Officiating an amateur boxing match

Getting a good amateur boxing match together is never, ever a blissfully effortless ride on the pugilistic merry-go-round. It’s the most complex, chaotic, and frequently emotional mess you ever did see.

If all you ever do is show up to enjoy a local fight night it might look smooth, from the outside. But it absolutely isn’t. For the 4 to 6 hours prior to the doors opening at the average amateur boxing evening, there is more anarchy and disarray than a high school cafeteria lunch period on homecoming Friday with no teachers. (Sorry, did I just give you a flashback?)

Here’s why. [click to continue…]

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How to Pack Your Coach Bag for Amateur Boxing Events

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Since I’m usually officiating, I’m not the one who packs the gym bag to take our competitive boxing team to their events, but sometimes I pitch in to help the other coaches remember everything we need. And finally I wrote it all down, since that’s infinitely preferable to madly scrambling around at the last minute, trying […]

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10 Things I’ve Learned About Camping and Hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway

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We were on the upper NC section of the Blue Ridge Parkway this year, which has more open, rolling pastureland than you see in the “High Country” lower down. The park’s boundaries are narrower in this section — sometimes only a half-mile wide — so in addition to enjoying some grassland “hobbit hikes” along with […]

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How to Work Against the Ropes

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At most boxing gyms you’ll hear coaches tell you to stay off the ropes and control the center of the ring during your rounds. And that’s sound advice. But there’s also some good things to be said about being the kind of fighter who can perform well against the ropes, and even win a fight […]

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Two Things You Want in a Sparring Partner

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The transition from the floor of the gym to the boxing ring can be a bitch. When you’re new, you can barely tell a jab from a cross; the prospect of live sparring feels like being dropped into a pit with Jabba the Hutt’s Rancor (pictured above, nomming someone’s arm). So how the hell do you […]

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New USA Boxing Rules for Amateur Competition

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The scoring of boxing events at the 2012 London Olympics was a mess. Yes, we were thrilled to finally see the ban against women’s boxing in the Olympic Games lifted, and despite heavy inequalities between the number of men versus the number of women allowed to compete, there was a tremendous showing of support. But the […]

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Before You Compete in Boxing…

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Because an amateur boxer’s passbook runs from January to December, there’s a lotta “getting ready to fight” going on in boxing during the last few months of the year. You need to be in good condition and getting close to your weight category position. And Thor knows you want to get that first looming match […]

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Signs Your Boxing Team is Coming Together

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Are you hoping to get in the ring? There’s actually a way to know if the gym where you train will ever have a boxing team that you can learn and grow your game with… I train and also volunteer as a coach at a downtown boxing gym that serves primarily inner-city youth. Because the […]

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Interview with Crista Orefice

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Remember Zoltar, from the Tom Hanks movie “Big”? You gotta watch out for those crazy boardwalk games, they will flat mess with your life. Wanna know how Crista Orefice, 37-year-old board-certified music therapist and a singer/songwriter from New Jersey got her start in amateur boxing? Wait. I’ll let her tell it. Ummmm, boardwalk games and boxing, Crista? […]

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Putting Snap in Your Punch

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Power is an open secret in boxing, and most fighters hear their coaches talking about “punching through” and “putting your body behind” a solid, powerful shot. But there is another, sneakier and equally effective method to score punches, intimidate an opponent, and win your game, and that’s in developing a stinging snap in your punch; […]

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