Right Hooks and Library Books
Ahead of Varsity and a crucial few weeks for boxing, CHRIS KELLY looks back over what the vacation required for the club…and his argument with a car door!
‘Hit the ground running’ is a phrase that is thrown around in many contexts, but it has a certain poeticism about it in the context of Cambridge University Amateur Boxing Club. Whilst most people put their feet up by the fireplace over the Christmas holidays, those gunning for a place in CUABC’s varsity team have been out eating up tarmac. Although the varsity fixture itself is two months away, the boxers know that they are returning to an unrelenting training program and carrying that Christmas gut around is not an option.
To ensure they were under no illusions, Head Coach Lee Mitchell asked all the blues squad members to weigh in at the last session of the term before (almost joyfully) informing them if they came back any heavier they would be barred from the gym. It certainly makes you think twice before having second helpings at Christmas lunch. Unfortunately it’s a sign of things to come as the boxers go about tailoring their diet so that by the start of March they have the optimal power to weight ratio.
I imagine many of you are asking where the necessity for this comes from? After all professional boxers, such as Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao, and the likes only require between 8 and 10 weeks to rev up to full fighting fitness and they could be in the ring for 12 x 3 minute rounds, dwarfing the 3 x 2 minute rounds of amateur boxing. So why aren’t our boys just starting their training now?
Unfortunately the looming prospect of CUABC’s annual Town v Gown fixture on the 31st of January puts pay to any notions of a lazy holiday. It’s the boxer’s main warm up fixture in the varsity build up and the need to impress the coaches and CUABC Captain Borna Guevel is paramount. It’s a chance for you to show you can overcome the nerves of fighting in a large crowd, in front of your friends and come up with the goods when it’s crunch time.
All of this to vie for a place in the light blue’s team for the 106th Varsity Boxing match on the 9th March. There are the obvious perks to this – competing for your university, getting your name on the club’s boards and, of course, the chance to fight for a blue. However, I still maintain to this day that the best part of it all is that you get to legitimately punch someone from the Other Place right on the nose, all in the name of your university.
Unfortunately I decided to pick a fight with a car door over the holidays (just too keen to get going), which has resulted in me observing, rather than partaking in, this first leg of the race for one of the nine places. However, I will take great pride in keeping you abreast of the trials and tribulations of CUABC’s blues squad over the course of the term as they set about preparing for the first varsity boxing match held in Cambridge since 2005.