Today’s Guest: John E. Oden, author, Life in the Ring: Lessons and Inspiration from the Sport of Boxing Including Muhammad Ali, Oscar de la Hoya, Jake LaMotta, George Foreman, Floyd Patterson, and Rocky Marciano
Little known fact: Shortly after my daughter was born, I took private boxing lessons for almost two years at the 4th Street Boxing Club here in St. Petersburg.
I never sparred; I never wanted to hit anyone, I just wanted to know I could if I had to. And I didn’t particularly want to get hit, either.
JOHN E. ODEN podcast excerpt: “Rocky Marciano would take five punches in order to deliver one. But that one punch he would deliver would do the job.”
You can LISTEN to this interview with JOHN E. ODEN, author of LIFE IN THE RING, by clicking the audio player above!
I hated the shadowboxing my instructor insisted upon as a warm-up; I was awkward in the worst white guy way. But I struggled through it each week to get to the good stuff, including my time on the speedbag, which I loved so much I installed one in the garage at home for a few years. We always finished with 15 minutes of my teacher calling out punches — “Left jab!” “Right jab!” “Uppercut!” as I aimed for his open, padded hands as they moved up and around his face and midsection.
Eventually I stopped going to the boxing gym for a number of reasons. I tried traditional gyms such as Gold’s for a while, but it didn’t appeal to me in the same way.
That’s why I was interested in talking to John E. Oden about his new book, Life in the Ring: Lessons and Inspiration from the Sport of Boxing. That, and the fact Oden isn’t just an ink-stained wretch like me. He makes his money as a principal in a global money management and research firm on Wall Street, AllianceBernstein. But he’s an amateur boxer himself, which fascinates me.