I don’t remember the details of the other guy’s fight, but I lost mine by decision. The main thing I remember about this fight is that my opponent was the biggest chick I’d ever fought and she trained at the hosting gym. No matter how hard or how much I hit her, I felt like I was a harmless nuisance to her. When we saw her at the weigh-in, my trainer said she hoped that wasn’t my opponent. (Of course it was—there was one female match on the card.) I wasn’t worried, but I didn’t realize how big she was until we were actually in the ring together.

Size matters. The weight difference was legal because we weighed in at opposite ends of the permissible range, but, after both of us having breakfast, I have no doubt that she was 15 pounds or so heavier than me by fight time. (The difference is that it looked like she had cut weight, whereas I was fighting at my walking-around weight.) I gave a good, aggressive showing in front of her hometown crowd and a lot of people congratulated both of us enthusiastically afterwards. I reckon we put on a nice show, which makes losing the split decision slightly less of a sting. Slightly.

There were no medals for losers at this event, so I didn’t get anything to add to my collection, but I did get a case of vertigo from the rides! We had so much fun spinning, flying, laughing…


When we’d had our fun, it was time for the traditional celebratory meal. To our excitement, we’d seen a Cookout near the hotel, so we went there for a late meal of  junky food to celebrate the fights and let loose after eating clean during the training camp. Amen.



P.S. This fight was listed as a novice fight on the bout sheet and we fought three rounds instead of four. Technically, it should have been an open fight because I was open, but I don’t know if she was or not. I much prefer fighting four rounds over three, but errors and disorganization are the hallmarks of almost all boxing events (in my experience), and sometimes it’s just not worth making a fuss over. This wasn’t that big of a deal.


Greenville, SC

As I mentioned in my last post (circa 4 months ago…), my goal for this summer was to get as many boxing bouts under my belt as I could. In late June, there was the question of whether or not we would make a trip to Florida for the Women’s National Golden Gloves tournament. Terri put it to me this way: “If your heart is set on this particular tournament, we’ll go. But if you just want to fight, we’ll fight you around here.” She hit the nail on the head: I didn’t care where I fought, I just wanted to fight. It was about 1:00 AM when we pulled up a calendar of boxing events and started looking for matches. (I’ll go to WNGG one day, though! When I’m open, instead of novice.)

The first show on the list was only four days away, so we contacted the people running the next show after that: Greenville Boxing Club would host a show in Greenville, SC on July 13th. They had a match for me! Easy-peasy. It was set, and I went back to my training with a specific goal in mind. All we knew about my opponent was who she trains with and that we were matched at 119 lbs.

This was my first out-of-state event. My trainer and I got to Greenville just after midnight Friday night/Saturday morning. I went straight to bed, for one of the poorest nights of sleep I’d had in a long time. I woke up every half hour, growing increasingly anxious about getting enough rest for the fight. Around 4 am, I had the briefest thought about how I might lose if I couldn’t sleep… Just as quickly, I banished that excuse. Unfortunately, I continued to wake up every half hour for the rest of the night.

When the 8:00 alarm rang, Terri told me to check my weight. I rolled my grumpy self out of bed and to the scale. About 124 lbs, if I remember correctly. I crawled back into bed, wondering how bad it was for me to be five pounds over 119. Terri wasn’t worried, though, and told me to go back to sleep. Gladly! My sleep was still fitful, but it was better than being out of bed.

The weigh-in was a breeze. I waltzed in, stepped on the scale, saw the doctor and left, with almost no wait time. I weighed in at 123.6 lbs, which is the lightest I’ve been since high school. And that was without dehydrating! (When we got to the venue later, I checked the bout sheet and saw that my opponent weighed in at 126.2. Good thing I didn’t sweat down to 119!) I saw my opponent at the weigh-in, and wondered if she looked familiar…

Terri and I found a local, country place and ate a GIANT breakfast. Well, I did, anyway. I had two eggs, two sweet potato pancakes (ohmygosh, yum!), two sausage patties and two biscuits. Folks, the post-weigh-in breakfast might possibly be my favorite part of fighting. For real.

During this time, I was working on my confidence. Working my mind “up” (to be mentally ready) while still keeping my body “down” (so I wouldn’t get antsy). The show would start at 2, and I didn’t want to jump the gun with nervous excitement. After breakfast, we went back to the hotel and I had a great nap. I slept hard, and almost felt like it made up for the crappy night. I happened to wake up at 1:30 pm, and my heart started thumping with excitement as soon as I saw what time it was. Terri told me to stay down, though, so I relaxed and tried to stay sleepy. I watched a bit of nothing on TV… and then it was finally time to head to the venue.


We arrived during the third bout of the show. We found the bout sheet: I was bout #15. Plenty of time to get my hands wrapped and to focus. I got a better look at my opponent, and it was a girl that I had sparred before. I told myself not to care, but it started to unsettle me. This girl made me cry in my own gym and had taken away some of my confidence. (Until Terri restored it by making me get back in the ring with her for the third and fourth rounds…) But I began to think about how I’m a much better boxer than I was when I last sparred that girl. Hey, maybe she had improved, too, but I was willing to bet that I’d improved more.

Meanwhile, Terri had a million words of advice and direction for me. I tried to take it all in. A friend of ours who is also a trainer, D, came over and added his advice. It was a lot to think about! I stayed calm, listening and imagining myself doing what they told me to win. And then, my favorite part, Terri simplified it for me: “Just focus on two things: protect yourself and beat the crap out of her.” I grinned. That works!

Terri worked pads with me before the fight. I got a little frustrated as she kept telling me “too slow, too slow, gotta move faster, too slow.” I finally started moving around more like she wanted me to and the frustration went away. I got to the point where I felt good working the pads.

This was my first time fighting out of the blue corner. Terri and I were both grateful for D’s help and backup while working my corner. At first I was worried that he’d try to talk over Terri in between rounds (and I wanted to be sure to hear her), but he didn’t at all. I sure heard his encouragement during the rounds, however! Pretty much all I was aware of during the fight was hearing Terri and him screaming—and the look on my opponent’s face. (Oh! I was also acutely aware of the fact that I really needed to pee throughout the entire fight.)

I think my opponent gave up early in the first round. She threw some flurries of punches, but mostly she tried to get away. I could tell that she was tired. The times when she stepped back for a breath, Terri yelled for me to stay on her and not let her rest. Sometimes I did, but sometimes I rested, too. I was tired! But I managed to push through and keep after her. I felt slow and tired. Watching the video afterwards, I don’t look quite as slow as I felt, but I do still look slow. And sloppy, to tell you the truth!

I barely remember the two corner talks. I just remember being told not to be tired and that she was open for uppercuts and straight rights, in particular. One of the straight rights that I landed well came right after Terri yelled “Do it now!” (or something like that), referring to the lead straight right we had just discussed in the corner.


I won all 3 rounds! I knew I’d won the fight, but there’s always that moment when you’re waiting for the decision and wondering… But I did win! Note: This medal is deceiving because it makes people think I won 1st place in a tournament… But there was a 1st and 2nd place medal for each bout.

I posed for pictures with Terri and D, with sweat still pouring out of me and my lungs heaving. Then I began the process of emailing and texting people that I knew would want to know (especially since this was out-of-town, so no one from my gym was there). This was a difficult task, because my hands were shaking like I was having convulsions. Even twenty minutes after the fight was over, I still couldn’t text well. Each text took a loooong time to compose, as I mis-typed and re-typed everything many times.

D, me, Terri

D, me, Terri

As soon was my coach and I let people know the outcome, I started getting congratulations from home, which was a good feeling. After taking a minute to calm down (and stop shaking, darnit), I called my mom to let her know how it went.

Now, while I was on the phone with Mom, I started sneezing every now and then…

The sniffles arrived in full force within a few hours of the fight. By the time I went to bed, I felt like I had a full-blown head cold. I fell asleep and slept really well. When I woke up, I stayed in bed for a while, cozy and relaxed. I discovered sore muscles as I started to move around. Finally, I got up and took a shower. (Phew!) I definitely should’ve taken one before bed, but I was too darn tired.

It was time to head back to Georgia. And, yes, I did have a cold. I felt very lethargic and tired for the rest of the day. Luckily, the cold cleared up after a couple of days and never got worse. But it sure did hit me as soon as the fight was over! Wow. That was no coincidence.

This was my fourth fight, my second win and my first out-of-town event. It was a good weekend!

The Weigh-In

The weigh-in was on June 6th at 4 pm, the day before ACFN 5. Leading up to then, I was trying to lose weight and my opponent was trying to gain weight. We had to be within 8 pounds of each other in order to fight, so we both did our best. We ended up weighing in at a pound apart: she was 127 and I was 126. The man who checked my weight told me: “I’ve had a sandwich that weighed as much as you.”

Severscaleal weeks before the weigh-in, I weighed 144 pounds with my workout clothes on. “Dang, I didn’t know you were that heavy!” said my trainer. Thus she put me on a diet, and I lost almost 20 pounds. From that point until the weigh-in, I ate raw fruits and veggies, and meat only before 2 pm. I did a fair bit of cheating, because I could get away with it, but for the most part I ate clean. I’m pretty proud of the weight I lost. I’m almost back to where I was before I went to college.

The day of the weigh-in, I didn’t eat or drink anything. My opponent, on the other hand, ate and chugged water like a fiend. The hunger didn’t bother me so much, but I felt like I was dying of thirst. After hitting the scale, I had a yummy dinner (chicken quesadilla) washed down with a lotof water and a slice of cake. I went home feeling like I was about to burst. My orders were to continue drinking water until I arrived at the venue the next day.

Going home from the weigh-in, I was super excited about my fight the next day. I didn’t feel nervous yet, either (and wondered if there were something wrong with me).

A note about boxing shoes: up until this point, I still hadn’t gotten a pair of boxing shoes. I had ordered a pair from Title that were size 7. I didn’t realize that these were men’s sizes. So I ordered a pair that were size 6. Still too big. On the day of the weigh-in, my size 5 shoes arrived–and they were too small. D’oh! Starting to panic, I ran out the door to catch the next MARTA bus and head for the mall.

my God shoes

This is the picture I sent to Terri to make sure these shoes would work.

I walked into Footlocker. “Do you have any boxing or wrestling shoes?” “No,” the lady said, “but try Play It Again. They might have some.” I doubted that they would, because Play It Again sells used items that people bring in. If the regular store didn’t have boxing shoes, why would a store with a smaller selection? Nevertheless, I went into Play It Again and asked the same question. “Yeah, I think we have a couple pairs,” I was told. There were three pairs of wrestling shoes: two size 9s and one junior size 6. I held my breath as I tried on the size 6. It fit! Even better, it was on sale–50% off. They were even comfortable. I promptly paid for the shoes and headed to the weigh-in with a feeling of relief. Whew! I now refer to these as my “God shoes” because it was really lucky that I found them.

Another note: I’m working on a post about the actual fight night. It was a big thing for me that I’m still thinking about and taking my time with.

photo credit