Thursday, May 2, 2013

GBU-16 vs. The Finn

CN GBU-16, my Italian coursemate, is an amateur boxer. She's done less of it this year than in previous years, but her coaches convinced her in March to commit herself to climbing back into the ring for a bout in late April. She started training for it before she went to Nepal, continued training in the Himalayas as best she could, and then fought a week and a half after she'd returned. I try to do whatever I can to support my coursemates - I even voted for CN Ness and CN Baltic when they recently ran in the student elections - so I was there to cheer GBU-16 on!

The fight was held at a club called Institute, which is actually right around the corner from Lionel's. I was there early to get a good vantage point, and took a few pictures. They'd cleared out the dance floor and erected a boxing ring, gotten Aberdeen's local boxing establishment to officiate, and even got a hold of some trophies for the boxers. The agenda including a mix of official and exhibition bouts. I had never seen any boxing before in my entire life, so I wasn't quite sure what I'd think.

I was actually pretty impressed. You could definitely tell, in pretty much every match, who the leader was - regardless of whether the matches were being ranked or not. The boxers tended not to be as aggressive in the "skill"/exhibition matches, but it was clear by who was on the ropes, whose footwork was cleaner, and who was landing more shots who came out on top. The Aberdeen boxers had a great showing against a bunch of boxers - mostly female, but with a couple of fights between male boxers - from Peterhead and Dundee.

GBU-16's was the fourth bout, and she was fighting The Finn! The Finn is apparently a student at the University of Dundee. GBU-16 was initially nervous because The Finn had a few "kilos" on her - something about weight that doesn't translate well into English, so I've tried not to worry about it - but she trained hard and was able to make it up to a competitive weight in time for the fight. Then, she beat the tar out of The Finn. Well... In actuality, The Finn had forgotten her boxing license back in Dundee, so GBU-16 went easy on her... Except for the times when The Finn panicked and illegally hugged GBU-16, the result of which was a series of uppercuts to the Finn's face that I have elected to term "Naples Style". Throughout the fight, I was shouting motivational lines to GBU-16, like "Wahid, ithnayn!" (Arabic for "One, two!" - we're both Arabic students) and "Keep fighting, [GBU], keep fighting!" (one of my own personal mottos). When the fight was over, I greeted GBU-16 with a hug, and the remainder of my gin and tonic, which she happily accepted.

When GBU-16 had herself sorted out, and since her boyfriend was unable to attend the event, we went to Lionel's for a well-earned kebab, and then to the Tippling House for a couple of drinks. She was happy to have me (and her brother) loudly shouting our encouragement, and I was honored to have been invited to come out and support her. All in all, it was a fun afternoon for all concerned. Boxing: yet another first that happened to me during my year in Aberdeen.

1 comment:

  1. What happened in the ring with the Finn can't be compared to what I did to that Shawarma at Lionel's after. Eyes on the prize! ;)