It is not superficial thing, a fad or moment of a generation. It is as deep as our consciousness and is woven into the fibers of our being. This is the ape and the tiger in us, granted, but it is in us, isn’t it?
Jack London on boxing, Dallas Times Herald, July 17, 1910
When boxers battle one another, they must possess an extra measure of strength, will and passion to win. They win more than a victory, they win back a piece of themselves.
I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was a kid, but I began boxing and photographing boxing at the same time, in the winter of 2003. My understanding of the physicality of the two developed together. After much struggle, my fighting stance finally came as naturally as slipping my hand under the lens to focus. I had to anticipate the punches; if you see the punch land in your viewfinder, you missed the shot. You have to keep your hands up for both, and at times I found myself shooting in my fighting stance.
After a while, I realized that it wasn’t the action that counted but the emotion in the boxers’ faces and their bodies. I saw the photographs more as portraits. Perhaps even self-portraits.