With headphones on and music blasting in their ears, fraternity men prepared themselves by the side of the ring, pulling no punches against the air. “Ring girls” practiced their struts in the hallway before the boxing match began.
Spectators surrounded the boxing ring Thursday, cheering on the boxers of the Main Event, a philanthropic event put on by Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Sigma Chi fraternity. The sixth annual event will raise money for the Ronald McDonald House and DanceBlue.
Spit illuminated under the bright lights of the ring as the fights began with a man in each corner and continued with punches.
The winner of the event is chosen based on a system of points for each organization. The boxers earn points by winning their fight, but only get one match to do so.
Some injuries throughout the night included an ankle injury and a bloody nose.
While some participants jumped into the ring without much preparation, others have been hitting the gym for months.
Business finance junior Drew Barnett from Alpha Tau Omega said he has been preparing for about three months.
“I’m ready to go,” he said. “I’ve been looking forward to this (since) last year.”
Barnett said he has been conditioning by spending time every day at the Johnson Center and doing training sessions two to three times a week.
No matter their training, the energy in the room was high, Brown said.
The Main Event included officials from USA Boxing, including two referees, five judges and one time keeper.
“We’re here to make sure the rules are followed,” William Farris said, the Kentucky chief official from USA Boxing. “(We) want a good show with no one hurt. Safety of the boxers is the number one priority.”
ADPi philanthropy chair Karah Brown said the turnout for the event is more than she expected.
“Everything is going really well so far,” she said. “The support is great.”
Brown said planning for the event began in April and involved multiple steps, like booking the venue at Lexington Convention Center, raising awareness and getting boxers signed up, as well as getting the sororities involved.
Sisters from Alpha Delta Pi who raised the most amount of money performed as ring girls, declaring the beginning of each new round.
Brown said these women each raised an average of about $250, with the most of $1,500.
Several sororities participated by dancing in the ring as teams between matches, including Delta Gamma, Kappa Delta and Phi Mu.
With 10 fights on Thursday night and 12 on Friday at the Main Event’s conclusion, Brown said she hopes to see even more people around the ring tomorrow.
The event will conclude at 7 p.m. Friday night at the Lexington Convention Center.