This last weekend was a fairly quiet one in boxing unless you were one of the pugilists duking it out with his all like Jason Robinson was. Jason challenged WBC cruiser champ, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk for the rights to claim the championship belt, and what a fight.
Robinson had to pack up his essentials to fly way, way over the rainbow to Warsaw, Poland, the champ’s hometown stompings, just to stake his claim. It was a bittersweet moment for the Chicago based fighter who had never challenged for a world title before. Jason may have come up short on the cards, but he put up a valiant effort in spite of being outgunned and outboxed against a prime younger champion at the height of his powers.
Can we ask any more of any fighter than that?
But wait, there’s more. In contrast to far too many big name fighters making bad press these days, Jason Robinson had the temerity to conduct himself with the utmost class and respect in and out of the ring. Not withstanding the brave fight that he put up, Robinson deserves a shout in an otherwise dreary period of low boxing activity.
It was a good, entertaining back and forth scrap that saved the weekend for me, one that I will remember.
I don’t claim to know much of the full story of Jason Robinson, but the press he received in the build up to the fight was admirable. He was always going to be a big underdog and has no special experience or physical attributes to call on, but he can fight and he can train, so once he stepped through the ropes, he was in the fight from the first to the 12th and final bell.
He trained at a public gymnasium, the Chicago Park District Garfield Park from what I understood. His trainer, George Hernandez is also deserving a big shout for training Jason while making himself available to the kids who walk into the gym. It echoes a similar story of the Agape Boxing Club in my area that I recently wrote about.
Jason Robinson may not fully realize the extent to which those kids looked up to him, but it’s almost guaranteed that some if not all managed to figure out how to watch his title challenge, and kids, they do keep character references for future use. They now have an exemplary example to draw on as they get on with the ups and downs of everyday life.
Mr. Robinson and Mr. Hernandez are doing the essential unsung noble work that every society needs in order to develop and maintain a sense of social civility, justice, and to progress forward as sentient human beings and citizens.
Society could use a few thousand more little boxing gyms like these for that purpose alone, but, make no mistake, it’s these little clubs that are truly the backbone of boxing. Gypsy Jem Mace, the great granddad of modern boxing, ran one and so on and so forth, too many to remember have come and gone. Gypsy Jem was only carrying on what was passed on to him through the mists of time.
So, a hearty congratulations Gentlemen, and that includes the great champion, Krzysztof Włodarczyk and his team who also played their parts to perfection.