JC does sports: Boxing


While taking on boxing in Loyola’s University Sports Complex, sports columnist JC Canicosa did not exactly “float like a butterfly.” However, he found a “hidden gem” where students can spend an afternoon. Photo credit: Jose Taveras

Jc Canicosa

Weighing in at 140 pounds, majoring in journalism, with an official record of 0 KO’s and 0 losses, the 2016 Olympic gold-viewing boxing amateur of the world, I, JC “John Christian” Canicosa was ready to take on mixed martial arts instructor Jose Taveras.

We skipped the punching carcasses in a meat locker part of training and jumped straight into boxing.

Taveras went over the meticulous fundamentals of boxing: stance, positioning, technique, how to punch. But all of this was seemingly forgotten as soon as we started the sparring.

As experience definitely proved to be the best teacher in boxing, I quickly learned to never take your eyes off of your opponent or you will get punched in the face. Don’t get lured in to throwing punches complacently or you will get punched in the face. And don’t jab and miss or you will get punched in the face.

After the fifth or so time taking a shot to the head, my prefacing statement, “No, Jose, I’m good. We don’t have to start off with head gear. I’ll be fine,” regrettably replayed in my mind, as I felt a potential nosebleed coming on.

But as the adrenaline started to kick in, and Survivor’s iconic “Eye of the Tiger” began to play in my head, I was able to get more of a rhythm down. I ducked and jabbed when I needed to duck and jab. I blocked punches with my forearm and side-stepped when punches were thrown at my face. And I felt just about ready to start counter-punching back.

Which is when I learned the next important lesson in sparring: don’t let the adrenaline make you make mistakes or you will get punched in the face.

So even though I wasn’t exactly Floyd “Money” Mayweather in the ring (or Loyola’s University Sports Complex), I did have a lot of fun training with Loyola’s Mixed Martial Arts club and genuinely learned a lot about boxing as a sport.

The MMA club teaches a variety of different fighting styles like grappling, stick fighting, and kick boxing. All of which are different aspects of this sport that I would love to explore more. Led by instructors Jose Taveras and Jason Augusta, Loyola’s MMA Club is definitely one of the university’s hidden gems.

Rating: 4/5 “Rocky” sequels

Verdict: My left stroke probably isn’t going viral any time soon…