By AUSTIN MADDEN & KELLI CAIN
Eastern’s Sigma Chi fraternity hosted the second annual Sigma Chi Fight Night Friday April 18. The event raised more than $14,000, exceeding last year’s total by $2,000, for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
More than 700 people packed into the Madison Indoor Recreation Center. There were 12 rounds featuring 24 competitors. The fighters trained with AFS Martial Arts Academy in Richmond. The fights included fraternity members from Eastern and the University of Kentucky as well as a participant from ROTC and one from the National Guard. Members of Eastern’s sororities fought against each other in inflated sumo wrestling costumes.
The crowds circled around the ring screaming and throwing beer, while fraternity representatives fought in two three-round matches.
“I think my favorite part was how intense some of the fights were,” said Merritt Tonne, 21, an emergency medical care junior from Reynoldsburg, Ohio. “As the night went on, the more fun and intense the fights got. I think it’s a fun and unique way to raise money.”
Some fights drew more attention from the crowd as members screamed, “Knock him out!” Tensions increased when fighters were injured. Nate Kidd, a Sigma Chi representative, dislocated his shoulder in his match against Lambda Chi Alpha representative Jacob Snellen.
“I like boxing because it’s something that you have to prove to yourself,” said Sigma Chi representative fighter Nick Wheeler, 21, a fitness and wellness junior from Bowling Green. “You have some somebody whaling on you, you have the ability to whale back.”
Brett Moss, a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and a communication senior from Alexandria, competed in the event and won his match.
“It was incredible standing in front of all those people cheering you on and doing everything for a great cause,” Moss said. “Fighting for cancer made it that much better. The fight itself is kind of still surreal, all the training and everything that goes into it, and then winning the fight was an incredible feeling.”
Adam Ellis, Sigma Chi’s former president and a physical fitness senior from Lebanon, Ohio, was one of the coordinators of the event.
“This year’s Fight Night showed us once again, no matter what letters you wear on your chest, you can unite a group of people under a great cause,” Ellis said. “Fight Night has and will continue to serve as an example of what Eastern’s Greek life has to offer.”
Logan Carney, 22, a biology pre-med senior from Union and Fight Night Coordinator, said he was proud of the result of the fundraiser.
“We certainly did everything we could to knock out cancer, one round at a time and we can’t wait to do it next year,” Carney said.