By Will Martin
Ah, the luck of the draw. Woody Allen once made the comment that if you want to have good things happen in the name of opportunity be sure to just show up. I’m sure being on time also helps. In this case a little bit of both went a long way.
Friday afternoon went along smoothly as Sammi G took time to hop aboard and ‘Hang w/Mr. Will’ as we went down memory lane with stories about Kidd Kraddick and radio in general.
A 15 minute segment went for 90 minutes and that was a lesson in Dallas history.
Apparently Dallas Texas has a history when it comes to the squared circle. I speak not of the UFC/MMA variety of mat battle but rather the sport of kings-Boxing!
For as long as I have kept up to speed on the antics of Ali, Frazier, Pacquiao, Arguello. Pryor, Jones, Leonard, Hearns, Tyson, Holyfield, and onward I was not aware that boxing was on the North Texas horizon.
June 15th I knew there was a boxing card going on at the AAC but was unable to attend due to the NBA Finals. Sometimes when opportunity knocks…
As I was preparing to leave Fish Bowl studios I was sent a text and an email about a ‘Meet and Greet’ out Richardson way for this very day inside Jerome’s Gym. The reason for this get together was to meet some of the seven fighters who will be a part of next Saturday night’s ‘Fights At Fair Park II’ at the Fair Park Coliseum.
A seven fight card featuring 4 time Super Middle Heavyweight Texas Champion Tony Mack, along with up and comers Chris Jones, Corey Richards, Kenny Grammer, Ryan Mar, Juan Carlos De Leon, and Chris Faz.
The matches started at 7pm on August 10th. Doors will open at 6 pm. General Admission seats for as low as ten dollars. Floor seats for 25-50 dollars. Ringside will only hit you for 100.
There was entertainment provided musically at the intermissions courtesy of Krista Kelley and her PR company in cooperation with J&G Boxing Promotions. Tony Mack was on a mission to get to 8-0 in his professional career while Corey Richard vied for 3-0.
My first visit inside of a boxing-friendly gym was quite the eye-opener. You would think I was about to walk into a 2013 version of the old ABC program ‘The Superstars’ competition. Medicine bags all around. punching bags and more standing punching bags lined up like a batch of blocking sleds for agility drills. A floor that resembled the inside of the Alamodome. With no air conditioning one can imagine the amount of sweat exerted by the trainers and participants.
Nathan Pepitone was very helpful and informative with the history surrounding Jerome’s Gym and the in-ring accompaniments. Technology sure has changed the way you perceive a sport, its traditions, studying your opponent, and preparing for a bout.
Tony Mack was an absolute ball of energy talking to all the people in the media and friends and fellow boxers. Mr. Mack was also quick to give all the glory to God which I also found refreshing. Tony is very excited at the prospect of another boxing night in Dallas come August 10th.
Equally interesting to see up close and personally were the simulated sparring rounds in the ring. The sounds of a good jab, hook, punch while sweat poured and instruction yelled in from the trainers had me thinking back to the days of Cus D’Amato, Angelo Dundee, and Ferdie Pacheco back in the day.
Corey Richard also took time to share some insights about his aspirations and goals in the ring and in life. For some reason my thoughts took me back to a series I used to watch religiously. ‘The Contender’ with Sly Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard. Tony Mack had to remind me the series began way back in 2005. Time sure flies!
My sincerest of thanks to the team at Fish Bowl Radio for the heads up on this upcoming event. Looking forward to next week.. Sincerest of thanks to Tony Mack, Nathan Pepitone, Krista Kelley, and the good people of Jerome’s Gym in Richardson on Greenville Ave. My first visit there was an absolute learning experience.