Wednesday, April 14, 2010

From Louie Burke: World Series of Boxing

An update from Louie on the World Series of Boxing. More information can be found here.

Sijuola Shabazz  
By Louie Burke

Siju and I arrived safely without incident. Upon arrival at the hotel, we met up with the head coach of team B, Gerd Wolf from Germany and then with L.A. heavyweight Javier Torres. We went to get something to eat then went to bed. The next day, Saturday, we met up with the two Brazilians, Florentino Yamaguchi and Everton Lopes. We took them to go run, then later to work out. The training facility is a beautiful gymnasium with a ring in the middle. The bag and equipment set up was a little awkward and looked more like a universal weight lifting set up than a heavy bag stand. After the workout we went back to eat. We’re staying at the same hotel as team A, our Rivals.

The next day, Sunday the Brazilian coach, Leandro Braga Arantes Arrived on Monday the last team member to arrive, German bantamweight Denis Makarov and now A team was complete. Both teams consists of 5 members at weights 54, 64, 73, 85, 91+, all will be weighed in kilograms. 

The card as scheduled:
Team A, Team B
54 k, Vitali Voldov ( Ukr) Denis Makarov ( Ger)
64 k, Koba Phhakamze ( Georgia) Everton Lopes (Braz)
73 k Sergiy Derevyanchenko (Ukr) Florentino Yamaguchi (Braz)
85 k Luduvic Groguhe (France) Sijuola Shabazz ( USA)
91+ k Istvan Bernhardt (Hungry) Javier Torres ( USA)
Coaches: Coaches:
Sergiy Korchynskyy ( UKR) Gerd Wolf ( Germ)
Rene Cordier ( France) Louie Burke ( good ole USA)
Zaal Yavakhadze ( Georgia) Leandro Arantes ( Brazil)

Yesterday we gave the guys a day off and took a bus to the ancient walled city of Baku. It turns out the place we’re staying at is technically not Baku, but a town about 30 miles from it. 

There was a lot of construction and traffic, but things seemed a lot more modern and cleaner. There is this ancient wall that surrounds the original Baku, it’s in the middle of the city, with tall buildings and skyscrapers surrounding the Walled City. The Architecture was medieval, something out of "Aladins Lamp". Siju and I went into a tower called the "Maidens Tower", which was quite a work-out getting to the top. Once we got back to the hotel we didn’t stay up long before we went to bed.

Siju and I have gone on some long walks, something about Siju has attracted attention from the people we encounter, he’s warmed them over with his smile and a greeting of salom, (hello). The kids love him and we’ve taken pictures with several of them. We’re finding out that even in this harsh country, were life is hard and the weather’s cold and somewhat dreary, a simple show of kindness, like a smile and a greeting, can still warm a heart or two. 

Siju and I want to thank you for your support, prayers and well wishes!!!!
P.S. We want to send a huge congrats to Jeniffer Han and Tim Meek for their big wins this past weekend!

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