Blood & Sweat, but no Tears

By Jaylyn Parkes
The New Citizens Press

     Fight Night, May 12, was an intense and eventful evening.  This was a 7 bout professional fight with the main event featuring Dan “Pokey the Hurricane” Hicks.  A talented DJ made up for the event starting about an hour behind schedule, but once the fights got started, they kept the audiences full attention.  I have much respect for all the fighters who enter into the ring.  Here are highlights on some of the fights:
     Rayshawn Meyers of Cleveland came to fight Jason Cook of Laporte, Indiana.  The two about circled the ring before one went in for the first jab.  Rayshawn kept a steady intimidating stare.  They both went in fighting hard.  
     Rayshawn attacked with several multiple combinations, but by Round 2 was backing up after feeling the impact of a few of Jason’s punches.  Still at no point did either boxer show any sign of fear or pain.  Then Jason landed a successful left hook, knocking out Rayshawn’s mouthpiece, which landed in the chair next to me.  The match went all six rounds with Jason winning by a unanimous decision.  
     Jason’s brother, Nick Cook, was in the audience to support him.  Nick is a Light Heavyweight boxer with a record of 15 wins (9 by knockout) and 1 loss.
     Jaime Castellano of Lansing had an eventful bout with Eric Hall of Owosso.  Eric had a height advantage on Jaime, who was positioned in a bad place to receive all of Eric’s punches.  Jaime put Eric down after hitting him below the belt.  After a five minute allowance from the judges Eric came back dancing and parading around the ring.  At one point Eric reached out to Jaime, but not for a punch; Eric actually reached out to mess up his opponent’s hair.  Jaime kept up a good fight even after taking a few good hits, but began  to look dizzy in the 6th round.
       Eric won the match by a Technical Knock Out and proceeded to climb the corners of the ring, raising his fists in victory.  In an interview with Jaime he told us that he believes he has 3 to 4 more years of boxing in him.  He runs 4 to 6 miles a day and his normal work out time is from 12-2am.  He does whatever it takes to stay in shape.  He said if it was not for his very supportive fiancé, he would not be boxing right now.  He likes to have the crowd going when he comes in & out and he gave this fight his all.  He believes next time he’ll fight much better when all his management is there for him.  When asked about his opponent rubbing his head, he replied“it was just a show, it means he was tired”
     Eric Hall said he started boxing at 8 years old and that his dad inspired him to fight.  He had about 100 amateur fights before he went professional.  Still he is nervous every fight.  His view on boxing, “If you are not nervous, there’s something wrong”
     When asked why he rubbed his opponents head during the match.  He said “He came in looking all pretty.  My dad said that I to mess his hair up”.  Eric said he’s just up there having a good time.  It’s not about winning or losing anymore for him, its about entertaining.
Mark Hale traveled from Fort Wayne Indiana to fight Dan “Pokey the Hurricane” Hicks of Lansing.  This was the main event and definitely had people standing in their seats.  The crowd shouted out for Pokey, who came  and booed his opponent.
     Both fighters were talented and put on a good show.  Both landed several successful punches, but took the hits and kept on fighting strong.  The fight went all 6 rounds and Pokey’s persistence won the fight with the judges unanimous decision, bringing his record to 4 wins (2 by Knock Out) and 3 losses.
     We interviewed Mark Hale before the fight who said he has been fighting for 17 years, since he was a kid.  He had about 90 amateur fights before going pro.  When asked why he thinks he’ll win this fight he replied “He trains hard and goes into the fight expecting to win, with a lot of confidence”.
     We interviewed Pokey the Hurricane after the fight who told us that he got his name before he was even born because he took 10 months to arrive.  When asked what inspired him to fight? “His dad, since he was old enough to walk has been training him to keep out of trouble”.  When asked if an opponent’s cockiness wants to make him fight more, he said “he prefers to stay calm to keep focus & fight better.”  To his fans he says “Thanks for all the support”.
The fight was arranged by Boundless Promotions in partnership with Gallo Boxing Gym.  Boundless Partner Fred DelaCruz said this was the first of four fights they have signed with the Lansing Center and believes each one will get bigger.  He is looking to bring in Tyrone Harris, a Lansing fighter with 19 wins (13 ko) and 3 losses, who has fought on ESPN, adding they would like to attract ESPN here as well.  Their next fight is schedule for the first Saturday in August.
     With lots of sweat, but no visible tears, these fighters risk a lot when they go into the ring.  They mock and taunt each other, but attempts to intimidate an opponent can be squashed with a skilled right hook.  Boxing is a controversial sport that dates back to 3000 B.C. but still carries the same fire it always has.  If I had to place my bet, it would be that the next event is one you won’t want to miss.