Freshman novice finds a path into second round
A.J. Godeaux | Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Every fall, a mass of beginner boxers, “novices” in Bengal-Bouts terms, descends on Stepan Fields to begin workouts in hopes of months later having an arm raised by the referee in victory.
Freshman Jack Considine, who Monday night won his first Bengal Bouts fight by unanimous decision, is one of those novices.
“I always thought it’d be kinda cool to learn how to defend yourself,” the Wilmette, Ill., native said. “One of my role models from back home, a kid I really looked up to, was really into boxing, so I’ve always been drawn to it.”
Before his natural ability in the ring — Considine stands a legitimate 6-foot-3 with a solid build and a pterodactyl-like wingspan — could even be realized, though, he considered quitting after the first few workouts.
“I honestly thought we were going to just jump in and start sparring,” Considine said. “It’s such a slow progression from that first workout to when you first spar. I understand completely now why [the captains and coaches] do it that way, but I had first joined just to have some fun and throw some punches.”
Once he did start sparring, though, all the buildup was worth it, he said.
“Whenever someone talks about a martial art or boxing, they always get asked ‘Have you sparred,’” he said. “It’s cool to be able to say that I have. The first time I sparred … I got popped pretty good in the first couple seconds, and thought, ‘This might not be as cool as I thought.’ You start throwing punches back, though, and it turns into a great way to vent, honestly.”
Nothing beats the pre-fight buildup, though, not even the first spar, Considine said. Going into his fight Monday, Considine couldn’t sit down. The freshman said he felt a bigger adrenaline rush than he had ever felt, going back to his high-school swimming and water-polo days.
“The adrenaline rush is unbelievable,” Considine said. “I was pumped, not nervous about the fight. Honestly I’m always scared of messing up, and there’s all this protocol about where you have to be and when, and when to step into the ring and all this extra stuff, so I was more nervous about doing that stuff wrong and looking stupid.”
What was once just a way to fill time has turned into something of an obsession for Considine, especially after his win Monday over graduate student John Griffin to move into the quarterfinals of the 180 lbs. bracket.
“After Monday night, you realize there’s only a week left at the most. Going into that fight I was still viewing [Bengal Bouts] … as just something to do, but I honestly could be done fighting [tonight] so that’s given me a lot of motivation.”
Now that he’s caught the boxing bug, Considine said nothing will keep him from continuing on after this year’s bouts are over. Nothing, that is, except his dad.
“I’ll definitely keep going after this year, granted my dad lets me,” Considine said. “I told him I might’ve broken my nose Monday, and he wasn’t too happy. But hopefully he’ll come around.”
Considine and the other Bengal Bouts quarterfinalists step back into the ring tonight, starting at 6 p.m. in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
Contact A.J. Godeaux at email@example.com
View pictures from the opening round of Bengal Bouts, and other campus events, at The Observer’s multimedia section.