Boxing: Canelo Alvarez v Josesito Lopez

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.


Boxing: Canelo Alvarez v Josesito Lopez – Images by Joshua Hedges

UFC 146: Dos Santos v Mir Gallery

I spent the better part of the day and night Saturday at MGM Grand shooting UFC 146: Dos Santos v Mir for UFC and Getty Images. There was a lot of hype behind this historic card, being the first time in the modern UFC era that a main card had consisted entirely of heavyweights. And when it was all said and done, the card lived up to the hype, and then some.

Despite the emphasis in marketing the heavyweight fights on the card, there were several really good undercard fights, as well. Longtime UFC hopeful Glover Teixeira made his debut, putting away Kyle Kingsbury very quickly in dominating fashion. Paul Sass pulled out yet another triangle choke submission against Jacob Volkmann. Late replacement Jamie Varner finished the previously unbeaten Edson Barboza.

The main card kicked off with the tallest fighter in the UFC, Stefan Struve, jumping guard on two-time KO of the Night winner Lavar Johnson and quickly arm barring him. This earned Struve another Submission of the Night bonus and pushed him another step up the ladder in the heavyweight division. Next up was a battle of two unbeatens, as 8-0 Stipe Miocic battled 11-0 Shane Del Rosario. Del Rosario looked good in the early goings, landing a lot of kicks. The first time Octagon jitters didn’t seem to bother him. As the fight drew on, though, Miocic began to land strikes of his own before getting the fight to the ground where he ended it with some brutal elbows.

In the third heavyweight feature bout, Roy “Big Country” Nelson made quick work of Dave Herman with a brutal overhand right, sending Herman crashing to the canvas and earning Nelson another Knockout of the Night bonus. That bout was followed up by Cain Velasquez quickly TKO’ing Antonio “Big Foot” Silva in one of the bloodiest fights I’ve ever witnessed. Cain split “Big Foot” open early in round one and jumped on him like a lion on a gazelle. Referee Josh Rosenthal finally halted the bout a couple minutes later after “Big Foot” could not see through all the blood.

Finally, the main event saw Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos trying to do what previous champion Cain Velasquez was not able to do, successfully defend his title. Dos Santos’ original opponent, Alistair Overeem was removed from the card after a pre-fight drug screening denied him a license for the fight. Frank Mir stepped in on about 6 weeks notice to take the fight, and looked to pose an interesting challenge to the champion. As the fight unfolded though, the champ took control. A barrage at the end of the first round nearly ended the fight, but it would come just a couple minutes later in the second round when Dos Santos floored Mir with a straight right and followed up with some crashing hammer fists on the ground. The champ scored another highlight reel KO, and I nailed the shot!

I had a great time shooting the fights again and catching up with friends and colleagues, including Donald Miralle, Rod Mar, James Law, Esther Lin, and Paul Thatcher. I encourage you to check out their shots from the night, as well.

Below is my selection of shots from the night. As always, check them out on Getty Images and UFC.com.


UFC 146: Dos Santos v Mir – Images by Joshua Hedges