Went to my first ever boxing night on Friday – the English Amateurs versus Russian Amateurs night Boxing in Bethnal Green. I’ve never been before and the MSG and I were invited by a friend to go with for ringside seats. I’ve always rather guiltily liked watching boxing on the TV, though like most people the focus has always been on the pro-stuff rather than the amateurs.
Amateur Boxing is a bit different. They’re wearing protective head-gear to start, and it’s far more about the scoring rather than whether people are knocked down. I believe the rules are, if two of the three judges press their button within a second of each other signifying a clean hit of suitable strength you get a point.
We were sitting near enough to the ring that the whole thing was very vivid (though the MSG and my friend Annika seemed more intent on catching up with each other than watching the sport) yet thankfully near enough not to be blood spattered on the one occasion a nose went kaput!
What’s very difficult to work out is how some of the boxers can weigh less than 8 stone and look bigger than me (I weigh 12). As the weight divisions increased, it was intimidating to work out I’d have been in the third heaviest division, which was peopled by seemingly massive blokes – I thought they said muscle weighed more than fat?
The only problem with seeing it live, is you can’t see the scoring. Which means for non-aficionados, it’s actually quite difficult to follow what’s going on. The boxing establishment would probably hate the comment, but it really would’ve helped the thrill of sporting spectacle to be able to see the scores and thus keep up with what was actually happening. My only other complaint was I was told off for eating my favourite salt and vinegar crisps during the fight…. felt like a naughty schoolboy!
Even so, it was a great night, so if you do fancy something very different, worth a visit.