Fighters & Champs at Annual Show
It was a KO weekend at the 2014 The FitExpo taking place recently at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown L.A.
I checked out the show where various fighters, boxing coaches, gym owners and more go to see the latest in boxing gear, clothing, equipment, and more. From the amateur to pro, from the elite athlete to the weekend warrior, I gotta say this is the epicenter of all things related to fitness and health.
During the show I caught up with the fighters and champs in attendance, all making their way around the cavernous venue filled with combat demos, meet-and-greets with celebrity guests, a fierce jump rope competition, food samples, and plenty of photo ops with ring card girls and fitness models. There was a booth offering T-shirts bearing vintage shots of Cassius Clay, Mike Tyson and the Ali-Frazier fight, popular group demos of the Piloxing (Boxing and Pilates) craze, and a chance to hit the heavybags on display. There was something for everyone, all ages and workout levels. The family of fitness icon Jack LaLanne even came out to the show for the very first time. Elaine LaLanne and son Jon met many of the attendees at this yearly gathering.
Also greeting the onlookers were boxing trainer Savant Young and referee Herb Dean were there representing Pasadena’s Fight Academy, WBC titlist and eight-time world champ Miriam “The Queen of Mean” Nakamoto, amateur fighter and boxing filmmaker Jill Morley (“Fight Like A Girl”), junior middleweight Toby “Tigerheart” Grear, and more.
Jill Morley has competed in amateur boxing matches and was even a participant in the famed Desert Showdown. She and her husband Gary Lai (a former fighter himself) made the rounds to see all the new offerings to help enhance a fighter’s lifestyle. Morley’s “Fight Like A Girl” documentary is making a splash on the film fest scene and she was just awarded a World Boxing Council (WBC) Medal of Honor by WBC Chairperson Jill Diamond.
Another fight aficionado is pro boxer Toby Grear. The lanky blonde athlete has been fighting since age 9 and has mastered almost every form of combat sports with over 70 bouts to his name. He loves the sport of boxing and was honored to have Hall of Famer Freddie Roach hold the mitts for him at Wild Card. Toby also trains fighters at his own gym, True Warrior Fitness.
Everyone knows the discipline, dedication and hard work that goes into competing in the ring, and all the fighters I spoke with says shows like The FitExpo are a great way to see all the latest and greatest in the sports world, all in one place and all under one roof.
And there was one looker that really stole the show. I gotta give a shout out to the littlest “champ”–Jiff. This actor/model and fitness buff weighs in at six pounds of pure muscle. And oh yeah, he has four legs. This canine cutie was a big hit at the show. A 3-year-old Pomeranian who has bonded with the athletes, Jiff was there to visit with his pals in the fight world.
“The fitness community loves him,” his owner (who prefers to stay in the background) tells me. “Jiff is really athletic; a very strong dog who loves performing.”
In between the rows of champions, Mr. Olympia and ring card girls, there was this ball of fur drawing a huge crowd.
“He really has a connection with the crowd,” his owner said with a smile. The pup has over 1.2 million followers on social media and during The FitExpo, he got to bump fists (or paws) with Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk”), who really got a kick out of the dog.
Jiff may be the reigning champ at this annual convention. During the expo, got on his hind legs in a perfect fight stance as well as doing a handstand while walking across the floor.
He is a knockout just like all the champions at the show. Check out the photo gallery from this year’s FitExpo with some fun bonus shots from the day!
Photos by SH Bronzes
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