Between 300 and 400 people are expected to pack into the Aggie Theater in Old Town tonight. Not to see a band or a movie, but to see College Fight Night. Knockout Events brought boxing to the Aggie last year, and now they are back and bigger than ever.
“We have done a lot of advertising and we want it to be really big,” said Knockout Events cofounder Shane Swartz. “We average around 300 people, but we are hoping for 400 this year.”
The idea for Fight Night originated in the spring of 1992 when Swartz held boxing matches in his parents’ backyard. The company has now grown into a national phenomenon, traveling to Utah, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado throughout August and September.
MTV is looking at doing a story on College Fight Night, but is planning on covering the matches in Boulder at the Fox Theater on Wednesday instead of the Fort Collins show.
“We are trying to get MTV to come out a few days early and do the Fort Collins night,” Swartz said. “Fort Collins is my hometown, we both (Swartz and partner Kevin Shaw) went to school there and we all know CSU is better than CU.”
MTV or no MTV the fights will still go on. There are male and female brackets with three weight classes, including lightweight, middleweight or heavy weight. Once the fighters are registered, they compete in three-one minute rounds with one-minute breaks in between.
They start with quarterfinals, move on to semifinals and then have the championship round. It is set up as a single-elimination tournament. Winners receive a championship belt valued at over $100 and qualify for a fight in April where they can win $500.
There is one major rule that makes this event different than most fights. Everyone has to be a beginner. No fighter is allowed to have more than ten fights on their resume.
Most fighters are like former Front Range Community College student Jamie Shaw and go into the ring never having boxed before. He fought at College Fight Night two years ago and has been hooked on boxing ever since.
“I wanted to see what boxing was like and I thought it was cool and I went on to fight in some tournaments,” Shaw said.
He has now fought in six USA boxing matches and several tournaments. Shaw is now unable to participate in College Fight Night because he is not considered a beginner boxer.
Knockout Events also features other events besides boxing including a special performance by a three-foot tall stunt man from Albuquerque, N.M., known as “Micro Man” who will entertain the crowd in Fort Collins.
The doors open at 8 p.m. when boxers weigh-in and prepare to fight. The fights begin at 10 p.m. and all participants and audience members must pay a $7 cover charge and must be 18 or over to get in. There is no additional charge to box and fighters can register at the company’s Web site at www. knockoutevents.com.
College Fight Night will return to the Aggie Theater on Oct. 6 when CU students will take on students from CSU.