My third and final fight of 2015 was another fun one, high up on my list of favorites. (I can’t actually choose a favorite fight… It would be like a mother picking her favorite child.) Our 2015 was extraordinarily busy at the gym, and this event served as a short get-away that felt like a mini-vacation. This was (and I believe still is) an annual event hosted in conjunction with the Georgia Carolina State Fair.
When we arrived, we learned that the boxing event was actually inside the fairgrounds, and not just in the same city as the fair. We thought it was funny that we’d be fair attractions, with “boxing” advertised alongside “circus animals,” “livestock shows” and “big rides.”
There wasn’t a separate admission price to get into the boxing show, which I thought was pretty darn cool. The venue was an open building on the fairgrounds where people could wander into and out of the fights as they pleased. From a practical business perspective, I was curious about the financial arrangements between the fair and the hosting boxing club. How did the club pay for the event? Did they get any of the money from the fair’s ticket sales? Etcetera. Learning how to promote shows at our own gym has made me view other events differently, with more appreciation of the amount of work and all the details that go into the whole thing. This is what the space for the fights looked like, photographed from just inside the door:
It’s a good thing this event was in October, or it would’ve been hot as heck in there. To the left there was a passage to a big hall full of exhibits, which is where a lot of boxers warmed up. As you can see, it was nothing fancy, but I don’t think that detracted from the event. Not with a whole fair right outside!
We brought three of us to fight from our gym, but one guy’s match fell out at the weigh-in that morning. I don’t remember the details of the other guy’s fight, but I lost mine by decision. The main thing I remember about this fight is that my opponent was the biggest chick I’d ever fought and she trained at the hosting gym. No matter how hard or how much I hit her, I felt like I was a harmless nuisance to her. When we saw her at the weigh-in, my trainer said she hoped that wasn’t my opponent. (Of course it was—there was one female match on the card.) I wasn’t worried, but I didn’t realize how big she was until we were actually in the ring together.
Size matters. The weight difference was legal because we weighed in at opposite ends of the permissible range, but, after both of us having breakfast, I have no doubt that she was 15 pounds or so heavier than me by fight time. (The difference is that it looked like she had cut weight, whereas I was fighting at my walking-around weight.) I gave a good, aggressive showing in front of her hometown crowd and a lot of people congratulated both of us enthusiastically afterwards. I reckon we put on a nice show, which makes losing the split decision slightly less of a sting. Slightly.
There were no medals for losers at this event, so I didn’t get anything to add to my collection, but I did get a case of vertigo from the rides! We had so much fun spinning, flying, laughing…
When we’d had our fun, it was time for the traditional celebratory meal. To our excitement, we’d seen a Cookout near the hotel, so we went there for a late meal of junky food to celebrate the fights and let loose after eating clean during the training camp. Amen.
P.S. This fight was listed as a novice fight on the bout sheet and we fought three rounds instead of four. Technically, it should have been an open fight because I was open, but I don’t know if she was or not. I much prefer fighting four rounds over three, but errors and disorganization are the hallmarks of almost all boxing events (in my experience), and sometimes it’s just not worth making a fuss over. This wasn’t that big of a deal.