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Beautiful Tension: Pre-Fight with Mike Lee

There’s nothing quite like a good fight night, and on June 8, 2018, the Allstate Arena hosted Chicago’s own Mike Lee and Jose Hernandez for a 10-round main event.  While the true majesty of fight night begins once the doors open and spectators fill their seats, eagerly anticipating a great match, there’s something powerful about the tension and anticipation of the pre-fight period mere hours before boxers touch gloves and get down to business.  

All boxers have their own methods of preparation, but you can be certain that there’s always one thing in common between the weeks before the big night: blood, sweat, and pain.  You’d hardly think so, however, watching Mike Lee arrive for this particular summer fight, calmly and cooly stepping out of his transport shuttle and removing his headphones, entering the arena, and getting a good sense of his surrounding for the evening.  Big smiles, playful punches, and last-minute strategy-building with his trusted coach, Mike knows that he’s worked hard enough to reach what’s known as “flow,” the incredible transition in which one becomes completely immersed in an activity and, briefly, operates at an almost animalistic level of intuition and reaction.  Watching Mr. Lee shift from his jubilant arrival-phase into a more focused, determined pre-fight state-of-mind is truly captivating, as this level of intensity is reserved for those athletes who’ve spent the majority of their lives in pursuit of greatness.  With a calm pull from his water bottle and a quick thumbs-up, Mike announces “let’s do it” and everything becomes real: this is real, and he’s about to battle another man with nothing but his fists, training, and a certain playful confidence - nothing like a quick eyebrow raise and wink to let you know that he’s done this all before.  

Want to learn more about the match in which Mr. Lee went from 20-0 to 21-0?  Click here to read a full summary of his 6-8-2018 fight against Jose Hernandez:

Image from Mike Lee boxing video