My first exposure to boxing in Las Vegas was developing film for other photographers on fight nights. I was in a trailer developing film when the “Fan Man” (also known as James Miller) landed by paraglider into the Riddick Bowe vs. Evander Holyfield fight at Caesars Palace in 1993.
Later I started shooting the fights myself, chasing after the knockdown shot, the celebration (“jubo” for jubilation) shot, or the elusive connection shot where a punch is landing on a fighter’s face and sweat and blood are flying off.
The connection shot happens in a split second and is very difficult to catch. It is frustrating when you miss it. Occasionally a photographer will make a fantastic connection photo on his first fight, then spend every subsequent fight trying to create it again, like the gambler who has hit the jackpot, then continues to play, hoping to hit it again.