This series of images is an extension of the Fighters #1 series. The difference this time is that they were photographed immediately after sparring in the boxing ring. Each fighter was asked what it was they thought about before they went into the ring to fight. The answers reveal to the viewer the individual’s identity, their emotions and self-motivation.
All images copyright ©2013 Tony Blood Photography
No copying without the photographer’s permission.
Adam Earnshaw, Fighter, 2013 “I think about my preparation for the fight, the team behind me and try to keep my mind focused on performing well and staying confident.”
Benjamin Whittaker, Fighter, 2013 “What I think before a fight is all the hard work I have put in and all the times I’ve woke up early to train. Then I pray to God.”
Bradley Townley, Fighter, 2013 “When thinking that my first fight is soon approaching I feel a mixture of nervousness and excitement. I am not nervous about whom my opponent will be or how good they are, I am nervous about not performing to my abilities in front of the many people who have come to support me and expect me to do my best. I am also excited, as this is what I love to do. It is what I enjoy and I want to put my skills to the test and see what type of level I am at in the sport.”
Dre Groce, Fighter, 2013 “Before I go in I’m petrified. For the first five minutes before I actually get in the ring I’m wetting myself basically. And then as I see my opponent or I step in the ring I just get that confidence boost knowing that Joby’s there looking at the people in the corner, I just get that boost man, I just feel ready and I feel like I’m unbeatable.”
Kerrith Bhella, Fighter, 2013 “There’s a whole lot of nerves, a lot of different feelings. You want to get in the ring. You’ll get butterflies in your stomach. You’re thinking ‘this guy’s trained just as hard as you and he’s gonna try and hurt ya.’ But it’s a funny feeling, I can’t explain it, you feel a certain emotion because there’s so many different emotions going through your mind at one time; you feel good, you feel bad, then you start doubting yourself and start thinking ‘no, come on!’ And it’s just a whole whirl of different emotions, I can’t explain it. When you get in there you feel confident, you just go and you’re in survival mode and you know what you’ve got to do and you just do the job.”
Pavan Aujla, Fighter, 2013 “Well just before when you’ve got a few hours, staying relaxed, being calm, obviously you’re gonna be nervous and scared but as it gets closer and closer to the fight, let’s say 20 minutes in, 10 minutes in you’re thinking about the game plan. And then you’re kind of like psyching yourself up, talking to yourself, kind of like ‘ok, I’ve got to do this, come on let’s do this.’ You really have to talk to yourself until the point you just got to flip the switch and say ‘look let’s just do it, this is what I do, just fight, let’s do it.’ Sometimes you wish you’d have trained harder, like you wished you hadn’t have missed that training session but I think at that point I just try to listen to what Joby tries to tell me, which is the game plan and try to stick to that as much as possible, using combinations, keeping it quality, keeping it strong, keeping it fast and just try to impress the judges and win the fight even knock them out if I can, that’s the way I like to go.”
Ricky Ram, Fighter, 2013 “Before a fight I think ‘will my training pay off?’ To be fair right before a fight my nerves are really kicking off, so all I can say is before I go in to fight I just think to go right back to basics, I think of my stance, I think of my guard, I think about my straight punches, I think about my back leg roundhouse. And I think if I can execute my basics right in the first round then that’s a good sign, which gives me confidence to carry on fighting throughout the other rounds as well.”
Suki Singh, Fighter, 2013
Tommy Willis, Fighter, 2013 “Coming up to my first fight I feel nervous about having a crowd watching. I’m worried about the nerves ruining my performance. The fight itself or getting hurt doesn’t scare me, I just don’t like the idea of all eyes on me, I’m like that with other things; public speaking for example.”