| I had a friend who
lived in Gladewater, Texas, just
a couple of miles from the Union
Grove area. He had won several amateur boxing matches, and he was willing
to help me learn a bit about the manly art. We spent many hours behind the house,
sparring in the hot summer sun. After a while, neighbor kids would come to watch.
Against my will, my friend would take off his gloves and invite one of them to
try my skill. I reluctantly found that I had become a pretty good boxer, and my
confidence began to grow every day as I defeated yet another opponent.|
When school started that fall, I learned that, for the first time, there would
be a boxing team, and I jumped at the chance to join. The boxers were divided
into two teams who would later face each other in an event at the end of the year.
At practice each day, I continued to easily beat my sparring partners, and my
confidence grew even more.
Finally, the big day came on which the two
teams were to face each other. I soon learned who my opponent would be. I knew
him as a soft-spoken, shy fellow who wouldn't harm a flea. I came out of my corner
at the opening bell, brimming with confidence. I had been practicing jabs, hooks,
uppercuts, and feinting, and I thought I had them down to a science. How could
this mild-mannered fellow stand up to me? All I saw was a blur of flying fists
as he came at me like the Tasmanian devil, completely ignoring all the finer skills
of boxing. In seconds I was completely overwhelmed, and I was glad to see the
referee stop the fight.
I didn't go out for boxing the next year.