On a recent, brief family vacation I watched some ESPN boxing on TV, which I like doing, but I rarely do.
Randomly, I ended up following a whole 10 rounds match that kept my attention, for a combination of reasons: - it was competitive female boxing (didn't watch that since the Million Dollar Baby) - it was for the World Title (albeit juvenile) - the defending champion was Mexican (and I was in Mexico at the time) - 'flyweights' are very technical and fast, and don't get tired or heavy/slow easily
Over the course of the match I was impressed by the technical skills and the confidence of the runner-up, a young Thai girl (19), 110¼ pounds, with a limited professional experience (less than one year, 5 matches, 4 wins /one loss, no KO), Kanittha Tungsongtaksin.
Kanittha eventually lost to defending world champion Irma Sanchez (professional since 2006, 21 matches, 17 won, 5 KO, who dropped three categories through the years) at the points. In my opinion Kanittha lost because she was playing 'guest', and -yes- because her right punch still doesn't have the bite that it takes, but she boxed substantially better and very bravely... (see for yourself... whole 10 rounds available on YT, this was my favourite)
Anyway... you must understand my surprise the following day, when I see a tiny Thai lady walk around our resort's dining room! :O
Not only she was staying there, but she had been preparing the match from the hotel facilities, without being minimally noticeable. That night we approached her and her entourage at the lounge, and complimented her for the good match, finding her very humble (yet proud), and -as you can see- hardly "beaten up", after less than 24 hours from the match.
(yet, please note her knuckles...)
Finally, aside the pleasant and entertaining coincidence, as a father of a young girl, it's difficult not to think about how would it be like -not if your daughter would wanna do that, but- if she would be "your girl": going through the surely gruesome trainings, dealing with the ups-and-downs, putting up with the -not exactly sophisticated- environment, etc.
Anyway, an interesting reality check; way better than most (99.9%?) of my fewer-and-fewer ESPN nights.