Smacking the Ivy Off Each Other

These young men and women will one day, one day very soon, be managing huge hedge funds, litigating at the largest firms, and take their place among the country’s best and brightest.

Last Saturday they spent the night punching each other in the face in front of a cheering crowd.

sign out front

Every year the students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business square off against the law school for Philly Fight Night. The proceeds from the event go to the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia, this year they raised $90,000, but that isn’t why people go. We went to watch ivy league kids punch each other in the face.


Missushammas and I sat down with our programs and began picking our horses. Lets see… Matt “American Psycho” Magan 170 lbs. vs Konstantin “the Doctor” Gromov 195 lbs. I pick Gromov. Samuel Rech from Italy vs. Zach Garland from Texas? Look at the picture, Sam is too pretty, and he’s from Italy? Zach all the way. And so it goes on down the line, us predicting winners based on pictures and nicknames. Then the lights go down and the music starts. We are ready for them to rumble.


Fight night is only 60% fighting and 40% dramatic entrances.  As fighters names are called we watched  entourages of dancers, military processions, and skits usually including the fighter knocking out a crowd of mean looking stooges. When the bell rings it is obvious more time went into the entrances than the fighting.

Oh the fighting.cheers

I call it video game fighting. At the bell the two fighters approach each other and begin flailing wildly as if someone is blindly hitting the Xbox buttons as fast as they can. Such fights end in one of two ways, dramatic knockout in the first round, or two fighters exhausted and leaning on each other after one minute of action.

The first three fights were knockouts.bowtie and sparkly

After 8 fights I picked six right, the Mrs. only one. I beamed with pride as I am rarely right when the two of us shirtsThe next day I was asked “were there any good fights?” There was one. Do not get me wrong, there were lots of entertaining fights, but those are not the same as good fights. The last bout squared off Mark Wales of Australia vs Giancarlo Albelice of the United States Marine Corps. There were no windmill punches or corkscrew whiffs, but rather heads moving side to side and jabs. Two heavyweights actually boxing. It was beautiful. boxersThe American won. He looked a little less skilled but was much more the  aggressor. This was a vulgar crowd that appreciated offense over defense, power over finesse. And we, my date and I, appreciated it all.tie guy

Sweet Science of Fun

UPenn’s Law or MBA programs are not easy to get in to, neither is fight night. 

Every year Penn Law squares off against Wharton at the Legendary Blue Horizon (I know it’s legendary because it says so in the name).  What could be more fun than watching a bunch of Ivy League kids punch each other?  Tickets were sold out in 15 minutes. 

"The Blue" as Philly boxers call it, really is the best place to watch a fight.

The entrance a fighter makes is almost more important than the fight.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the leaders of tomorrow! 

One fighter was raised from the dead by a voodoo priest.
Why offend just one religion?
If one hails from Ireland they should have dancers and an actual Leprechaun right?
My personal favorite is having your Mom, your actual mother, come and try to intimidate your opponent.

The night was not pageantry alone, when the bell rang, jurist became pugilist, businessman learned the sweet science, and the student became the teacher… no really, one of the fights featured a finance professor boxing an MBA candidate.  The student won the fight but I wonder who will win that battle? 

While being Russian and dying your hair blonde like Draco from Rocky IV is intimidating, it was not enough to win this matchup.
Proof that this was more than just play time. Some were throwing thunder!
What better way to celebrate victory than diving into a crowd full of rugby players.

And finally, as my parting offering to what was touted as a charity event (proceeds went to the Philadelphia Boys & Girls Club), proof this was truly and most importantly about doing the right thing.  So much so that they not only featured male fighters and female card girls, but in a nod to equality they also featured female fighters and yes, a male card boy. 

What a night! 


Thanks "cape guy", we had a great evening.