Open Workouts Scheduled This Friday & Saturday
@ Mohegan Sun In Advance Of Jan. 29 Bouts
Peter Manfredo, Addy Irizarry, Chip Perez In Action.
Announcement Expected Tomorrow
Mike Mike Machine Gun Oliver
Fends Off Israel Pito Cardona
Chip Perez, Pito Mix It Up
Pito Connects With Chip
WHAT'S UP WITH THAT
@ THE HARTFORD CLUB
By IRISH RAVI SHANKAR
In an historic first for The Hartford Club, an actual boxing ring was set up next to chandeliers and Revival Georgian windows of the second-floor ballroom.
Brawling In The Ballroom -- Mark Twain would certainly have approved.
The Triple KO Event on Jan. 15 featured an Undercard of Poets & Writers and a boxing exhibition coordinated by Iceman John Scully, Sammy Vega and Mike Mike Machine Gun Oliver.
The performers served to highlight the Feb. 1 deadline to enter the CT Young Writers Trust 13th annual competition.
Scully also squared up against Gaby "She Be Stinging" Calvocoressi in two bouts of words.
A natural stage presence and Connecticut native, Calvocoressi brought the house down with her "Prayer in the Name of Saint Thomas Hearns," with its hobbling heavy bag doing penance. Iceman, in his debut as a public reader, came on strong with his anecdotes about traveling around the world because of boxing. He told of bringing busloads of youngsters to places they didn't dream they would see. These excerpts are from his work in progress, "The Iceman Diaries."
Middle school students from the Jumoke Academy were rapt about the undercard whose headliners included:
* Bob "The Breeze" Leuci, riffing on the spot about the solidarity of writers;
* Binnie "The Demon Barber" Klein warming up with her personal trainer by throwing (hard) jabs in the air;
* Chandra "Bonecrusher" Prasad divining the space of Amelia Earhart in her cockpit;
* Jumoke Academy teacher "Merciless" Amy Ma reclaiming her own inner Dopey from the trauma of a childhood Snow White play.
Jeffrey "No Dice" Dressler, featured in the upcoming Universal Pictures film "Ring Announcer," wowed the crowd with his pipes, bringing the rumble to the ballroom by introducing the writers as fighters. Throughout the event, fellow Masters of Ceremonies Rand "Blood" Cooper and "Irish" Ravi Shankar kept it together with flair.
The evening culminated with actual fights, with Mike Mike Machine Gun Oliver squaring off against a much larger Pito Cardona and going two animated rounds, and then Cardona bulling his way around with the sharp Chip Perez, just two weeks off his upcoming appearance on the undercard of Friday Night Fights at Mohegan Sun on Jan. 29th.
Machine Gun lived up to his name with flurries, Perez looked polished and agile, while Cardona -- the biggest man in the ring -- looked like he was messing around but could impose his will at any moment.
The Iceman narrated the exercises he puts fighters through and the crowd -- made up of everyone from school teachers to policemen, con men to lawyers (and those straddling the fine line between them) and students of writing to members of the Hartford Club, enjoyed every minute. Bravo to The Hartford Club and all the many sponsors for making this event a reality!
Gaby "She Be Stinging" Calvocoressi, Andy "Lights Out" Thibault of the CT Young Writers Trust, Iceman John Scully
Hartford Club President Pat Sheehan, Ice, Andy