Meet the contestants of this year’s Birmingham Fight Night
Students will be competing on Tuesday 23 November at the Forum Birmingham
Birmingham Fight Night is returning to the city on Tuesday 23 November.
The 24 participants in the boxing competition include students studying Medicine and Politics.
Tickets for the event, held at the Forum Birmingham, go on sale on Wednesday 3 November.
First held in December 2019, after nearly 600 days, Birmingham Fight Night is back. 24 student volunteers from universities across Birmingham are offered eight weeks of free physical and mental training at D & A Boxing Gym in Stirchley, Birmingham to prepare them for the boxing competition. Volunteers will then be pit against each other in a series of 12 boxing matches in front of an audience of over 1000 fans. After just 360 seconds, a champion from each match will be crowned. Once each of the fights have finished, an after party will be held for competitors and supporters.
The Birmingham Tab caught up with some of this year’s Fight Night contestants.
Ella Kon, Fourth Year, Medicine
Walk out tune: M.A.A.D City – Kendrick Lamar
Ella told The Birmingham Tab: “I am competing in Fight Night because I want to try something completely new and see how much I can push myself mentally and physically.” Although she is finding training “tough”, “the gym and the coaches are amazing and we have learnt so much already,” she said.
The medical student described to The Birmingham Tab how she is “excited” about the match and the afterparty although thinks she’s “gonna need an ambulance.” The drink that Ella thinks best sums up her boxing style is Stella.
Lewis Carroll, Third Year, Sports Science
Walk out tune: We Like To Party – Vengaboys
Despite having never competed before, Lewis described how he has “always wanted to have a boxing fight” and is feeling “confident”, telling The Birmingham Tab: “I’ve never lost a boxing fight in my life! The training’s hard and sometimes I feel like bambi on ice but I’m improving every session.”
Lewis shared that he is looking forward to the afterparty and likened his boxing style to Diserano and Pepsi – “two cultured drinks for an incredibly cultured bloke,” he said.
Jordan Tob-Ogu, Fourth Year, Medicine
Walk out tune: Bluebird – Origami
“I’m nervous, but in a good way,” Jordan told The Birmingham Tab. “It means I want it.” He explained how, because his opponent isn’t training at the same gym as him, he feels like he needs to win, but said he is “proud to have made it this far.”
Describing his boxing style drink, Jordan cited vodka because “some people think they can take a swing easy. Soon they realise they’re a lightweight.”
Jess N, Third Year, Politics
Walk out tune: Yellow – Coldplay
Jess entered the competition because she “thought it’d be a laugh” and, she told The Birmingham Tab, thinks the match will be “quite funny”. She described to The Birmingham Tab: “I back myself” and believes training is going “well.” Frosties cider is the drink she thinks best represents her boxing style because “it’s not classy but it does the job.”
Danny, 1st Year Post-Graduate, Sport and Exercise Science
Walk out tune: Boom Boom Boom – Vengaboys
Danny explained to The Birmingham Tab that he entered “because I was born to do this. I came out the womb throwing hands.” Training is “going good” and he said that his chances of winning are “decent.”
The post-grad student told The Birmingham Tab that he is “excited and ready to rumble”, particularly with regards to his walkout at the the event because “I get to show off my moves.” Danny’s chosen drink is WKD because it “will leave you calling your mum for a lift home.”
Ollie Howl, Third Year, Medicine
Walk out tune: Jerusalem
Ollie described to The Birmingham Tab how he was intrigued by the “new style of training” and “interested to see how [he’d] react in that situation.” He detailed how he is “very excited” to compete in the match and experience “the energy from the crowd.”
Unfazed by the competition, Ollie told The Birmingham Tab that he is “feeling confident” and is “keen to win” his fight. The drink that best sums up the medical student’s boxing style is vodka because “too much will knock you out,” he said.
Chris Prinsloo, Fourth Year, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Walk out tune: Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant
“I think it’s going to be a great night but I’m sure as the date creeps closer, the nerves will probably creep in!” Chris told The Birmingham Tab. “I’ve been looking for a new sport to get involved with so when I saw it was back, I thought I’d give it a shot! As someone who hates high interval training, the first week was incredibly tough. However, the more I do it, the more I look forward to the training sessions,” he said.
The fourth year described to The Birmingham Tab that he thinks “it’s going to be amazing boxing in front of a crowd no matter what the result is!” Chris’ boxing beverage would be an Aunt Roberta cocktail, comprising of gin, vodka, absinthe, brandy and blackcurrant liquor “because after one round you’re on the floor.”
Evelyn Lawrence, Third Year, Medicine
Walk out tune: Power – Kanye West
Evelyn described to The Birmingham Tab how she “was voted most likely to win the hunger games at school, so needs to show them they voted right.” The medical student feels “nervous but excited” for the event and thinks the “adrenaline will be reaching new levels.”
Although she detailed to The Birmingham Tab that training is “painful”, she is looking forward to the atmosphere at the fight and “having all my mates around me and seeing all my hard work pay off.” Citing a lesser known beverage, Evelyn likened her boxing style to “Moonshine because it is so lethal it should be illegal,” adding “place your bets on me!”
Harrison Coeulle, Third Year, Sports Science
Walk out tune: “You’ll find out…”
Harrison is feeling “happy” about competing in the fight, which he entered “for experience.” Whilst he told The Birmingham Tab that the boxing training is “tiring”, he believes his chances of winning are “high” and is looking forward to being victorious in November. Absinthe epitomises Harrison’s fighting technique “because a couple of shots from me and you’ll be down,” he said.
Louisa Kitson, Fourth Year, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Walk out tune: So What – Pink
Entering Fight Night for “stress relief”, Louisa shared with The Birmingham Tab that she thinks the match will provide “a good story to tell.” The fourth year feels “excited but nervous” about the prospect of competing but said she is looking forward to “the buzz of the crowd.” Louisa compared her boxing skills to being “as good as my dancing”, adding her moves are like “a bottle of wine because you never know how hard it will hit you.”
Harvey Thompson, Fourth Year, Medicine
Walk out tune: Where’s Your Head At – Basement Jaxx
The final of five medics is Harvey Thompson, whose boxing style is also like Absinthe because “after one shot you are unconscious.” Entering “to prove people wrong”, he described to The Birmingham Tab that he is excited for both the match and the afterparty. “I am buzzing. I can’t wait to put on a show!”
For Harvey, “training is going very well. I am enjoying pushing myself and am counting down the days until I get to do it for real,” he said, adding that there is “no doubt in my mind” that he will win.
Seth Furney, Third Year, MEng Civil Engineering
Walk out tune: Still D.R.E – Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg
Completing this year’s line up is Seth, who volunteered “for the challenge”. Like many of his peers, he is “excited but nervous” and “can’t wait to get in there,” he told The Birmingham Tab. The mechanical engineering student described how training is “tough, but that’s what you want”, rating his chances of winning as “excellent as long as I keep training hard and listen to my coaches.”
Seth described to The Birmingham Tab how his boxing style is like “whiskey because it’s classic and simple” and that he is looking forward to “fighting in front of a big crowd of people.”
Callum Campbell, Birmingham Fight Night organiser told The Birmingham Tab that the training regime gives students the chance to “test themselves and see what they’re capable of. You get in the best shape of your life, learn a new sport and make new friends” he said.
Callum, who competed in a similar event when at university in Edinburgh, described the competition as “hands down one of the best things I have ever done. Walking into the ring on Fight Night is a memory that will last forever.”
Whilst Birmingham Fight Night is not a charity event, if volunteers take part in the event as part of a fundraising campaign, the organisers will donate money to their chosen charities. A charity raffle will also be held on the night, giving ticket holders the chance to win a number of prizes.
“I cannot wait to see people coming together again for Fight Night, dressed up to the nines and eagerly waiting some boxing entertainment,” Callum explained to The Birmingham Tab. “It’s just such an electric night for both competitors and spectators”.
“There’s a good chance I’ll have a lump in my throat when Sweet Caroline comes on!” he said.
Tickets for Birmingham Fight Night are available from Wednesday 3 November via Ticket Tailor.
Featured image by Monica Martini – www.monicamartini.co.uk