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The Suburbanite
  • Necole Sims: Life lessons from youthful boxing

  • Growing up, I was a boxing fan. I even talked the neighborhood boys into impromptu matches. When my mom realized that I was boxing, she put a quick stop to it. She thought her daughter would end up hurt. As if!

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  • Growing up, I was a boxing fan. I even talked the neighborhood boys into impromptu matches. When my mom realized that I was boxing, she put a quick stop to it. She thought her daughter would end up hurt. As if!
    The boys would ask to box and I’d turn their offers down. I was way more scared of my mom than the kids and once she said not to do something I listened.
    The summer I turned 11, I saw the guy on TV who would soon become my idol, Hector “Macho” Camacho. He was flashy, trash-talking and could throw a punch that backed up his mouth.
    The next day, the boys were talking about Camacho. I was excited and joined in the conversation. They told me I was a girl and didn’t know what I was talking about and to go play with my dolls. I hated baby dolls.
    This made me mad and before I could think about it, I challenged any of them to a boxing match. I channeled my inner “Camacho” and beat the kid pretty bad.
    My grandfather watched this display and called me over to his house. He asked me what was I doing. I told him what the boy said and Grandpa informed me that I was going to end up in kiddie jail for fighting. He came up with a solution. He had old boxing gloves and an old fruit stand on his property. If I wanted to box, then he would supervise.
    That summer I lined up matches with the neighborhood boys and was undefeated. It was such a rush.
    All this ended when I lost track of the time and my mom and aunt caught me in the makeshift boxing ring beating up grandpa’s 14-year-old neighbor. I was grounded, and my mom told me if she caught me boxing again I would be grounded until I was 20. I told her that I was going to be a pro boxer and a girl version of Macho Camacho.
    I’ll never forget what she said: That man is crazy. You see how he acts. He acts like a guy trying to die early.
    Later, she was telling my dad what she observed and blamed him for letting me be such a tomboy. Dad told Mom that I wasn’t going to be a wimp and it didn’t matter if I got into a few fights. He told her to blame Grandpa because I was fighting on his property.
    My mom wasn’t buying it.
    I still watched boxing on TV despite my amateur career being cut short. I went to the library and looked up information on Camacho. He was still my idol.
    Page 2 of 2 - The older I became, however, I realized that my mom may have had a point.
    Camacho was brilliant in the ring but his brushes with the law maybe overshadowed his career.  
    Even with his legal issues, I was shocked a week ago when my daughter asked who Hector Camacho was. I told her he was my idol growing up and that’s when I heard the news. Camacho was clinging to life after being shot outside a night club.
    As more information came to light, I can’t say I was shocked. Drugs were found inside the car and things looked shady.
    And then it was over. He died from his injuries.
    It’s a cautionary tale. Everything in life we do has a consequence. No matter how much talent God gives us, if we take it for granted and live as if there are no rules, expect a short life.
    I have decided to remember him as the man who made that summer one of the most exciting times of my life.