It was merely a tune-up fight for the Chicago Golden Gloves in a fancy social club in the south Loop.
But it’s still a fight.
“I’m nervous,” said Chris Hill, who boarded a commuter train Friday evening in Cary with Pug’s Boxing Club teammate Dana Muligano, who would help work his corner.
Hill, l, would meet up with Jimmy Gustafson, the other boxer from Pug’s fighting that evening.
Gustafson, , rode into town with his dad and got to the fight venue early enough to get matched up for the second bout of the evening.
Gustafson would be fighting Hector Gia Farro, a member of the DBB boxing club of Waukegan. Gustafson had a 2-2 record going into Friday night’s show. He fought Gia Farro twice before. He won one and lost one.
“Where’s your other guy?” Sam Colonna gruffly asked Tony Prignitz, Hill’s coach. Colonna is a big wheel in amateur boxing. He was the matchmaker for the show. He’s also head coach of the Chicago Boxing Club. You don’t want Colonna mad at you. But you could tell he was in a good mood Friday night.
Hill arrived last and would be the last fight of the evening. He was late for the weigh-in, but there was plenty of time before the bouts started. The fidgety fighters still had to sit for an hour or two in a fancy dressing room, all the ice water they could drink.
Only one member of the media – a certain a Patch reporter – was able to cover the show. It was understood that neither the name of the social club nor the identities of its moneyed membership would appear in print.
The amateur boxers were restricted to the changing room while members of the club, wearing tuxedos and black dresses, had a big meal. The agenda this evening was dinner, drinks and fights.
When the boxing show started only combatants and the two guys working their corners were allowed ringside. The rest of the time the fighters were quarantined, ushered to-and-from the dressing room by a black-tie security detail with walkie-talkies. The security measures were extensive.
The young boxers in the show were, as one might expect, nervous and seemed only vaguely aware of the surroundings.
In a dressing room full of amateur boxers, the pre-fight doings are not what you may think. It’s not a bunch of puffed-up hard guys ready for trouble. It can be the world’s friendliest room, with jokes and nervous laughter.
David Diaz – past Chicago Golden Gloves champ, a past member of the Olympic boxing team and a former world champion who made a good showing against Manny Pacquiao in 2008 – was a special guest at the club and paid a visit to the dressing room.
Gia Farro beat Gustafson on points. It was a close fight, a split-decision. Gustafson is a tough kid and the club members liked his scrappy, inside fighting.
Hill won his fight against Eric Brown in the 155-pound class. Hill was using his jab and picking his shots.
It was evident that Gustafson and Hill are ready for the Chicago Golden Gloves, starting in March.