T Nation

Wilder vs Szpilka Locker Room


I was at the fight last night at Barclays Center working.

Thats kind of what I do- Make television.
lat few years its been allot of sports.

Very Rarely do I get to do anything related to MMA or Boxing- I did a shoot a few years ago
for a showtime Heavy weight tournament.

So I was in All of the lockerrooms- last Night.
Wilder- Szpilka Charles Martin- Glazkov etc and most of the prelim fighters as well.

we shoot them warming up getting hands wrapped etc interviews

a few observations-

the difference of how a fighter prepares is pretty vast
the entourages are worthy of Fashion shows

most of the winners where so relaxed in their locker room

watching a Pro hit pads was pretty amazing.
Speed was incredible to witness close up.

the most relaxed was Charles Martin He didn’t really warm up at all
to the point where it looked like he wasn’t sweating much yet
waited til well after he was wrapped - gloved signed off on etc.
I mean at all - a minimum of mild stretching

He hit pads and seemed barely warm yet he was super relaxed and exuded confidence
clearly going thru the motions.
Glazov in contrast - jumped rope - stretched hit pads did drills etc.

Wilder- put on a show for the media pimped it up a bit but was genuinely nice
again he was relaxed just another day in the office.
And gracious in Victory

Szpilla turns out to be a big prankster and a funny guy - he had an extensive
guided warm up - assisted stretching etc. Rocked out to some pop music and
sang along to like black eyed peas

I had a fascinating conversation with a NYSAC
they have to clear everyone with locker room access

asked about what I do for a living - was I a boxing fan
ha lets say it got interesting fast.
Let me say this happened over many hours- its a long long day with prelims starting at 3pm and the main event getting on around ten.

we talked about

drug testing - what his responsibilities are.
Pre and post urine testing
then we talked extensively about IV rehydration
weight cutting - something I know a bit about
why the sports all of them should move towards ways to regulate it better
is MMA getting regulated in NY -
why the boxing commissions are cock blocking it in NY without meaning too
that Boxing in NY is just starting make a tiny bit of a comback by staging better fights in NYC

we talked about USADA testing
litmus tets all manner of stuff blood testing
NY gyms old NY ( a conversation that could last days)

we spoke of course about training my own histories as well as his- that he is a former boxer and has traveled the world and US with boxers and he has trained in many many famous gyms.

I urge anyone who can correspond or speak in person to anyone in positions like this
be it college sports professionally etc to get after it.

You never know who your talking too PT’s Dr’s nurses
Refs’ officials , trainers etc you can learn allot
where else can you candidly approach people about this .

part of my job is to be somewhat invisible and not be a fan or a jerk on set.
Im on enough sets- and with enough ‘celebes’ when I have to be to be discrete.

and part of my job is to be nice- to people - sounds silly - but I do make the effort
be it cops elevator and facility people etc - you have to network a bit.
and you need to be pleasant.

but really meeting people like this is important.

on other sports events when Im in areas normally not open to public- you really have to behave.
But you would be amazed at what a simple - direct nice question to the right person can yield.

also being in a locker room of any professional sporting event it pretty eye opening-


That sounds like a pretty amazing experience; and you spoke about some pretty important topic. I reallly hope that you get to do this type of thing more regularly, as that was a very enjoyable read.


Agree completely with donnydarkoirl. That was an interesting post to read. I also remember the Affliction post/Fedor wears Ugs WTF post.

The wisdom about not being a bother but engaging SME’s with honest questions and listening is true in a bunch of fields, not just when making TV magic.


Robert A