Fighting for a cause: Fraternity hosts charity boxing event
The bell rang and the second round began. Alpha Tau Omega member Callen Lovett got fired up. Noticing that his opponent, Sigma Chi member Jeff Doerr, wasn’t guarding his head enough, Lovett delivered a massive blow to Doerr’s face. Doerr’s leg jiggled.
Lovett continued punching. By the end of the second round, Doerr’s nose was bleeding.
“I started a little slow, but finishing on the second round was not bad either,” Lovett said. “I can’t complain.”
Lovett won against Doerr by technical knockout during Fight Night, an event held at the Student Union Building ballrooms Tuesday. The event, organized by Sigma Chi, attracted at least 400 people at the SUB.
Proceeds from the paying audience will go the UNM’s Children Hospital, said Adrian Avila, Fight Night chairman and risk manager at Sigma Chi. The event, organized by Sigma Chi, attracted at least 400 people at the SUB, Avila said.
Despite the match’s intensity, Lovett does not expect any bad blood with Sigma Chi after Tuesday night.
“There won’t be any bad vibe with me,” he said. “I really enjoy fighting. I think of it as a bonding experience. That may sound weird. Other fighters, they just like sparring and hitting each other, and they become closer friends.”
Fight Night featured five matches from fraternity members. Matches consist of three 2-minute rounds and are scored by a panel of amateur boxing judges.
Avila said Fight Night started in 2010, but Sigma Chi did not hold it in 2012 because of some member issues.
“We decided to bring it back,” he said. “We haven’t had it since 2011, and we felt like it was the right time to bring it back. The opportunity was just right … I’m pretty stoked. We have a great amount of talent right now, and we have sponsors.”
Avila said the fraternity started organizing the event in August.
“Our fighters have been training diligently all semester,” he said. “They’re here to put on a good show not only for the crowd, but also for charity.”
In the past, Fight Night charities included the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project, Avila said. He said that this year, Sigma Chi chose the hospital for a more personal reason.
“It’s close to home,” he said. “Everyone at UNM can connect to it. Normally, if you pick any outside charity, some people connect to it, some people don’t. All UNM students connect to UNM. It’s the right thing to do. We’re fighting for the kids.”
Each fighter also gets to choose their own charity, which would receive a portion of the proceeds depending on their victory. Lovett won money for his personal charity, Albuquerque’s Paws and Stripes, an organization that partners military veterans with trained dogs in a effort to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lovett, who just started boxing “a couple of months ago,” said that because the matches are for a good cause, Fight Night lifts fraternities’ reputations.
“I’d like to think that it actually makes us with a better image,” he said. “It shows that everyone comes together to help UNM as a whole. It doesn’t matter what organization you’re from or what group you’re part of. Everybody comes together to help out.”
And Avila agrees.
“I hope it frames us in a positive light,” he said. “Most people stereotype us. This is a great opportunity for us to prove that we’re here for the UNM community, and we’re here better not only our selves, but everyone as a whole.”
Avila said Sigma Chi is already planning for next year’s Fight Night, which he hopes to be held in a larger venue, such as a casino. He said the fraternity has tentatively scheduled next year’s event for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.