Jackie Kallen
Jackie Kallen
Hilary LiDestri

With Her Gloves Off

WED 10/29
Hear the words "boxing trainer," and you're likely to think of Burgess Meredith's Mickey in Rocky ("You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder!") or of the late, real-life trainer Cus D'Amato, the only man tough enough to keep Mike Tyson in check. Your first thought probably won't be Jackie Kallen, Detroit boxing gym owner and handler of pugilists. Kallen is a rarity for having two X chromosomes in an XY-dominated sport. A former publicist for Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns, she trained James "Lights Out" Toney to win the IBF Middleweight Championship. She's also a former commissioner of the International Female Boxing Association, a member of the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, a breast cancer survivor and a heart stent implant recipient.Now she can tack both motivational speaker and movie subject onto the list. Kallen will stop in Houston this week to read from her autobiography, Hit Me with Your Best Shot: A Fight Plan for Dealing with All of Life's Hard Knocks. And she's the subject of the upcoming film Against the Ropes, in which Meg Ryan will play her character (in a dramatic departure from, say, You've Got Mail). 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 29. Borders Books and Music, 9633 Westheimer. For information, call 713-782-6066. Free. -- Eric Norvell

The Iceman Cometh
FRI 10/24

Regarded by some pundits as the weak sister of the Bayou City's pro sports teams, the Houston Aeros are, in fact, its most successful franchise -- that is, if winning championships (four in three different pro leagues) is any indicator of success. The fact that the Aeros and not the Rockets will host the first regular-season game in the new Toyota Center is a just reward, considering that the puck smackers are the defending American Hockey League champions (they beat the Hamilton Bulldogs to win the Calder Cup in June). The 2002-03 championship banner will be raised before the opening face-off of this game -- something the Rockets, Astros and Texans can only dream about for now. The Aeros take on the Cleveland Barons at 7 p.m. Friday, October 24. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk Street. For information, call 713-974-7825. $11 to $28. -- Greg Barr


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