The Fight Night Cardiff Experience19 April 2022
In any given student’s university experience, there are a few events whose exclusivity and grandiose nature make them stand out from every other evening out. Once a semester, Cardiff hosts a black tie event known as Fight Night, where students who train with professionals for eight weeks prior can compete in a boxing ring. The scale of the event, having hundreds of spectators, combined with the smart nature of a black tie dress code creates a spectacle that you will not forget in a hurry. Hosted on the outskirts of Cardiff, walking to the arena would take thirty minutes to an hour, though since for many students this is a once in a university experience, most are more than willing to hop in a taxi.
Those who are brave enough to enter the ring and compete begin their training eight weeks in advance, with some going on rigorous diets and others taking a more relaxed approach; no prizes for guessing who wins in that match. Along with their ring-walk music and friends to help sway the crowd in their favour, fighters receive an extensive amount of freedom in their customisation of their training and fight night experience. Their access to various media outlets, and even being able to start external charity fundraisers for their efforts, allows them to shape their public perception and hopefully win the crowd, though ultimately nothing earns respect and support as quickly as a convincing performance in the ring.
This is a night out to look dapper and take some amazing photos with your friends, however flatmates and course mates aren’t the only groups that are invited along. The families of fighters and even student news sources are invited into the VIP sections right next to the ring for the best viewing experience. Such student media run articles such as “The best dressed at Fight Night” and interview the combatants prior to share an insight into their mindsets with student readers and listeners. Such publicising drums up further hype around the night and elevates it beyond a sporting contest to an epicentre for social commentary and celebration of not only the fighters’ achievements, but the event as a whole.
Once the proceedings have climaxed and spectators begin to leave, there is an organised dash to find taxis to transport the hundreds of students to their succeeding nights out. Despite the official afterparty accommodating many of the attendees, where they have the opportunity to meet the boxers, trainers and ring girls, others disperse across Cardiff in an oddly smart invasion of bars and clubs in the dimming twilight hours. Such events break up what can occasionally feel like a monotonous routine for students who regularly enjoy Cardiff’s nightlife, and whether it be sporting, musical or other events of great spectacle, even if it is special to solely you as an individual, those are the evenings that you will remember and be grateful for once your university career is completed.