When most people watch any sort of fight — be it boxing, jiu-jitsu, MMA — they often don't realize the true extent of the training, physical and mental, leading up to that very moment. I had an amazing opportunity to witness it firsthand when shadowing super middleweight boxer Edwin Rodríguez over a period of nearly three years.
During that time, I photographed the training in his home gym and shot from the apron for several fights. But, it was often the times when the camera was down and the gloves were off that I learned more about the complexities of Edwin, his life and how the melange of those things combined to impact his training.
He had the challenge of having two children who were born so premature that they were presented with many physical challenges as infants and toddlers. He would say that his kids were the real fighters and his pride oozed more than the average father. In my opinion, he was fighting for them, for their futures.
While I was there for my own project, Edwin and his team were being followed by a documentary crew. It's tough to be focused in training as it is, and with pressures at home that most people will never have to face. Now add to it a video crew that is watching every personal and professional moment.
Edwin was always incredibly composed and gracious and will be forever grateful fo the opportunity to execute this project and proud of the shots that resulted.