William Mooney, lighting designer for BYB Extreme Fighting, an exciting, bare-knuckles form of boxing, is using an IP-rated Elation Professional lighting rig to highlight the action inside the ring while supporting the atmosphere outside the ring.
Bare-knuckle boxing – the original form of boxing – is all about action and excitement. With BYB’s unique, 3-sided triangle cage, known as the Trigon and the smallest ring in combat sports, there is plenty of that. “It’s the most exciting franchise I have ever been involved with,” states Mooney, a man who has worked on boxing and mixed martial arts projects such as ESPN’s Friday Night Fights (2008-2015) and Combat America MMA Fights. “I’ve worked on all the major networks but I feel more excited about this show than anything I’ve ever worked with in my life.”
Although the fights take place indoors, Mooney uses a multi-environmental IP65-rated rig as a peace-of-mind layer of protection. “To have most of the rig LED and then have the IP rating on top of it, it gives me a greater level of confidence and comfortability,” he says. “If it’s not going to fail outdoors in the rain, it’s not going to fail indoors.”
The latest BYB event – BYB Extreme 5 – took place at the Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Center in Miami on May 15th with an in-person audience in attendance and bouts broadcast worldwide via pay-per-view. Mooney’s rig consisted of 6 Proteus Hybrid™ and 6 Proteus Rayzor 760™ moving heads, 54 SixPar 200 IP™ and 10 SixPar 100 IP™ Par lights, 4 DTW Blinder 350 IP™ and 2 DTW Blinder 700 IP™ white light effects, and 2 TVL 2000™ LED panel lights. He also incorporated 18 12PX HEX™ and 8 WiFLY EXR HEX5 IP™ lights from Elation’s sister company ADJ. Master Sound Productions of Miami (mastersoundpro.com) supplied the lighting gear.
Lighting the ring
There is an art to treating and focusing the ring for boxing and mixed martial arts events, Mooney says, and the triangular Trigon ring is especially tough “The angles are different than with a typical square ring. You need to avoid light spillage outside of the ring but you also need to avoid casting shadows in the ring so it’s not easy.” They are techniques he has mastered and something he says he learned from working with television lighting consultants Frank Gatto & Associates.
For ring lighting, SixPar 200 LED Pars at full white give a balanced coverage at 5800K and running about 140 ft candles. Mooney diffuses the SixPars using Rosco filters to break up the individual LED look. He comments, “In TV, if I take a camera and shoot the face of an LED fixture, like the SixPar, I get too many starbursts. By using the Rosco filters, I soften the light so it shows up as a parcan with a single starburst on camera.”
The LD says he uses a lot more color than most do in boxing events, another representation of the dynamism of BYB Bare Knuckle and something reflected in the truss throughout the event, which he tones using the ADJ fixtures, often in shades that represent the fighter’s nationality.
Wall and audience lighting
Mooney uses the Proteus Hybrid moving heads between rounds for spots, ballyhoos and breakup wall art while the Proteus Rayzor 760s run ballyhoos as spots and washes across the audience. During the action, being careful not to flash light through the ring, the Hybrids go to wall art, while the Rayzors keep the audience lit for the camera shot and depth of view. “By using wall art with the Proteus Hybrids and wash onto the audience with the Rayzor 760s it gives a depth of field to the camera that adds dimension to the room and makes the room look bigger than it actually is,” he says.
Trust and reliability
Having worked in concert touring for years, most notably for Southern rockers Molly Hatchet, Mooney has a long history in the lighting industry and taps into that experience and relationships for the BYB events. “In my history, I have learned that trust and reliability are key in any relationship. I find them in the Elation and Rosco products, and in Laz Soto of Master Sound Productions.”
BYB Extreme Fighting Series hosted its first event in 2019 and the sport of bare-knuckle boxing continues to gain acknowledgment and popularity. “It’s because of BYB CEO Mike Vazquez and his professionalism that the sport is taking off,” Mooney concludes. “They have built an exciting new franchise that will continue to grow.”
6 x Proteus Hybrid™
6 x-Proteus Rayzor 760™
54 x SixPar 200 IP™
10 x SixPar 100 IP™
4 x DTW Blinder 350 IP™
2 x DTW Blinder 700 IP™
2 x TVL 2000™
18 x ADJ 12PX HEX™
8 x ADJ WiFLY EXR HEX5 IP™