L.A. War with the Corner Cam!

Made the journey out to L.A. to cover hot prospect Victor Ortiz for HBO in his bout against Marcos Maidana. Originally there were two televised bouts on the card, but a late cancellation of the co-feature left HBO showing only one bout and giving me a bit of time to do a few behind the scenes shots.

Arrived at Staples Center about an hour or so before credentials were scheduled to be given out, and met up with my assistant for the night Bryan Crowe. We headed across the street to ESPNZone to grab some lunch before creds went out. Bryan was pretty fascinated with all the TV's around us...

Jumped across the street for the credential pickup, but while the gave out the credentials, they wouldn't let us in yet, no idea why, but we stood around outside and hung out with Matt Brown from the OC Register and waited for the ok to enter. I was getting a bit antsy because I wanted to set up a remote on the ringpost for the bouts. Normally, I'll set remotes a day or two in advance of the fight, but with the death of Michael Jackson, the Staples Center was on lockdown to move all the contents from the rehearsals he was doing there for his upcoming London tour. Nobody was allowed in for any reason. After about 20 minutes they let us in and we immediately headed to ringside, and started work on the remote, no issues, and no one questioned it. Whew...time to relax a moment. A few test shots (with my giant sized assistant who likes to tell short jokes) later the remote was good to go.

Only five bouts on the card, so plenty of time to run around and do some backstage work, both Victor Ortiz and Marcos Maidana were very cool and allowed me access for some shots of them getting their hands taped and the early part of their warmups.

Then back to the ring for the entrances...

As for the fight...wow...minutes into the fight Ortiz dropped Maidana, but right after the count, Maidana dropped Ortiz hard with the very next punch of the fight! Ortiz rose on unsteady legs, but managed to survive a wild round 1.

The fight from then on became a slugfest, Ortiz dropped Maidana twice more in the second round, but Maidana rose each time, and slowly turned the tide with some strong right hands in a great two-way action battle.

Ortiz was badly cut over the left eye and had some bad swelling under the right as a result of the harder punching Maidana's blows.

The sixth was more of the same until a body shot hurt Ortiz, several follow up shots in the corner forced Ortiz to the canvas, and the ringside doctor called a halt to the bout, luckily for me right in the neutral corner with my remote, because I couldn't get the shot from my position ringside...

With the upset complete, Maidana celebrated with his new title, while Ortiz will have to wait another day to shine...

Had some nice gallery looks on the HBO site from the fight, the complete gallery can be seen HERE, but here are a few screen grabs at how the images were used.

Had a blast in L.A., got to see a good friend of mine from high school for the first time in a long time, and had a kick ass late night breakfast of Filet Mignon and Eggs! Thanks Pete! Also thanks to Bryan Crowe, my assistant for a job well done, and photographers Craig Bennett and Alexis Cuarezma, a great bunch of shooters and a blast to hang with, especially with an exhausted waitress at the ESPNzone!!!

Great fight and I really want to give the corner cam another go, as I think it can get even better...

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LA Style!

Hangin' in LA covering hot prospect Victor Ortiz' fight against Marcos Maidana for HBO. Arrived in town yesterday, after a very rushed morning in Newark airport, as it appeared everybody was flying yesterday. Thankfully a Continental employee took me to some super-secret area in the airport and checked me in ahead of the 200+ people waiting on line (YES!) and allowed me to catch my 6:50am flight. Of course I still had to go through the photographer's routine security check as they took out every and I mean every piece of gear in my bag. (More)

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Back to Back Covers!

Just arrived back from a long day at a shoot for a glass company to find the latest issue of Boxing News on the counter waiting for me. Opened it up to find I landed the cover with an image of last week's Cotto-Clottey fight, this makes it two straight weeks as I had one last week with a shot of Cotto training that I shot a couple of years ago...Nice surprise! Now it's off to Los Angeles in a couple of days for an HBO Boxing shoot...

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Garden Party!

Finished off the week with a pretty exciting fight between WBO Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto and challenger Joshua Clottey. The two waged a pretty heated battle, with plenty of action, and plenty of blood at the famed Madison Square Garden. Cotto scored an early knockdown, but in the fourth a headbutt opened a nasty gash above Cotto's left eye (see image). Cotto fought through the blood, and managed to squeak out a razor thin split decision over Clottey in a bout that could have gone either way.

Apparently blood was the theme, as Ivan Calderon was cut in the co-feature as well, captured a pretty cool image of the blood dripping off the forehead of Calderon, and I also somehow managed to escape the evening blood free, no small feat at these bouts...

Have a bunch of other shots posted at my sportsshooter page and a huge gallery at FightNews.com featuring all the bouts on the card. Now it's a week off, and then off to Los Angeles for the June 27th HBO card at the Staples Center.

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LOOK3 Yourspace Online Gallery

Check this out! Some great images in this gallery...

LOOK3 YourSpace Online - Images by Festival of the Photograph

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph takes place on June 11 - 13, 2009. For three days, the photo world converges on Charlottesville, Virginia for exhibitions, outdoor projections, workshops, interviews with legendary photographers and special events.

With a spirit of sharing and encouragement, the LOOK3 YourSpace exhibit gives Festival attendees a chance to produce and display their own photographs publicly. This year's YourSpace theme is "fortune."

for⋅tune – chance or luck as an external, arbitrary force affecting human affairs; a large amount of money or assets. What does this word mean? Who is truly fortunate? How does fortune (or chance and luck) play out in the photographic process? What photographs can you share that demonstrate the pliability of this theme?

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Fight Week Begins! (at least for 15 minutes)

The hype of fight week began with WBO Welterweight champion Miguel Cotto's media day at the Trinity Gym in NYC. Cotto will be defending his title at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Cotto is a great guy and one of my favorites to shoot, this will be the eighth time I'm assigned to cover one of his fights.

Ran into a few problems as I only had an hour to do the shoot, and had to be back on the road by 2pm. The media workout was scheduled to start at 1pm, but Cotto was uncharacteristically late, and didn't arrive until 1:30. By the time he got going, I had about 15 minutes to snap away, which was basically stretching and jumping rope. Not a good start to the week for me, but did the smart thing, however boring, didn't mess around and captured the safe images.

June 9, 2009; New York, NY; WBO Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto gets loose before his media workout at the Trinity Boxing Club in NYC.

June 9, 2009; New York, NY; WBO Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto is focused during his media workout at the Trinity Boxing Club in NYC.

June 9, 2009; New York, NY; WBO Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto greets members of the press before his media workout at the Trinity Boxing Club in NYC.

Side Note: The Trinity Boxing Club is a fantastic gym to shoot at, and one of my favorites. I did a shoot for a featherweight contender a few years back and loved the place. It's full of inspirational quotes, and old fight gear to set the tone...

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Meet the Newest Sports League, the UFL!!!

I had to shoot a press conference announcing the ownership for the New York Team (no name, uniform or logo yet) for the upstart United Football League (UFL) via US Presswire.  Being a football fan, I was quite interested in hearing what was going on with the league, as well as shooting it, and left with the impression that the league has a shot at making it, as there are some very personable and intelligent people in charge and they are content taking their time building the league slowly.

The man behind UFL Football  is Commissioner Michael Huyghue, who was the Senior VP of Football Operations for the NFL's Jaguars.
 Just listening to him speak about the league's goals gets you into it and makes you believe they not only have a chance, but will succeed.  

There will be four teams (Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, and San Francisco) to start and interestingly, they will play in 7 cities, as NY will also play in Hartford, Las Vegas in Los Angeles, and San Francisco in Sacramento, which could help build expansion.  Players will be drafted in July, and training camps will begin in September.  The season will be 6 games long and culminate in a championship game on Thanksgiving weekend.  They have also landed a TV contract with VERSUS and games will air on Thursday evenings in October.  

For the sports fan, here's a GREAT note, tickets will average $20 a seat...

Anyway, on to the shoot, a collection of media gathered into a room at the Cornell Club in NYC to hear the commissioner announce the league's newest investor, and owner of the NY team, William E. Mayer, who was on hand, along with NY Head Coach, former NY Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, who is getting a chance to run the show in NY.  

After a standard press conference, it wrapped up with some one-on-one's, at which point I began my edit and transmission for the league.  In the middle of my work, I was politely interrupted by Coach Cottrell, who was looking at my images. He was great, tremendously friendly, and was amazed at the speed that the photos could be uploaded, edited, and transmitted..."Man it's amazing what you guys do and what technology is capable of these days."  

Pretty ironic, I'm wanting to ask him about the team and the league and his work on the sidelines, and he's genuinely interested in seeing how a photographer works, and edits images.  I was very impressed with the Coach, and everyone affiliated with the UFL at the presser, with people like this involved, they are already off to a great start.  Hopefully I'll get the chance to cover it regularly and go along for the ride...

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The Last Emperor and my MBP take a shot!

Not the movie, the fighter.  I was contacted last week regarding my availability of shooting for Affliction and their announcement of Affliction M-1 Global's "Trilogy", which took place on June 3rd.  Calendar was clear, and they accepted my rate/terms, so I jumped at the chance to work for the high end t-shirt company turned MMA organization.  

Unlike another upstart organization, which threw their dollars behind an internet sensation only to fall down flat on network TV, Affliction is carrying on with real events, featuring real fighters, whether they make it or not remains to be seen, but for the time being, they are putting together some interesting events.  Yesterday's event was focused on Affliction's prized possession, the #1 heavyweight in MMA, Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko and his return to face former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett.

Fedor is not a very imposing figure as far as fighters go, he's pretty quiet, most likely due to the language barrier, and just doesn't throw off the impression of being a beast.  In the ring however his performances are impressive as he's marched through a who's who of heavyweight MMA fighters, most recently UFC vets Tim  Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski.  Anyway, a pretty crowded presser at the Trump Towers in NYC made it a bit difficult to work different angles, but in the end I was pretty satisfied with the images made.  

Here's a point to ponder why is it at a presser for any type of fight sport everyone feels the need to raise their fists???  I'm not talking about fighters, per se, but others involved like Donald Trump and Mark Cuban.  Seriously, are they planning on meeting on the undercard or something?

Now for the near tragedy...as the presser ended my MacBook Pro took a drop as I was moving around to transmit...THUD!  Thankfully, the machine functions fine, however the same cannot be said for the cosmetics of the MBP as it suffered a MAJOR dent on the top of the body. So much for the sleek look of the MBP.

Of course you can't see it now, as it has a new home inside a matte black Speck See-Thru cover...a day late and a...nevermind.

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View from the Ring Post...

Headed to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL this past weekend to cover the Boxing after Dark card for HBO, and finally got to try a remote angle I've been working on for sometime.  The corner...

I mounted a camera on the back of the turnbuckle of a neutral corner and used the ropes to frame the image.  I attempted this in Vegas in the beginning of the month with my assistant Al Powers, and after hours in the arena, we failed to get it to work because of the HBO slo-mo cam catching our lens.  We then mounted the camera directly on top of the HBO cam, and it would move with the slo-mo cam, but then the boom mic was picking up the shutter, so it was scrapped all together... (see below) 

Anyway, long story short, on the BAD cards there is no slo-mo cam which gave me clearance to raise the camera up for the shot.  About a half-hour the Florida Commission asked me to move it back farther from the ring, so we made a quick change, and it may have improved the angle a bit.  Mixed results the first time out, and I'll make a few changes (ie. raise it higher still) before the next HBO card in June.  I think it's a shot that has potential.  Here is another example of a shot that may just work from this angle...jubilation!

Anyway, onto the fights, Andre Berto defeated Juan Urango in the main event.  The fight was a lackluster affair, but Berto dominated on the cards and deserved the win, even if he didn't excite.  In the co-feature, contender Kermit Cintron jump-started his career with a big win over unbeaten prospect Alfredo Angulo. Cintron used good movement and combinations, throwing over 1000 punches in the bout and consistently bouncing right hands off Angulo, like this one:

Thanks to my assistant Louis LaPorte for his help throughout the night.

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