by Luca Cardinalini - journalist RAI
Ropes, wooden planks, nails, torn carpets, peeling walls, worn-out shoes, feet, gym bags, towels, robes, sacred images, iron stairs, neon lights, grimaces of pain, laughter of victory. Boxing.
What Giuseppe Cardoni has “told” makes no accounting of categories, weights and score cards. The lens is fixed on the places, the rooms, the spaces where they train – together and every day – muscles and hopes.
From the “poor” gym, Academia de Boxeo Henry Garcia Suarez, in Holguin (Cuba), have come Olympic and world champions. And you’d never guess.
Giuseppe’s “fountain pen camera” has sketched, in addition to the moods and sweat of those present, even the deep breathing of this sport, the almost paternal respect for the coaches and champions, the discipline for training, friendship among companions, the rhythm of legs and veins, pride and courage.
Boys begin training at the age of 8-10 years, often without headgear and shoeless, chasing victory with bare hands and with many dedications: for themselves, their families, their country.
In Buenos Aires, the Boxing Club Ferrobaires gym, is in a space directly below the old abandoned Constitucion station.
The long march to become champion of the world starts by slipping into a cement hole, down a rickety rusty ladder. Rain or shine, down there it’s always dark. From behind the door a crack of light appears and some noise, of gloves and voices. Including that of a seventy-year-old in a white singlet and boxing trunks, who on that 7 November 1970, was in Carlos Monzon’s corner in that epic challenge against Nino Benvenuti.
Josè Menno today trains the boys for free, below street level, to try to keep them off the streets: “My greatest joy is when one of them, smiling, tells me he feels like a new person”.
Boxing Notes, some contests results:
Concours Rencontres D’Arles – Reponses Photo 2017 Winner
Concorso Fotografico ImagOrbetello 2017 - "Portrait" Winner (Premio Nanuk Italia)
Barcelona International Photography Awards BIPA 2018 Finalist
TAG Prize - Tevere Art Gallery Roma 2018 “Project” Finalist
IPIC - Imago Photo International Contest 2018 Sirmione – "Portrait" Winner
Key West Photography Festival 2019 "Portrait" Winner
Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA) 2019 People (Portrait) - Honorable Mention
Annual Photography Awards 2019 ( Portrait) Honorable Mention
Praxis - Photographic Arts Centre Minneapolis USA Finalist (International Juried Photography Exhibition 2020 “Narratives”)