Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…
For those of us old enough to remember the supreme heyday of boxing back in the 80’s, before it’s eventual demise in the 90’s and 00’s, we were easily amazed when the popular battlers of Tyson, Holmes, Hagler, Douglas, Bowe, Spinks, Leonard, and “The Duke,” arrived to the boxing arena with those fierce, piercing eyes to take on their opponents and give us a display of pure determination, raw strength, and unmatched stamina that we’d never forget. We haven’t forgot; their boxing spirits still dwell in the ring and amongst us even today. However, it’s not only them that we remember, but also all the professional and amateur boxers that have ever entered into that ring and put themselves on the line in order to prove to the world that they matter not only as sole individuals, but as true dedicated athletes. Their sweat, blood, and tears have not been in vain, and they are making sure of that in Korea.
Last week I caught word from several friends that workout at a local boxing gym that there was going to be a professional boxing competition in Gimpo High School’s gym, which is just a few blocks from my home. What awesome luck! The reason I felt so fortuitous is that I absolutely love boxing and the fact that I just had to walk around the corner to attend. In addition, there was no entrance fee, which surprised me for such an event, but then again, this is Korea where I’ve gotten away with attending many things without paying a dime.
There were many TV cameras and photographers capturing the event, and the hope for the promoters is that boxing catches on in Korea again and is popular as it once was in the 80’s. Perhaps that’s why the boxing comeback theme is called “Again 80’s.” It kind of sounds like a theme a dance club would front in order to attract all those reminiscing old times with a yearning for that relative energy, which can only be found with that particular vibe. However, then again, I think the Korean boxing promoters are pretty smart in attempting to spawn the 80’s boxing vibe again that was so alive and kicking back in the day. In fact, the word on the street is that these boxing tournaments are going to start popping up more and more around Seoul’s satellite cities in attempt to foster a captivated following before going big-time back in the big city. As I previously mentioned, that distinct energy still dwells in the ring and amongst us even today, and although everyone was wearing “Again 80’s” t-shirts and the fact that posters were plastered everywhere, I believe that the true grit of boxing and the unique battle of attrition is what drew everyone there.
Boxing is the ultimate test of a man’s will to triumph over desperation and languor. It’s truly a magnificent sight to see when you watch two boxers go toe-to-toe for many grueling rounds with both not giving up or giving in to the pain, anguish, and almost unbearable exhaustion that wears and tears on one’s inner competitive spirit. Despite all this, the gloves are still up. The gloves are up or you lose, simple as that. In addition, remaining focused amid insuperable fatigue is also the key to open way for success, which by experience, is one of hardest things to do inside the ring especially after getting pummeled a few times. Therefore, anyone who enters that ring and comes out a winner should be given a loud cheer.
The “Again 80’s” boxing tournament was great fun! I was on the edge of my seat following the boxers’ every move and cheering along with the crowd when any monstrous blow was cleanly landed or when a boxer was knocked down. Strangely enough, the sound of a boxer punching his opponent hard upon the cheek is one of the most distinct sounds that you’ll ever here, but one that utterly drives you to cheer and yell for more; it’s truly wild. However, it always comes to mind that this a unique battle of attrition that tests a man’s will in overcoming supreme desperation without throwing in the towel, and it’s ethereal when this happens.