Erin Toughill VS. Maricela Cornejo
nerves of steel
I flew down to Los Angeles last year for the weekend on assignment for Skillset Magazine to shoot and document my friend's coming out of retirement fight with Maricela Cornejo. It was a privilege to not only be given complete access to the venue for photography, but to be able to capture pre-fight private moments in the dressing room with Erin and her team; traditions, preparation steps, and stretching and warm ups that most fans and spectators don't get to see of their favorite athletes and fighters.
Earlier in her career Erin had been a gladiator on the TV series American Gladiators and her name on the show had been Steel, and it was aptly given because she always remains cool as a cucumber and focused and calm, meanwhile my nerves for my friend were insane and I was for sure more nervous than her that night (thank God for image stabilization lenses, fellow photogs, am I right?!).
As an experienced, accomplished athlete and one of the pioneers of women's Mixed Martial Arts, I invite you to visually enter the private, behind the scenes world of the culmination of years and months of strict training, as well as the fight in action and the aftermath. The process, the adrenaline, the tenacity, the teamwork, the positive sportsmanship, and the toil & tears.
Erin has also appeared on the television shows Warrior Nation, she's gotten in the ring with Leila Ali, and now coaches and trains fellow fighters in California, and devotes much of her time to bringing awareness to animal rights as an activist. To read and learn more about Erin and her journey, including personal tragedy that's helped shape who she is today, you can also visit her Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Toughill
All images © Carrie Hampton Photography
Hugs and credits as well to Bobby's Boxing, Laguna Beach, CA