BACK to Allen on boxing books
Updated July 21, 2018

Excerpt from my boxing book-in-progress
July 17, 2018: Coach Izzy & Allen have 1130 rounds in the books
June 26, June 30, 2018
Pictures from Chicago Golden Gloves April 12-14, 2018
Coach Izzy and Allen sparred round # 1000 Saturday, April 7, and pushed the number to 1005.
Picture on left by Coach. On right, after #1000
March 2018
Coach Izzy & Allen have logged 951 rounds of sparring as of March 3, 2018

March 3, 2108 (above): 951 rounds today
300 rounds July 2016
400 rounds October 2016
500 rounds January 2017
600 rounds April 2017
700 rounds July 2017
Started 3-minute rounds
800 rounds October 2017
900 rounds January 2018
Pictures left & above

December 2017

The Coach is always promising to put some BBQ sauce on his boxers' ribs to teach us to keep our elbows down. I figured it
would be good to give him my favorite flavor, Bull's Eye Original, along with a T-shirt to associate a great coach with a great brand.


Below, left, coach is suggesting the approximate
area where the hot sauce will stick.

About the sauce, Cook's Illustrated (which I think is the best cooking magazine there is) wrote (June 2017)
"In the end, our winner was once again the aptly named Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ Sauce. This moderately sweet, tomatoey sauce offered just enough
spice and smoke, producing a well-balanced medley of flavors with no specific flavor dominating. Our winning product was delicious and versatile,
and it wasn’t too thick or thin. We’ll be using this palate-pleasing sauce all summer long." (Quoted from


Coach Izzy & Allen (& Gavin)
Pictures from Nov. 17, 21, 25

840 rounds and counting


Always honored to salute my great boxing coach, Israel Gonzales, the man behind Izzyduzitfitness. On Oct. 31, 2017, we sparred round #840 (date of pictures left & center above). We started sparring in late October 2015, so it took us 2 years to rack up this number of rounds. It's a good thing the coach can modify his punches or we would have had to stop about the time we started.
Coach Izzy and I crossed the 700-round mark July 5, 2017. Then we switched from 2-minute rounds (doing 6 rounds per session) to 3-minute rounds (4 rounds per session). We did 5 3-minute rounds for a couple of sessions, and then moved up to 6 3-min. rounds, twice a week.

Pictures above August 2017.
Celebrating 600 rounds back in April 2017--seems like a long time ago!
Here's Coach Israel Gonzalez with some members of his boxing team (September 19, 2017).

  Allen boxing at Extreme Kung Fu  

  Allen's reviews of boxing books

& boxing at . . .  
  the Evanston Boxing Club
  St. Norbert's in Northfield, MN
  Corpus Christi, TX

  Some are books by and / or about boxers,
  others are fiction in which boxing plays a part, even a minor part.
  If the book sheds light on the subject of boxing,
  I am hoping to include it here.

        October 24, 2016             November 26, 2016             December 17, 2016
As of February 11, 2017, Coach Izzy and I have sparred nearly 550 rounds, and counting.

In July 2016 we hit 300 rounds, having worked together about 8 months. Called for a cake.
    July 2016
Thanks, coach, for making it real.  

Shots after sparring at Extreme Kung Fu @ 5951 N. Clark, Chicago. April 3
May 3 & 10  
June 7   July 26
Besides having a lot to learn about boxing, I have a lot to learn about posing for boxing pictures!
Aug 2, 9, & 30
Sept 13 & 24
Oct 11, 18, 22, & 29  

10/18/2016 a lucky day for me, actually landed one!
Big fun & bragging rights, small cost. Coach says I hit myself with my own gloves, but . . . .
September 2015 - May 2016
When we started out, coach had a "dry" look at the end of our sessions (upper & lower left), but not any more.


Sparring a few
One door closes at the EBC, another opens
End of the line: Evanston Boxing Club closed at the end of July 2015. Some last pictures here:
Allen & Andrian, last EBC workout of many.
A little history: some random snaps around the EBC 2011-13   ·  

Andrian and Allen @ the EBC December 2014 (below)

The Evanston Boxing Club
Boxers who have trained here include
Russell (Rocky) Fiore and Paul Littleton (here in an amazing video).
You can find them both on Facebook and at BoxRec--Paul and Russell (requires login, but it's free).
July 2014

Photos by Adrian

August 2013. Photos below by Mark Carlson.
    xx    xx        
For a little YouTube fun:

Coach: Mark Carlson, Evanston Boxing Club
sparring coach 50 seconds in is Pete Spengler, 360 Fitness, Lincolnwood

At the 360 Fitness Studio

Pictures from 2011


The guy in red with the perfect stance, he would be the coach.

Young visitors from Prague try on some gloves.



February 22, 2014 / Fight Night




December 2013
A short workout with Gordon Marino at St. Norbert's College, Northfield, MN,
a boxing correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.
Rafael Davilla and friends in Corpus Christi

Excerpt from Boxing Beyond the Ring

When I hit my 60s, I realized that I wanted a change. It seemed that life was all about competition. This competition was real, but in the white-collar professions it is always disguised as something else—as professional accomplishment, as popularity, as financial success, and so on. Those things were important, but taken together they added up to a lot of head-time and not much time for body and heart.

My body that needed exercise, but so did my heart. The heart is the center of courage, a word that comes into English from the Latin cor, meaning heart. I didn’t know much about boxing, but I knew that it took courage. Boxing is undisguised competition. When you face your opponent, you both know that one man is going to do better than the other. You meet this challenge on your own, with no team members to help you. You have gloves but no other tools—no bat, no ball, no racquet, no club. How well will you do? How much heart do you have? Those simple questions about our performance in the right relate directly to our ideas about ourselves as men.

When I started boxing, I benefited from both the how-to and the so-what sides of the sport. The how-two side helped me put on muscle and lose weight. The so-what side helped me gain confidence and build a new idea of myself as a man. Whether you are in your twenties or your fifties, boxing can do the same for you. Boxing will invigorate your sense of yourself as a masculine man. It is an exciting experience well within your reach.

There are five parts to Boxing Beyond the Ring.

1. Why box?
By boxing we discover who we are as men. It’s a way to experience whole manhood and create a manly presence for yourself in a world that is less friendly to men all the time. Today we often see the word “masculinity” qualified by the adjective “toxic.” That’s the media reminding us that we have to be men on somebody else’s terms. Boxers have to be men on their own terms. Boxers have to be strong and also have to be ring-smart. In the arena, boxers need strategy as well as strength and big hearts as well as good heads. We throw punches and absorb them, shifting from offense to defense and back. In life, warriors do that many times a day. Modern men are searching for ways to experience body and brain working as one. That’s wholeness. We want to get out of our heads and into action. This section argues that boxing has unique power to bring body and brain together and to create the whole man.
2. Preliminaries: gear and fear
A lot is made of the risks of boxing, so protective gear is important. Boxing gear is more than protection, however. It’s also fuel for our boxing passion and a way to express our boxing identity. Related to protection is danger, so this section also talks about fear. That is one the risks of boxing that is seldom mentioned. I discuss ways to deal with fear. Handling fear in the ring is a great way to learn how to handle fear outside it.
3. Learning to box: classes
Most men get their first taste of boxing in large classes. That makes sense. Boxing classes are full of beginners, and beginners feel safe in groups. In this section, I describe my experiences in fitness centers, boxing gyms, and other environments in which men new to boxing, men like me, usually make their start.
4. Finding a coach
Boxing classes will make you hungry for a boxing coach of your own. Classes offer a taste of the legendary excitement of boxing, and also its beauty. Boxing is part combat and part ballet. As you start to feel power and grace of the sport, you will want to do more than hit mitts held by another student. You need to learn about your reactions, your strengths, and your weaknesses. A boxing coach will bring you closer to action in the ring. These chapters describe coaching styles I encountered and suggest how you can get the most from your boxing coach.
5. Boxing contexts and boxing resources
In the course of my boxing journey, I noticed how often boxing appears in the arts and entertainment, even in opera. There are so many boxing movies to write about, and they are so well-known that I left them out. I focus instead on boxing in fiction and in art. The section concludes with a list of books, articles, and websites that will guide your boxing journey.

June 5, 2018