TITLE Hits the Road
Las Vegas Fight Week
There's nothing quite like being in the midst of a big fight week and nowhere quite like doing it as in Las Vegas, Nevada. This past weekend we spent some time in "Sin City," not sinning, but celebrating the Grand Opening of Rival Boxing Gear's USA showroom. (1335 East Sunset Road, Suite G - Las Vegas, NV 89119.) The Friday evening event was attended by many big-time boxing celebrities including Sugar Ray Leonard, Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones Jr., Montell Griffin, Jean Pascal and countless others. They were all there to support their friend and Rival owner, Russ Anber and take part in what is bound to be another winning hand for the Las Vegas fight crowd.
The following morning we headed over to the Boxing Expo to mix and mingle with the fans, find some familiar faces and talk boxing with the fighters in attendance. From modern day fighters, like Shawn Porter, Sammy Vasquez and Sergio Martinez, to boxing legends like Leon Spinks, Ernie Shavers and Mike Tyson, the Las Vegas Convention Center was buzzing. It was your usual fanfare, but also a fantastic opportunity to dig into the minds of the fighters and find out what makes boxing fans so enthusiastic. One unexpected bright spot that came out of this was the realization of how giving the fight community is. The number of fighters who were there on behalf of a foundation or cause was refreshing to see. The former Super-welterweight and Jr. Middle weight World Champion, Terry Norris’ Final Fight Foundation (http://www.terrynorris.net/finalfight.php) and former WBO welterweight and Jr. Middleweight Champion, Paul Williams’ Youth Foundation (http://paulwilliamsfoundation.com/) were among many fighters who were there representing their charitable arms. It made it more obvious than ever that not all fighters are about just making money for themselves or to see how much personal wealth they can acquire, but there are many more who are actually giving back to the fans, the fight community and finding their own life after boxing.
Of course, Saturday night was then capped-off by the anticipated rematch between Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Marcos Maidana. It was an interesting fight and exciting at times. It had its moments and I think demonstrated, yet again, what makes Floyd Mayweather an exceptional fighter, but there were also no surprises in how it unfolded or what the outcome ultimately was. All in all, a good fight, not a great one, but maybe it put us one step closer to THE fight that everyone wants to see.
And the last stop on our weekend journey was to boxing legend, Roy Jones Jr.'s Fight Academy Gym. The multi-division champ (from Jr. Middleweight to Heavyweight), along with current WBA Jr. Welterweight Champion, Jesse Vargas were hosting a fundraiser for a local boxer who had recently passed. We attended the event to support the fighters, donate to the cause and check out the gym firsthand. Rival Boxing and Title have been supporters and suppliers of the gym since its opening and it was great to see the gear in action.
It was an excitement-packed, event-filled weekend and a hard-hitting reminder that boxing is anything but dead. It's very much alive and its heartbeat pounds loudly in the chest of fighters, friends and fans who flock to Las Vegas and beyond to watch hand-to-hand combat in its purest form. Boxing - it's like no other!