Mayweather vs Pacquiao? ‘Dawg Fight’ shows fighting closer to home

After five years in the making, the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, hyped as the fight of the century, has come and gone. While many argue about whether the entertainment factor was worth the cost of watching it on  pay-per-view or seeing it live from 1,500 dollar “nosebleed section” seats in Las Vegas, it can’t be disputed that both fighters earned exorbitant amounts of money for their appearances. With a purse of around 300 million dollars, the fight was one of the highest paying fights in history. However, many fans were disappointed with this major fight ending by decision, leaving them to wonder whether boxing is a dying sport.

There dawg fightis a place, though, where there is no win by decision. The only ways to leave the ring, victorious or otherwise, are by knockout, submission, referee stoppage, or by quitting. This event doesn’t take place in Vegas, it is instead held in our own backyard and victories earn about 300 dollars cash. Only half an hour away from our school, fights are held in a mother’s backyard as her son referees these backyard brawls. The film “Dawg Fight” gets to the heart of what backyard fighting is all about and its effects on both the community and the fighters.

Dawg Fight is more a day-in-the-life experience than it is a documentary. As it follows several weekends of bouts as well as one professional debut, it really gives the viewer a real look into the grit of the business. That business of backyard fighting is truly in our own backyard. Dada 5000, the man in charge, holds the matches in West Perrine, Florida, a drive that is only about half an hour from our school. The variety of the fighters is astonishing, with some coming from military backgrounds and others using it to stay out of jail. The one thing that brings them all together, however, is their desire to make a better life for themselves and their families. All of the fighters have dreams and aspirations no matter what their background is and above all else they are all human. Dada goes on to say that “this is the bottom”. Everyone involved is looking for a way up and the film goes on to show the hope that the fighters and their families have for their future as well as the support that the spectators demonstrate.

Much of the ambition that drives this movie is fueled by the success of Kimbo Slice. Dada grew up with Kimbo and Kimbo was discovered by professional promoters through unsanctioned fighting posted on YouTube. Much like Kimbo Slice, these young men are looking for their way out through social media, and some of them might even find it, but not with their fair share of hardships along the way.

The movie also touches on the controversy of unsanctioned fighting. Its opponents cite its lack of safety and proper emergency personnel as one of its biggest problems. If fighters are in one of these unsafe matches, their opponent and the managers are likely to head to prison for manslaughter. Even so, the brawlers are left without other options and continue to fight.

For a no holds barred experience that includes brutal fighting as well as intense social commentary and emotional stories, look no further than Dawg Fight, from the director of Cocaine Cowboys.  It was an official selection for the 2015 Miami International Film Festival and was featured in the Miami Herald, the Miami New Times, and Esquire. It is an iconic piece that get to the heart of the story and refuses to pull any punches along the way.

Watch the trailer here: