Atlanta Corporate Fight Night is a white-collar boxing event that pits regular working folks against each other in the ring as they look to punch something other than the clock.
The event will be held on October 21 inside the Marriott Century Center in northeast Atlanta. Here's a preview of the fifth bout of the night between Laura Messier, a Georgia State Senate worker, and Roni Williams, an accountant:
Laura Messier, 25, is used to working long, thankless hours at her job in the Georgia State Senate office, but training for over six months to take part in ACFN was like nothing she had ever experienced.
"It's not really what I thought it was going to be like," she said. "It’s insanely hard. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’m in the best shape of my life. I have never done anything competitive in my entire life."
Competition is something that Messier says she has always shied away from in the past and will likely continue to do so once her boxing career is over.
"I have always said that I am not a competitive person at all and what I’ve learned through all of this is that I’m really not very competitive," Messier said. "I have no desire to become an amateur boxer, which is a thought I had originally, but I really strive to be my best physically so that’s really what this is for me. I wanna kick her ass, but the competitive part…I’m not so much a fan of which explains why I stayed away from it."
Messier will have to take a different approach come October 21 if she's going to defeat her opponent and especially if she wants to impress her co-workers.
"Most of them (co-workers) make a lot jokes about sending me to kick some people’s asses which tickles me thoroughly, but they’ve all been really supportive and they all just think it’s really neat," Messier said. "Other people throughout the Capitol or people roaming through the office end up finding out just through conversation, but it’s fun and they don’t expect it.
"If you just see me sitting behind my desk doing my job, you’d have no idea so when they find out, they’re like, ‘Oh wow, really?’ So that’s really fun for me."
Roni Williams, 25, was born in Germany, but has been living in Atlanta for awhile. She received her MBA from Texas A&M and is currently enrolled at Georgia State.
Williams is the only ACFN participant that has a family member who is involved in boxing as her sister, Ronda, trains at Decatur Boxing Club as an amateur fighter—but that's not the reason why Roni got involved in boxing herself.
"I wanted to lose weight, so I started training with Terri Moss at Decatur Boxing Club," Williams said. "My sister was already training there and is one of Terri’s amateur boxers, so I had already been exposed to it. I’ve been thinking of trying it on a higher level for a while, and now I’ve got a chance to do it on a great show."
The sisters have been sparring off and on over the past couple of months, but Roni will have her work cut out for her once she steps in the ring against someone other than her big sister.
Check back on Monday for a preview of the Atlanta Corporate Fight Night bout between a local consultant and a Fernbank biologist.
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