Today saw the official UFC 152 weigh in taking place at the old Maple Leaf Gardens here in Toronto. Was cool to be inside such a historic building, though I was kind of bummed they have completely gutted it and rebuilt it inside to a modern university sports facility. Still cool though, and not just because we were sitting on the ice.
All fighters made weight, thought it took Charles Oliveira some extra time to come in under the limit. The remotes worked out well. I can only imagine how cool it would have looked had we been in a huge, packed arena. Stage left camera was a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV with a EF 16-35mm 2.8L lens set at ISO 2000, 1/400, f4; stage right remote camera was a Canon EOS 1Dx with a EF 14mm 2.8L II USM lens set at ISO 3200, 1/400, f5. Most of the images in the slide show are cropped in quite a bit to lose some of the clutter and dead space.
Huge thanks to my friend Ed Mulholland for lending me his EF 300mm 2.8L IS to shoot the front shots on the scale. I originally planned to use the 70-200mm from the floor up front, but decided last minute to move to the camera platform in the back for a less extreme angle. The 300mm/1Dx combo worked out perfect for the distance.
Also, another thank you (not!) to the commissioner who knowingly refused to get out of the shot after each guy weighed in, even after he was asked to move. Really frustrating when that happens, but what can you do?
Greetings from Toronto, Canada. I won’t bore you with all the details of my exhausting week up here thus far. I’ll be covering UFC 152 on Saturday for UFC and Getty Images, and have been here since Tuesday night covering all the events leading up to the fight. Below are a couple slideshows from Wednesday’s open workouts and Thursday’s press conference.
I’ll be doing a bunch of new remotes for today’s weigh in, so stay tuned for those shots later tonight.
Last night, I covered the Showtime boxing card dubbed “Knockout Kings” for Getty Images. The main event featured championship bout between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Josesito Lopez. Also on the undercard were three other title fights. I had the pleasure again of working with my good friend Nick Laham, and that proved to be a huge help as he has shot a number of boxing events in his career, so I was able to ask him a number of questions throughout the day and night. Plus, it’s just always nice to be working with people you know rather than being the new kid on the block.
We showed up about an hour before the first bout to find our positions and get setup. One aspect about boxing that is drastically different than UFC is the lack of importance of the undercard fights. I felt really bad for the guys in the first few bouts. There were less than 50 people in the arena for the first couple of bouts, and most of those were the commissioners, production staff, and a handful of media.
The main card broadcast started at 6:00 pm, leading off with a war between IBF Bantamweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz and former title holder Eric Morel. Santa Cruz punished Morel to the body from the onset and as the fight drew on it allowed him to put together more combinations to the head. Morel’s corner eventually stopped the fight after the fifth round.
Up next was another war between Marcos Maidana and Jesus Soto Karass for the vacant WBA intercontinental welterweight title. This fight had a little bit of everything. Both guys had points deducted for unsportsmanlike conduct after hitting and shoving on the break numerous times. Maidana later had another point taken for a second offense. Both guys were moving forward and throwing heavy leather. It looked like Karass was wearing down Maidana around the fifth or sixth round, but then Maidana mounted a comeback scoring a knockdown in the seventh round and then later finishing off Karass with a TKO in the eighth.
In the last bout before the main event, WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez dropped his belt to Daniel Ponce De Leon after suffering a cut from an accidental headbutt in the eighth round. By rule, the round is scored and then a decision is declared. Ponce De Leon was ahead on all judges scorecards and was awarded the unanimous technical decision victory.
The arena had finally filled in time for the main event. Mexico’s next big star, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was making the fifth defense of his WBC super welterweight title against Josesito Lopez. The much lighter Lopez was at a disadvantage from the start as it was obvious the size difference would be a decisive factor. Lopez showed glimpses of success, but in the end would succumb to the attack of Alvarez. After seeing Lopez knocked down in rounds 2, 3, and 4, referee Joe Cortez halted the bout in the bout in the fifth as Alvarez was landing punishing shots against the ropes. I think Lopez definitely did better than a lot of people expected and he has a bright future, but at a lighter weight.
For anyone curious about camera settings, I shot most of the night using the following settings: ISO 4000, 1/1250s, f3.2. Most were shot with the EF 24-70 2.8L, though a few were using the 70-200mm 2.8L II and the 16-35mm 2.8L. All of course on Canon EOS-1Dx bodies.
Here is a slideshow of my shots from the entire night. You can also view the full take at GettyImages.com.
Upon returning from Australia a couple weeks ago, I checked my email and found an offer that sounded too good to be true. Amazon had sent me an email with recommendations based on my past purchases, and one of those recommendations was the Canon EOS-1Dx. It was listed as “in stock”. I have had two different orders for the 1Dx on pre-order since February through B&H Photo and Amazon, so I was shocked when I saw this. I immediately clicked through and hit “Buy Now”. Still thinking there must be some catch, I chose the overnight shipping option for $3 more (I’m an Amazon prime member). Low and behold, the next day a brand new 1Dx arrived.