Championship Amateur Boxing: Fight Night at Italian Cultural Centre (Vancouver, BC) | Confratellanza Italo-Canadese & NBBC

Fight Night at the lovely Italian Cultural Center for this years Amateur Championship Boxing for Vancouver clubs such as Burnaby Boxing Club and Pack of Wild Dogs from Richmond. I was invited to be the official photographer for "Pack of Wild Dogs" (PoWD) Club featuring our Champion of the night Ali El Kurdi.

The Fight

And the moment everybody's waiting for. Off with the head gear and the shirts! The crowd cheers as the announcer introduces both fighters from Richmond and Burnaby for the Championship fight! Ali El Kurdi VS Jamieson Louis! Ali explodes in to the first round furious with rage. That's his style! His opponent struggles to parry off Ali's raging bull offense and slips on to one knee in the second round and the third. Second round, the fight was quick paced and even, blows exchanged as both fighters circles the ring for offensive stance! Ali fired many hay makers and landed a few while receiving his share as well! By the third round Ali changed his pace and they were exchanging blows left and right. No knock outs. But Ali emerges as the Champion of the night by unanimous decision from the judges. Both fighters put up a great fight!

Gear and Comments:

Nikon D7000 | 70-300mm VR F4.5-5.6  FX | Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D

Nikon 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 VR FX
I wanted to see how the 70-300 performed with action photography under low light conditions. The stage of was just lit enough for the 70-300 to work at from f4.5-f5.6 while pushing my auto iso limits from 1000-1600. I don't like noisy pictures so I try to limit the iso although the D7000 can produce useable pictures past iso 3200. The shutter speed was a reserved 200-300 because I wanted some motion blur, although next time I'd bump up the shutter speed just a tad to get some nice clean freeze action shots. The stage was raised of course so I stood at the back wall behind all the audiences on a chair to get some height. From such a hyper focal distance I used a single servo mode. Overall I was impressed with the performance of the 70-300mm. It is a very capable lens for this type of photography given there is enough light. The focus is fast and in day light the performance of this lens only gets better.

Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D
I also shot with a 1/200 sec shutter. Honestly, I could have bumped up the shutter speed here since I was shooting at f2.8 and the auto-iso fell between 200-360. I was so caught up trying to catch the action I forgot to adjust the shutter. Amateur fights happen REAL fast and get heated real quickly!!! This time I was up against the ropes right below the ring. The fighters moved around quite a bit so it's hard to get nice clean shots showing both of them since a lot of the times you're going to see someones back which means nothing really going on in the shots. None the less, the Nikkor 50mm is a fast inexpensive prime lens and it performs just fine for such action photography. Again I relied on Single Servo mode as I'm confident in the D7000's AF abilities to catch the shots I want. Here's the part where having some boxing experience helps as a photographer for such action photographer, you'd want to anticipate when the shots are going to come.

After thoughts

If I were to do this event again, I'd use a 24-70 f2.8 or a 70-200 f2.8. The 24-70mm would be fantastic up at the ropes. It is a mid range fast zoom perfect for such conditions. The 70-200 would be great with a tele converter or somewhere up higher than the stage to avoid the ropes getting in to the frame. I didn't have either of these expensive lenses at the time (24-70 broke) so I made out with what I had. Also, I would opt to use Continuous Focus mode with a Hi Speed Multi Shots and 3D AF.