The weigh-in’s the night before a Bout are always tense. The room charged with adrenaline, though most fighters are quiet, sunken in themselves trying to conserve as much energy as possible before they are under the bright lights where they will sweat, bleed and rage. Many of the fighters did not sleep last night or found troubled sleep marked by vivid dreams of glory and tragedy.
Antonio “Aztec God of War” Canas, weighing in last night. Antonio is a veteran of MMA who has begun a career as boxer under the guidance of “Fearless” Fernando Hernandez, head trainer at Chicago Fight Club on the North West Side.
The not so ‘Friendly Confines’, the boxers pose for a pre-fight shot.
A little preview of one of the Undfeated Russian fighters fighting on tonight’s card, Anton Novikov 16-0, 6KO’s. Last Friday Anton got some good sparring with hard hitting Irishmen Henry Coyle. Novikov in the Plaid shorts, Coyle in the blue jersey.
It was great watching and listening to Mike “The Fly” Garcia head corner man for Anton in tonight’s bout, communicating through a Russian translator (the big guy with the shaved head)
Often times a southpaw like Anton’s best weapon is a vicious straight left cross, Anton’s is straighter than an arrow.
Anton also sparred last Friday with undefeated Chicago based prospect Ramon Valenzuela Jr. with Ramon Sr. looking on. The experience gap was evident though Valenzuela was very much game and showed he has a bright future ahead.
And probably the brightest star on tonight’s card at the UIC Pavilion is the top rated world contender from Ireland, Andy Lee 22 and 1 with 16KO’s. Andy had a celebrated amateur career, he represented Ireland in the 2004 Olympics and is now coached by one of the worlds greatest corner-men, Emanuel Stewart. Lee will take on Chicago’s own Michael Walker, an experienced Journeymen with a record of 19 wins 4 loses and 2 draw with 12 of his wins coming by way of knock out.
With four hours left before the first bell some of the fighters are sick with nerves their stomach a large mound of knots, others anxious, wanting to get it over with and get it on, few are poised and calm with thousand mile stares and short low spoken words and nothing in these behaviors a tell for what is to come in the ring, where anything can happen on any given night.