Right Hooks and Library Books: Hurt Locker

It’s computer games and trips to London for SSEGAWA-SSEKINTU KIWANUKA as CUABC begin to move on from the Town defeat and look to Varsity.

Boxing Cambridge Boxing CUABC Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka town vs gown varsity boxing

Boom. Sometimes you can try to be overly eloquent, but invariably a simple word can do the trick. Especially when it comes to boxing. Town vs Gown definitely went off with a bang and the initial post-mortem suggests that on the night the Town schooled my team from the Gown.

No one told me the Queens’ MCR has an N64 (the console for real men, none of this Wii fit business) and even a copy of Ready 2 Rumble. There goes the PhD…

There are not many occasions where Cambridge students come face to face with reality. Why bother trying to escape the cotton-wool environment, where Hollywood stars casually pop in to Formal Hall and walking on the grass is such a taboo? It is comfortable, but the trouble is, the real world ‘bangs’. I would back my chances to win Varsity Ready 2 Rumble, but as far as I am aware, Blues are not given out for computer games.

At some point in life you have to leave the ivory tower and face the hurt locker, so why not do it now. As a boxer, you cannot fear the ring. Before Town vs Gown I made a fair comment about our opponents on the night: “tough competition, but then again, Varsity won’t be easy.”

The run up to Varsity begins under the bright lights of London – six weeks before CUABC returns to the capital to decide the outcome of the 104th Boxing Varsity Match

I did not realise how intense the atmosphere was at Town vs Gown. I guess at the time I was mainly trying to forget the disappointment of not being able to box on such an electric night. For those getting their first taste of amateur boxing, it must have been a surprise to see seemingly calm, passive Cambridge students display such passion and guts for neither love nor money.

Fundamentally, I suppose this is the special attraction Varsity boxing holds. Contrast the dogged determination shown by any of the boxers, even in the intercollegiate bouts, with some showings of professional sportsmen, such as the Europe’s favourite footballers. It can make you question what sport really is about. Would you rather watch a pampered millionaire dive at the whiff of a south-easterly breeze or watch a 10 stone geography student stand toe-to-toe with a Metropolitan Police officer and battle for three gruelling rounds without throwing in the towel or running back to the UL?

The librarians of Whitehall Palace are pretty laid back regarding Reading Room activities

The road to Varsity actually began on Thursday 3rd February. There are no half measures at CUABC, so it was to Whitehall Palace for City Boxing Night . The Banqueting Hall provided quite a setting. The oil paintings inside the Hall were fantastic, although I preferred admiring the Rubens on the ceilings as opposed to Rich Simpson’s mug. CUABC secretary and Blue Ade Teare was also on the bill, looking for precious ring time before Varsity.

The quality of boxing was fitting of an event were invited guests included 3 former boxing World Champions (Richie Woodhall, Steve Collins and Lloyd Honeyghan) and England footballers Frank Lampard and John Terry. In fact, Richie Woodhall recognised Simpson from his Birmingham boxing gym, which is not a bad spot by a man who was the World Super-Middlewieght champion before Joe Calzaghe.

CUABC’s Rich Simpson with Lloyd Honeyghan World welterweight champion from 1986 to 1989

Yet for all this buzz, excitement and emotions inside and outside the changing rooms, it’s back to lectures on Monday, and of course training. Not long until Varsity on Thursday March 17th.