See two urban sports in a whole new light (Aug. 23 and 24)

August 18, 2008

In my neighborhood, boxing is the premier sport, thanks to the South Broadway Athletic Club.  We don’t see too much of the young boxers themselves, aside from when they’re jogging to the gym or doing sprints up and down the street.  But we kind of like having them around — it’s a sign they’re staying out of trouble.  We’ve gone to watch their bouts, and I have to admit that although I am in no way a fan of the idea of athletes attempting to knock each others’ lights out, I do get into boxing when I’m there watching in person.

I also love to watch the local kids jumping rope. I have no aptitude for it and I don’t know any of the rhymes, but it’s mesmerizing all the same.  M. used to love watching a certain group of girls who lived near his sitter’s house; we’d see them out nearly every afternoon in the summer.

That’s why I think of boxing and jumping rope as urban sports. And I think it’s fitting that they’re being feted this weekend (Aug. 23 and 24) during the Missouri Black Expo at America’s Center downtown. The statewide double dutch championship is part of an effort to get the sport included as an Olympic event; the National Invitational Amateur Boxing Tournament is sanctioned by USA Boxing and features top talent from the central and southern U.S.  Both events have preliminary rounds Saturday and championships Sunday. Regular admission to the expo is $8; kids 6 and under are free; seniors are $6. See the homepage or call 314.361.5772 for more info.

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