I've been home from Tallinn since midnight Tuesday, but I didn't feel like updating about my trip. It was a good trip and all, it was just so dissapointing to see my boys get shafted. First of all, the socalled "National Coaches" didn't give a shit about our boys. They didn't talk to them, they left the hotel to go to the tournament without telling them and so on. And when Torben and Thomas had to fight a couple fights apart, those idiots let another boxer (and a piece of shit one, at that) help work Torben's corner. I mean, there were three of us there, ready to help out, who KNEW those guys and KNEW how he is supposed to fight, tactically and all. After he loses his first fight, and we ask them what the hell they're doing, the guy goes "oh, it doesn't matter". Well I know it doesn't matter to you, but these kids trained their hearts out, and it damn well matters to them! :
Anyway, nothing would have made a difference over there, it seems. Marcel fought a Polish dude at 60kg, and took the kid over the edge. The guy was under so much pressure, he started ducking and holding when Marcel attacked. He finally got a warning, with a point deduction, for ducking too low. Then he got desperate and hit Marcel below the waist, another point deduction. After that Marcel just put on relentless pressure, and the guy kept ducking. He got his 3rd point deduction, and got disqualified. Marcel gets his hand raised in victory, and he's in the quarterfinal. Only he's not... The next morning, when he comes down for the weigh in, they tell him his fight has been changed, and he's lost on points. THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE UNDER THE RULES!!! Turns out Poland, with help from the "Technical Delegate" from Hungary filed a protest, saying the 3rd warning was illegitimate. I have it on tape from 2 different angles, there's NOTHING wrong with that warning...
So Torben and Thomas have to fight Hungarians the next day. We were definitely warned by what happened to Marcel, and the Hungarian Mafioso dude's role in that. Anyway, we talk to the German and the Romanian National coaches, and they basically tell us we need knock-outs to beat Hungarians. Sure enough, Torben fights a really good fight, but just doesn't get the points he should have, and loses 53-35, in a fight that should have been 1-3 points difference.
With Thomas, things were even worse. He gets NOTHING. 27-7 outscore after 2:37 of round 3 (note: a round is only 2:00 minutes long).
Anyway, here's how my trip was: I left Aalborg on Thursday night, to go to Århus and sleep over at Marcel and his Brother Ramsi's apartment in the Gjellerup projects. This place is one of the most infamous "ghetto's" in Denmark. It's full of immigrants and refugee's from the Arab world and from Somalia. Marcel and Ramsi are Lebanese. Anyway, we hang out, and don't go to sleep before 2:00 that night, and Ramsi and I have to get up at 4:30, since Gunnar (Marcel's trainer)is picking us up at 5:00. Gunnar picked us up, drove to the Copenhagen airport in 2½ hours. I slept the entire trip on the plane. It was only 1½ hours, but I fell asleep before we even took off, and I only woke up, about 10 seconds before we landed. We were picked up at the Estonian airport by a Swedish trainer named Kermit (a friend of Gunnar's), and an Estonian guy named Vadim. We were staying at Vadim's ghetto Gym, close to downtown Tallinn. The place was in a basement, obscenely humid, and smelled really mouldy. Hey, it beats paying a fortune for a hotel (actually, I didn't pay a dime, everything was covered by my club. Still it means money saved by the club, and we're doing it for the kids, for the fuckin' kids!!).
Anyway, the days mostly went like this: We got up at 9-ish. Went to Old Town (the center of Tallinn, it's a really beautiful medieval town, only scarred by the massive amounts of tourists), to eat. I usually ate at an Indian restaurant there, which was pretty good, and you could sit outside, right on the town square. Indian food makes any trip worthwhile.
Then we'd go to the Saku SuurHalle, where the boxing tournament started at 1 every day, and the fights were in to rings simultaneously. Lots of good boxing, especially the Russians, a couple of Turks, the Germans, and a really good Frenchman... More tomorrow...