Itika Oldwine, NBC Chicago Street Team
When most folks hear the words “Fight Club” the late 90s cult classic film starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt (before the latter was a part of the infamous moniker “Brangelina”) comes to mind. Maybe it’s because, for most of us, the movie was our first real introduction to the flesh pummeling activity known as Fight Club. Fast forward 10 years later and I have found myself ringside at Fight Club Chicago at Joe’s Bar on Weed St. Now, I’m the first to cringe when I see a drop of blood oozing from the smallest flesh wound, so being in the midst of potential blackened eyes and busted lips had me ready to take flight to the nearest exit, but alas, I prepared myself for the worst and stayed put.
Chicago Fight Club, hosted by Jabb Boxing Gym on Grand Ave. near Ukrainian Village, happens four times a year and is organized by Michael Garcia and Dominic Pesoli of Jabb. The duo came up with the idea to put together the Chicago Fight Club events after noticing that many of the patrons at Jabb are “white collar guys that are totally into sparring.”
The first bout of the night was an exhibition between Duayne Richardson and his trainer Carlos Castaneda.
After the two went toe-to-toe, it quickly became obvious that this Fight Club was a little different than the movie’s secret society of men acting out their aggressions and beating their opponents to a pulp. Nope, this Fight Club showcases 24 guys from the Chicago area who put on their gloves, step in the ring, throw a few punches (and take a few too) while their pals cheer them on. Now that’s the kinda Fight Club a gal like me can appreciate.