Amatuer boxing tradition raises money for charity


The Main Event was hosted by Alpha Delta Pi and Sigma Chi took place at Lexington Convention Center on Friday, November 20, 2015 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Taylor Pence

Bailey Vandiver

Basketball and horses are Kentucky pastimes. Once a year, Alpha Delta Pi Sorority embraces that boxing can be a Kentucky pastime, too.

For the ninth year in a row, ADPi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity hosted The Main Event, an amateur boxing tournament. This is the twelfth year of the tournament at UK.

All students can box in the tournament. For five weeks before the event, the participants trained under William Sarge Farris and other employees of the Lexington Legends Boxing Gym. 

The women of ADPi also had a lot of work to do in advance, ADPi’s Public Relations Chair Erin Murphy said. 

“The primary thing that goes into an event of this size is the marketing and promotion,” Murphy said. The sorority had to handle the “nitty gritty details” like liability concerns and securing the venue. 

The Main Event was split up over three nights, beginning with the weigh-in on Wednesday night, where the boxers were weighed and paired. 

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The fights began on Thursday and finished on Friday. The final fight on Friday night, between boxers Nighgell Davidson of Alpha Tau Omega and Jarrod Franchino of SAE, was a crowd favorite. The crowd roared as the two men ended the tournament with a heated fight that Davidson won by technical knockout. 

Despite the hits during each round, the fights were friendly, many of them ending with a hug or a handshake between competitors. Many of the men began their fights with a fist bump, glove to glove. 

Another of the most popular fights was between Allie Ruffing of Delta Delta Delta and Victoria Karem, a mining engineering senior. The fight won the Best Fight award, ADPi later said.

Ruffing’s sisters cheered with signs that played on her last name. 

“I’m never going to be able to do it again, so might as well,” Ruffing, a marketing sophomore, said on why she wanted to box.

She said she was “really relieved” that she won the fight. “I was nervous I wouldn’t win,” she said. 

Between every few rounds, a different sorority performed a dance in the ring. Katelyn Zinsmeister, a nursing sophomore, performed with Alpha Phi Sorority. She and her sisters practiced for about a month. 

“When you’re out there, it goes by so fast, but it’s so fun,” Zinsmeister said. 

The Tri Delta dancing team won the dancing competition as well as $200 for their philanthropy, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The overall proceeds of The Main Event went to ADPi’s philanthropy, the Ronald McDonald House. Between the fights on Friday night, a Ronald McDonald House representative thanked the crowd for providing enough money for 21 families to have somewhere to stay.

Because of the sponsors for the event, UK students enjoyed a great night that changed the lives of people in need.