Boxing began before the time of Jesus Christ, during the times of the Sumerians in the 3rd millennium BC. Considered a formal sport, boxing became an Olympic event in the 23rd Olympiad (688 BC).
Also known as pugilism or prizefighting, the outdoor contest was not without blood and injuries. In ancient days, there were no rounds, death occurred at times. (Britannica)
Later, the Romans enhanced the gladiatorial sport for their colosseum events by adding pieces of sharp metal to boxing gloves, which would inflict greater damage on an opponent.
With the rise of Christianity’s influence and the decline of the Roman Empire, boxing closed its ring for several centuries.
The British renewed the sport in the late 1600s and boxing crossed the Atlantic to New England in the 1700s.
By the late 1880s, United States’ colleges kept boxing inhouse as an intramural sport.
During World War I, boxing began to be used for training the United States military.
After the war, the sport of boxing became an intercollegiate contest to ready young men. By 1930, 100 universities had teams. Former President Gerald Ford was once a boxing coach at Yale University. http://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-may-not-know-about-gerald-ford
In 1960, University of Wisconsin boxer Charlie Mohr died in a boxing-related death.
At that point, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) withdrew its support of the sport and intercollegiate boxing ceased for a few decades.
Only recently have colleges reopened their rings to boxing teams and clubs.
Kevin Cryderman, the National Light Heavyweight Champion in the beginner division, states that “the hiatus is over.” The United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association (USIBA) was formed in 2012 by boxing coaches and students who wanted the renewal of a safe, amateur boxing league. The USIBA is associated with USA Boxing.
19-year-old Cryderman boxes with the Renegade Boxing Club at Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee. He sees the sport as very competitive.
Kevin Cryderman hails from Martin County, Florida. He grew up in Jensen Beach on the Atlantic’s Treasure Coast. Kevin loves competing and the roughness of boxing. In high school, he played football and grew used to the yearly conditioning of his body and the disciplining of the mind.
Boxing itself involves speed, endurance and strength when standing alone against an opponent.
At Florida State Cryderman spends approximately five hours a day, five days a week getting fit to fight. Three hours are given to building strength in the weight room and two more are designated to boxing skills practice.
There are a variety of blows in boxing; Cryderman cites the “overhand right” as his best. He feints a “body shot,” then comes over the top from the back with his backhand which is his “power hand.”
A Light Heavyweight, Cryderman usually must cut his weight down to 178 pounds. Combined with his workout, using the sauna and eating well will help him drop unnecessary weight.
Cryderman states, “Not everyone can keep up the discipline, learn the necessary skills and develop fortitude.”
The university boxing clubs and teams are divisional: Beginner, Novice and Open. As a former Beginner, Cryderman returns to Florida State for the 2015-2016 season as a Novice with experience behind his Championship belt.
In the ring the athletes wear headgear, 14oz gloves, and a mouth guard for protection.
The Renegades’ coach, Dr. Joab Corey, an economics professor, had Cryderman try out. Dr. Corey is a former amateur boxer, professional sparring partner, and was a coach for West Virginia University’s Boxing Team. Kevin adds that Corey competed in the Golden Gloves, which is the road to the Olympics.
Vincent Giovannoni is the endurance coach. A marathoner, he leads the team on early morning runs and teaches boxing skills in the gym.
“Florida State never walks away without winning a belt,” states Cryderman. He won his own Championship at a three-day tournament at the University of Michigan. Each day he had to fight. Each day he won.
Unlike other sports, boxing has no timeouts. The fighter must continue until the bell rings.
Cryderman has learned that discipline of the mind, the will and the body, working together, pay off. Endurance, whether to run the good race or fight the good fight, is what matters. Cryderman is learning skills not just for boxing, but about life—what it takes to get through, no matter the pain, no matter the nerves, the fear, or the fatigue.
Boxing is not a sport one plays, it is a sport of determination which becomes a way of life. To be better than the next boxer, a personal decision must be made to move forward, quelling doubts while building confidence.
Kevin Cryderman has done this; he has learned how to work hard and overcome obstacles.
Between workouts, Cryderman studies. He is a history major and intends to become a high school history teacher, and is considering returning to Jensen Beach to teach. Cryderman is the son of Lisa Cryderman, a local Stuart Middle School teacher and Clark Cryderman, a civil engineer and former college football player.
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