Iowa State boxing: Fight Night

Senior Xin Long works on combination drills with senior Ye-Lim Lim Jan. 16. during Cyclone Boxing Club practice in the basement of State Gym. 

Mattais Gordon

It’s a half hour before practice starts for the Iowa State boxing club. While Connor Jobes, the current president of the club, starts to strategically tape his hands.

Next, he begins to jump rope while the basement of the State Gym shakes from the daily bustle of the other people from the two floors above. This is just his warm-up as he prepares for his training.

He enters the ring to begin to shadow box. Jobes is preparing for the club’s big event.

Fight Night.

The club holds this event every year, setting up fights with other competitors from schools around the area.

Jobes has fought in and trained for a Fight Night before. He’s familiar with the feeling. Although the drills and hard work are the same, this time it feels a little different for Jobes.

This will be his first fight in almost a year. It’s not from a lack of competing or a fit of laziness, but an unfortunate injury that took place during his last fight.

This fight took place a week after the clubs’ last Fight Night. Jobes suffered a broken orbital bone under his eye — the orbital bone is the bottom part of the eye socket. This was a serious injury and a major setback for Jobes.

This injury required Connor to go through two surgeries on his eye, while also causing him to wear an eye patch for six months. Others would have let this stop them from competing again, but Jobes isn’t that type of fighter.

“I love this and I want to be a part of it,” Jobes said. “Also, I want to make sure people in the club don’t go through the same thing.”

As the president of the club, Jobes tries to make sure that he looks out for his teammates and peers. The truth is though, the entire club looks out for one another and keeps each other accountable.

This philosophy is echoed throughout the club. Even though boxing is an individual sport, the club has a strong team and family feel.

Mikaela Blount, also a competitor in the club and the vice president, feels the importance of a good team is incredibly vital.

“Having people to support and push you is important because boxing can be a lot sometimes,” Blount said. “The more people you have to push you the better.”

In a sport where being mentally tough is more important than being physically strong or gifted, this support and camaraderie is very important to the success of the team.

“None of us let each other slip,” Blount said. “If any of us is lacking, we call each other out.”

When you aren’t sure when or if you will have a fight, it can be hard not to slip on training. Those constant reminders and words of encouragement from teammates can get you through the tough times.

“It’s all one big team, so everybody’s looking out for each other and keeping each other accountable,” said Justin Helgens, another member of the boxing club. “[Teammates] are the reason you come here.”

While teammates are the ones that encourage you, they also can push you to be better. When boxing, your peers are your competition every single day.

They are your drill partners and they are also your sparring partners. So, while you’re getting better, your teammate are also making strides with you.

“Getting your teammates better is going to get you better in the end,” Jobes said. “Those are the people you train with every day, by helping them get better your also helping yourself.”

On Saturday, March 3, at 5 p.m. in the basement of State Gym, Jobes and the team will have different competition as schools from all around the area will come to compete. They will look to take what they learned from their training and from each other and apply it to the clubs’ Fight Night event.