A few weeks ago I was able to step into the “broadcast booth” and call some fights for a local fight night. My friend, Chase, called me up Thursday with the invitation to sit along side him for the night for a PPV broadcast. The following day we put on the headsets and muddied our way through the night. Below are my takeaways from the event. Take them with a grain of salt, as I have exact ONE time doing it.
- It is not easy – Not that I thought it was going to be easy, but I didn’t account for the challenge of pacing and letting a moment unfold. I listen to a lot of sports radio and podcasts. Those mediums, and it is obvious, are very different than a live sporting event. Pauses in the action for radio or podcasts creates a feeling of hesitancy and awkwardness. However, in live sports, allowing the action to unfold and the viewer to also take it in is important. Watching the action live and then providing a some kind of insight was difficult. It is an art, one that I have not figured out! As a viewer at home we are given so many advantages. The stats flash up on the screen, the announcers give us the story, etc. etc. Being the storyteller was a new spin and a definite challenge. Tip of the cap to announcers who are masters.
- Preparation, preparation, preparation – The night before we hustled to the weigh ins and talked to almost every fighter. We had a list of questions and got a feel for their personality and some back story. This proved a valuable back stop to talk about in breaks in the action and helped us get excited about matchups. After the weigh ins, we spoke to each other on the phone for over an hour talking about our expectations for the night. As we hadn’t seen any of these fighters before we looked up videos on Youtube and searched the internet. Production meetings matter!
- It takes guts – Not me being ringside, but the guys inside the ring. I don’t care how long they have been fighting, I don’t care if only 10 people are watching, to fight another person takes an enormous amount of nerve. These guys got into a ring and laid it all on the line. Some were well over matched and it showed, but I would say the majority of the fighters gave it their all. There was one fight in particular that stood out to me that night; it was Cody Woslager v Jimmy Archuleta (you can see their first fight here). They had fought each other around two weeks previously and Woslager won by TKO in the third. It was clear that Woslager was the superior boxer, both offensively and defensively. But Archuleta was undeterred as he kept pressing forward and took some serious damage (in the video below you can see the stitches he gets around his eye). He wasn’t afraid of Woslager. His corner eventually threw in the towel to protect him and he was visibly angry after the fight. What does the future hold for Archuleta? I have no idea, but for that fight he showed real grit.