WBEZ | boxing http://www.wbez.org/tags/boxing Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Boxing legend’s daughter fighting youth violence in the ring http://www.wbez.org/news/boxing-legend%E2%80%99s-daughter-fighting-youth-violence-ring-105016 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75455774&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/R.%20Ali1.jpg" style="height: 247px; width: 340px; float: left;" title="Rasheda Ali announces new anti-violence youth initiative (Judith Ruiz-Branch)" /></div><p>Boxing legend Muhammad Ali&rsquo;s daughter, Rasheda Ali, is trying to knock out youth violence in Chicago by getting more kids in the ring and off of the streets.</p><p>She teamed up with the the Illinois State Crime Commission and Police Athletic League of Illinois Thursday to unveil an initiative that she said hits close to home.</p><p>Ali witnessed the effects of gun violence growing up in Chicago.</p><p>Her cousin was an innocent bystander when he was shot and killed in 1997.</p><p>&ldquo;He was an honor roll student and not affiliated with any gangs,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Our family has been devastated ever since, we&rsquo;ll never get over this loss. If I can save at least one child from being gunned down in front of their home, then this work that we&rsquo;re doing here today is worth it.&rdquo;</p><p>Most of the team assembled for Ali&rsquo;s anti-violence youth initiative, like Ali, have also personally encountered gun violence.</p><p>Thomas Hayes, program and event director with the Chicago Park District said his experience&nbsp; with gun violence led him to the cause.</p><p>Hayes was just a teenager when he was shot in the arm while waiting at a bus stop on the South Side.</p><p>&ldquo;It just goes to show you, you don&rsquo;t have to be a gang member to get into trouble, to get shot,&rdquo; Hayes said.</p><p>Hayes said, through the help of many people involved in the boxing initiative, he was able to stay on the right track and graduate from high school and college.</p><p>Jerry Elsner, executive director with the Illinois Crime Commission, is a former boxer who grew up on the South Side.&nbsp;</p><p>He said the key to the program is that it goes beyond just attacking the violence where it&rsquo;s at.</p><p>&ldquo;All the marching, all the praying, all the singing ain&rsquo;t going to do no good,&rdquo; Elsner said.</p><p>Elsner said boxing can help to fill a void for a lot of kids that grew up like him, while providing an outlet for their aggression.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Somebody has to show you and tell you you&rsquo;re a winner,&rdquo; Elsner said. &ldquo;Every guy in Chicago and in the gangs and whatever want to be a tough guy... and... they can be.&rdquo;</p><p>The program will host their first boxing event on May 5..</p><p>About 40 youth boxers are expected to be featured.</p><p>Children involved in the program who maintain a &ldquo;B&rdquo; average in school and are involved in the required community service can qualify for college scholarships.</p></p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/boxing-legend%E2%80%99s-daughter-fighting-youth-violence-ring-105016 The Sonny and Floyd Show http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-09/sonny-and-floyd-show-102565 <p><p>Chicago has witnessed many championship boxing matches. Fifty years ago today, there was one the city tries to forget.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/09-25--preview.jpg" style="float: right; height: 326px; width: 250px; " title="The first Liston-Patterson fight (author's collection)" />In 1956, at age 21, Floyd Patterson became the youngest-ever heavyweight champion. He lost the title in 1959, then won it back the next year &ndash; and became the first heavyweight to regain the championship after losing it. Here was a boxer for the history books.</p><p>Patterson was gentlemanly and well-liked. But his ring skills were often questioned. There weren&rsquo;t many good heavyweight fighters during this period. And looming over Patterson was the imposing shadow of Sonny Liston.</p><p>If Patterson was a gentleman, Liston was a thug &ndash; a very tough thug. By 1962 Liston had knocked out a string of opponents. He had also served two hitches in prison for robbery and parole violation. Boxing insiders whispered that Liston was controlled by the mob.</p><p>Liston accused Patterson of being afraid to fight him. Early in 1962, the champion agreed to face the challenger in New York City. Then the New York State Athletic Commission refused to give Liston a license, because of his criminal record. The fight was moved to Comiskey Park in Chicago.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/09-25--Fight magazine.jpg" style="float: left; height: 331px; width: 250px; " title="The second Liston-Patterson fight (author's collection)" />When the two men entered the ring on the evening of September 25, Liston was actually a 2-to-1 favorite. He had even predicted that he would knock out Patterson in five rounds. Spectators were still arriving when Liston caught Patterson with a left hook to the jaw, and dropped him at 2:06 of the first round. In less time than you&rsquo;ve spent reading this post, the fight was over.</p><p>It was the most decisive championship bout since Joe Louis floored Max Schmelling in 1938. Boxing folklore claims that Patterson was so embarrassed that he left Chicago disguised in glasses and a fake beard. Which raises an interesting point&ndash;why would a boxer come into a fight with an escape disguise already prepared?</p><p>In the rematch the next year, Liston again demolished Patterson in the first round. But in 1964, Liston lost the title to Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali). Sonny Liston continued boxing, with less and less success. He died in 1970, under questionable circumstances.</p><p>Floyd Patterson never regained the heavyweight championship. He died in 2006.</p></p> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-09/sonny-and-floyd-show-102565 Bad at sports: Movies that definitely don't got game http://www.wbez.org/blog/alison-cuddy/2012-03-29/bad-sports-movies-definitely-dont-got-game-97727 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-29/AP96112602563.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-29/AP96112602563.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 403px; " title="Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan in Space Jam. (AP/File)"></p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><span style="font-size:10px;">Listen to Alison Cuddy talk sports movies on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em></span></p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="/sites/default/files/120328 seg b mp3_0.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-128715" player="null">120328 seg b mp3.mp3</span></p></div></div><p>It's no surprise that sports and movies go together like high tops and hardwood - each relies heavily on story lines involving underdogs, unlikely heroes, falls from grace and second chances (frequently in sudden death overtime situations - so tense!).</p><p>But sorting out the bad from the good sports movies is kind of hard - even the ones I like rarely rise above formula.</p><p>There are exceptions. <em>Goon</em>, which opens in Chicago this weekend, pays homage to (wait for it!) an unlikely hero - the hockey enforcer - and is an odd mix of the angsty interpersonal interests of Judd Apatow and the ultra-violent obsessions of Sam Peckinpah (<em>Straw Dogs</em> meets <em>Knocked Up</em>, on ice?).</p><p>Sports films I admire (and reliably cry over, because what's sports without tears?): <em>Hoop Dreams</em>, <em>North Dallas Forty</em>, <em>Slap Shot</em>, <em>Brian's Song</em>, and <em>Love and Basketball.</em> A good friend's review has me itching to see <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478337/"><em>Zidane, A 21st-Century Portrait</em></a> - a real-time take on the French footballer over the course of one game, made by a couple of conceptual artists and 17 synchronized cameras.</p><div>What follows (in no particular order) is a list of sports films I love to hate - or at least think are bad enough to merit mention:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>1. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106611/"><em>Cool Runnings</em></a>. A comedy inspired by the real-life Jamaican bobsled team, whose efforts at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics won the hearts and minds of many. Despite the affable presences of John Candy, Doug E. Doug and Leon Robinson, the ultra-formulaic approach misses an opportunity to tap into the anarchic power of amateur sports. Kind of more disappointing than flat-out bad.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>2. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109067/"><em>The Air Up There</em>.</a> Kevin Bacon tries to recruit a Kenyan talent for his college basketball team and winds up saving the heart of Africa. Really? The white man's burden is no better fit for Bacon than any of the other film roles he tried on through much of the mid-'90s. Racist and just plain ugh!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>3. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117705/"><em>Space Jam</em></a>. Michael Jordan agrees to help a Looney Tunes crew out! As a Chicago Bulls fan maybe I should be more appreciative of this mash-up of live-action and animated play. But to me this ode to Air Jordan makes the "I'm going to Miami!" infomercial ESPN put together with LeBron James look positively humble brag. There's a reason Derrick Rose declines to dance at the All Stars and I think it's <em>Space Jam</em>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>4. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079510/"><em>The Main Event</em></a>. Barbara Streisand hopes to recoup her financial misfortunes through the faded talents of boxer Ryan O'Neal. Streisand made this film with both her current boyfriend (Jon Peters) and ex-flame (O'Neal) which may explain why, like Jordan's folly, it's a star vehicle with zero substance. Now if Streisand and Clint Eastwood had collaborated on a boxing flick...</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>5. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0263734/"><em>Men With Brooms</em></a>. A rom-com plot complicates an already little understood and frequently maligned sport: curling. With the late great Leslie Nielsen and Paul Gross, the guy whose TV show <em>Due South</em> brought mounties to Chicago. Which when you think about it seems a far more head scratching scenario than a sport involving rocks, brooms and briars.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Okay, hit me with your best shot - weigh in below with your favorite bad (or good) sports movies!</div></p> Thu, 29 Mar 2012 13:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/alison-cuddy/2012-03-29/bad-sports-movies-definitely-dont-got-game-97727 Photo exhibition captures Chicago's youth boxing scene http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/photo-exhibition-captures-chicagos-youth-boxing-scene <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//b_11.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>There&rsquo;s a new photo exhibition at Harold Washington College in Chicago&rsquo;s Loop. It features young boxers from some clubs run through the Chicago Park District. What you won&rsquo;t see are typical boxing shots - all hard punches and flying sweat. Photographer <a href="http://www.jasonreblando.net/" target="_blank">Jason Reblando</a> takes a more contemplative approach. The subjects of &quot;Youth Boxing&quot; are caught between rounds, and outside the ring. Reblando sees powerful metaphors of childhood and community in those images. The photographer said that the project was also his entry into life as a Chicagoan.<br />&nbsp;</p> <object height="433" width="500" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" id="soundslider"><param name="movie" value="http://audio.wbez.org/files/110120_youth%20boxing/soundslider.swf?size=1&amp;format=xml&amp;embed_width=500&amp;embed_height=433" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><embed height="433" width="500" src="http://audio.wbez.org/files/110120_youth%20boxing/soundslider.swf?size=1&amp;format=xml&amp;embed_width=500&amp;embed_height=433" quality="high" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" menu="false" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed></object></p> Thu, 20 Jan 2011 15:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/photo-exhibition-captures-chicagos-youth-boxing-scene Female boxer aims for the 2012 Olympics http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/female-boxer-aims-2012-olympics <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//IMG_1306_edit.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>There aren't a lot of female boxers in the ring. But, &quot;Eight Forty-Eight's&quot; Alison Cuddy was able to catch up with one at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagoboxingclub.com/">Chicago Boxing Club</a> in Chicago&rsquo;s Bridgeport neighborhood. Twenty-two year-old Kristin Gearhart is a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago and hopes to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, when women&rsquo;s boxing will be included for the very first time.&nbsp; <br /><br />She&rsquo;s training hard to meet that goal and she started by telling Cuddy about her daily workout.</p></p> Thu, 20 Jan 2011 14:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/female-boxer-aims-2012-olympics