Back in the ring – or at the side of the ring

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Beer and boxing can be a dangerous combination if you’re a reporter. Nevertheless I decided to have a Bud Light before going to cover the U.S. National Boxing championships last night.

The year before I had the time of my life though I couldn’t stay the whole card because of lack of dependable transportation. What I did witness was future champions and Olympic champions battle it out to be declared the best in the country. It was great because it took away some of the stress from my shoulders. This year I have a car and can stay the entire event – though I left early because I wanted to get back into Cheney.

Before the event, fighters were scattered throughout Northern Quest Casino. Some were eating and visiting friends. Others were shadowboxing and getting wrapped. It’s easy to be starstruck, but one philosophy I’ve undertaken is that fighters are people too and you should treat them like you treat anyone else when you first meet them. Be nice, say hello and shake their hand.

The site of the ring brought back great memories and while I was there to shoot photos and cover the action down the middle, I felt like a kid in a candy store. There were several favorites I remembered – Queen Underwood and Claressa Shields. Other bouts such as Vashawn Owens vs. Paul Kroll, left fans on the edge of their seats.

All in all last night’s card entertained me more than any MMA card in the last year. Maybe it was because of the crowd. Maybe it’s because these athletes weren’t fighting for money. Whatever the reason, I felt that boxing – while not perfect by any means – is alive and well in these athletes.

The finals are tonight and I’ve got my camera battery charged. It should be fun.

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About Al Stover

I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. I currently work as a Staff Reporter for the Cheney Free Press. I have interviewed characters like cage fighters, drag queens and dungeon masters. I like Batman, coffee, MMA and beer.
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