Thursday, May 23, 2013

What's missing from these sports pages?


UPDATE: Title changed as I uploaded this on a Thursday, ahem. *morto* So didn't make much sense to have Wordless Wednesday a day late ....


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The road to Rio begins for Mexican boxer Sulem Urbina

Sulem Urbina womens boxing Team USA Mexico

She started boxing at the age of ten, quit for a few years but the call of ring brought her back at 17 and today Sulem Urbina is training to represent Mexico at the next Olympic Games.

Like many female fighters, she started by copying her brothers which led onto much bigger things.

How big? Her fight record stands at 45-10 at 51kgs (112lbs) including national and international competition. In 2009, she came third at the U.S. National Golden Gloves tournament and won the Arizona tournament in 2007 and 2009. 

I loved what she said when asked why she boxes: "I think boxing is just, it caught my heart. Once I stared boxing I knew how difficult it was, and once you get better you only have to keep getting better and  better because everything only gets harder, it never gets easier."

Born in Mexico, the 22-year old has lived in the desert state of Arizona since she was four. Urbina has fought all over America - Florida, Missouri, Kansas, New Mexico, and California. And has competed internationally in Brazil and Mexico.

Unfortunately some visa issues meant she couldn’t try out for the Mexican team for last year’s Olympics, but Team Urbina spokesman Lorin Chvotkin says that’s all in the past.

He mailed me recently, saying: “Since October 2010, Urbina has trained in the gym consistently. Visa issues prohibited her from participating in the 2012 Olympic games, but were recently resolved.” 

Urbina is trained and managed by Andy Soto. He's also her husband which must make for some interesting dinner conversations, can't imagine they get away from boxing for too long. 

Speaking about last year's Games, Urbina told 'The Boxing Bar' she felt the quality on display in London has changes attitudes to women's boxing. She said: " I think the women put up a great show, everybody was amazed. I think it opened everybody's eyes to how good female boxing really is, how competitive we are, how athletic we are and how skilled we are."

Her next fight is on Friday at the Iron Boy Boxing against Virginia Fuchs. Urbina tweeted on Saturday: “Just finished some great sparring in Tucson, Az im excited for my upcoming fight”

One of her favourite boxers is the Russian fighter Sofya Ochigava who won silver at the London Games against Ireland's Katie Taylor who took gold. She’s also a big fan of Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Sergio Martinez, Nonito Donaire, and Anne Wolfe.

Sulem Urbina womens boxing Team USA Mexico

But just in case you think this is all about the boxing – as a first generation migrant Urbina is also the first person in her family to go to university.

You can follow her on Twitter here at:   Sulem Urbina: @SulemUrbina
ALL PICS courtesy Team Urbina


Monday, May 13, 2013

MMA on Newstalk Radio - Fighting the Cage

Pink hair? check. Shit-eating grin? check. Mouthguard? check. Armbar? check ... meet Aisling Daly otherwise known as Ais the Bash, professional MMA fighter. 

Aisling is one of those fighters who challenges everything non-fighters think they know. Slight, friendly and fiercely proud of MMA, she's the perfect ambassador for a sport most Irish people know very little about. 

Fighting the Cage is a radio documentary made by Falling Tree Productions for Newstalk Radio in Ireland. 

If you've ever wondered what makes people get into a cage and take the risk of broken bones or worse, then you need to listen to this documentary. Aside altogether from Aisling being a woman, she's a fighter first and tells a powerful story of passion and commitment. 

You can listen to it over here on the Newstalk page.

Aisling Daly 'Fighting the Cage'


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: 37 Reasons to Take up Boxing

by Lisa Creech Bledsoe from The Glowing Edge blog
Looking at everything from confidence to love handles, this e-book is written by proudly Over-40 boxer Lisa Creech-Bledsoe. If this can't get you in the ring then there's no hope.

Lisa's blog is one of the few places online talking women's boxing as it really is - sweat, pain but so much fun. And her book '37 Reasons to take up Boxing for Fitness or Competition' is packed full of wisdom, distilled into a punchy list. 

I loved No 5: 'Boxing is a massive confidence builder', that covers a multitude really.

But there are some surprising gems too. No 16 is all about the ritual, and how the soothing winding and winding of the hand-wraps can lull a boxer into an almost meditive state. And she adds: 

"It gets even more serious if you are wrapping for a competition; in that case you sit quietly while your trainer or corner wraps your hands with yards and yards of delicate gauze as if you were a bride being prepared for her wedding. It beats bubble baths all to hell." 

And as a further thought on confidence, Lisa says it's hard to pretend to be a weight you're not when you're standing in line to get a fight. How many women would love that certainty, just to be happy with the size you are?

Plus I finally discovered why boxing is sometimes called 'the sweet science' - that's No 25, just waiting for you. 

Even if you've never boxed,  the book has a few nuggets which can apply anywhere. No 36 is probably true of all sports - boxing means you can 'turn down the volume' on the stresses in your life. That's just so true, for me at least. No matter whether you're running, climbing or in the water, there just isn't room for anything else when you're in your zone.

You can download the e-book for free here at Lisa's blog: 'The Glowing Edge".

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Cutwoman in the ring

Thanks to photographer Mariusz Wojtak for these great shots of Aisling Daly and Cecile Gordon in training under Joseph Clifford as Cutmen during Nemesis MMA show in Ireland.

His website is here.