This is not your average amateur boxing fight night. This is no drafty, poorly lit gym or warehouse with 50 metal folding chairs and questionable plumbing. Atlanta Corporate Fight Night is a top-of-the-line luxury boxing event, and it may be the only one of its kind so far in the USA.
On January 24th, twenty boxers will glove up, roll under the ropes, and fight their way through 3 rounds in an officially-sanctioned USA Boxing fight night for charity in the elegant, upscale Foundry at Puritan Mill in the heart of Atlanta.
Want tickets? Get ‘em here!
Most of the boxers are Atlanta professionals, and for many of them, this is their first official boxing match. In the ring, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a grad student, a lawyer, or a housewife; all that matters is how hard you’ve trained and how well you can overcome the choking fear of fighting that threatens every boxer.
My third appearance at ACFN
Atlanta Fight Night promoter and two-time strawweight world champion pro fighter Terri “The Boss” Moss was the one who gave me my very first opportunity in the boxing ring at ACFN 1, which took place in October of 2010. I had the most amazing experience of my life at that fight — an incredible event, a fantastic opponent, and my first win — and couldn’t wait for more.
My second fight in Atlanta was six months later, and a much bumpier ride. I didn’t have a home gym, so I trained with former Atlantian Jay “Fury” Abraham, working weekly in gravel lots and behind chicken coops. I faced the undefeated Golden Gloves national champion for that fight, and was proud to do as well as I did, given the circumstances. Again, it was an incredible, life-affirming experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
My third official fight was a win here in NC; another good experience and my first fight with my home team at Second Round and my own coach in the corner, but it was vastly different from the ACFN “black tie” events.
Press Conference and Weigh-Ins
Already the scale and feeling of the Atlanta fights has escalated; for this one I drove down for a jam-packed pre-fight press conference emceed by Vince “The Voice” Bailey, who will also be the ring announcer for the show. There was plenty of press, a good smattering of smack talk, a small scuffle, and lots and lots of excitement generated by all the fighters and their friends, families, and other onlookers. (And the flow of alcohol among people already working to lose weight who were fairly cheap drunks, hah.)
Below you can watch a video interview from Inside Punch with co-main event opponents Cesar Hernandez and Jose Santiago, and a few comments from promoter Terri Moss as well:
The weigh-ins are set to be another open-to-the-public media show, and will take place on January 23rd at 6 pm at Atlanta’s Hard Rock Cafe on Peachtree Street downtown.
I’m very pleased to have been matched up with Lisa “Bad Company” Belcher, who is coming off a win by knockout a few months ago atACFN5. Lisa is a little taller, and has a bit more reach, so I’ll have my hands full staying out of her
range and dealing with her power shots. I chatted with a few of her gym-mates when I was in Atlanta for the press conference, and was treated to the story of her giving a sparring opponent a colorful black eye the day before said sparring partner was scheduled to be in a wedding. So our match may be a bit of a slugfest!
Belcher is an Atlanta native, and works as a behavorial scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a sort of odd twist, she was one of the women I interviewed for ACFN5 last summer.
The fundraising is yet another way that ACFN is very different from your standard amateur fight night. Proceeds from our match will go to the Ben Cohen Standup Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping parents and their kids stand up against bullying.
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And yes! I’ll keep you updated, and hopefully post video of our match-up, once we have it. Meanwhile, you can find more relevant links below:
Thanks for all your cheers and support!