Minerva Boxing is the sport or practice of fighting with the fists, especially with padded gloves in a roped square ring according to prescribed rules.
It is also “the art of attack and defense with the fists practiced as a sport,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Whatever definition one gives to it, the sporting aspect of boxing was in full view Saturday, July 7 behind Sporty’s Iron Duke Saloon in Minerva.
The skills of the boxers along with stamina and strength were in evidence during this series of 12 bouts. Boxing is a true sport, and it was a good experience to witness it firsthand. The boxing ring (roped off with a red corner, a blue corner, and two white or neutral corners), was set up in the field area behinds Sporty’s saloon.
Usually, one might think of a circle when hearing the word “ring,” but the ring is a square in boxing. The temperature was in the high 70s with a nice breeze, and it was an altogether pleasant day to witness this ancient sport, which apparently dates back to the early 1600s. Chairs were set up on all four sides of the elevated ring, and the audience had a chance to experience the sport up-close.
All of the boxers were from clubs established in the Capital District area, with clubs from Albany, Troy, Catskill, Delmar, Cohoes, Saratoga and Schenectady all participating. Boxers included young women and youngsters of age 9 as well as young men. It was a diverse group of participants to be sure.
All bouts involved three rounds: the younger boxers (in the 70-pound category) boxed with rounds of one minute apiece while the older participants (160-pound category) boxed with 3-minute rounds. With all bouts, one could watch the competitors skillfully move around the ring with agility and intensity under the watchful eye of the referee, who made sure all boxers followed the “prescribed rules” (see first definition above).
Organizers of this event, sanctioned by New York Amateur Boxing Championship, indicated they were pleased to be invited to Minerva and said that Sporty’s and the Minerva community were very accommodating.
Boxing in Minerva? Of course!