No one really retires, when it comes to boxing.
No one really retires, when it comes to photography.
One of those statements tell my story.
It’s been three years since I shot my last boxing match. There was nothing special about it. Maybe that’s why, later that night,after 17 years — 14 of those spent as a ringside (& Octagonside) fixture for most major fights — the time had come.
There were many factors. Things had gotten stale. Shooting for what amounted to less pay every year, watching what (still) appears to be a declining sport, feeling like you’ve gotten every type of shot at least once, if not a hundred times, and feeling unchallenged, all led to my decision.
There were other major factors, as well.
As far as boxing goes, I told myself that when the time came when clinging to a ringside position meant shooting for pennies, it would be time to go. As far local boxing goes, I always said that when Johnny Tapia was done (he passed away in 2012) and when Holly Holm moved on (to bigger, better things), I, too, would go.
So I did.
I got married the same year I divorced myself from boxing. I also made a new commitment to what had been, through the 90s, 00s and early 10s, a secondary profession for me—teaching.
This, then, is what I’ve been up to since ’14. Well, that, and more writing, though in fields that have nothing to do with chronicling who’s getting clobbered, what coddled champ picked up what new pretty belt, what pug was too old now, what youngster was on the rise, etc.
What went on the back burner was the shooting, at least full-time shooting.
Flash forward 2017.
Several missions accomplished, feeling like I’m where I want to be – a teacher, now an administrator, for an awesome high school embedded in jail, I’ve come back to the camera.
Life’s a spiral. You always come back to the things you’re driven to do. For me, that’s always been wrestling, wrangling and juggling my images, my words and teaching.
Armed with new gear, a fresh perspective that has me feeling like I did when I finished journalism school, I’m hitting the streets and keeping my calendar open for clients. You might not see the once-familiar bald head on the apron at a major fight (though you never know), but you will see me walking the streets again, or shooting the occasional wedding. You’ll definitely see me photographing students when they graduate.
It’s good to be back.