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Horowitz Ready to Throw Bombs at BKB 3

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BKB: Sam Horowitz

by Matt Lo Cascio

What is the American dream? Is it the house, spouse, kids, dog and the white picket fence? Maybe. Is it getting paid to punch people in the face and perform stunts on TV shows? Definitely. Sam Horowitz is indeed living the dream.

Horowitz will fight in Las Vegas this Saturday at BKB 3, an event that can be seen on pay-per-view. BKB is short for Big Knockout Boxing, a promotion that puts a new spin on the Sweet Science. In BKB, fighters do battle in “The Pit,” a circle that is 17 feet in diameter and doesn’t have any ropes or corners. The rounds are just two minutes each and the action is intense. There is nowhere to run nor hide.

“The Pit” seems to be modeled after the cages used in MMA fights, and Horowitz fought MMA locally here in Chicago before making the commitment to go for a pro boxing career. The first time he saw “The Pit” his eyes lit up.

“As soon as I saw BKB for the first time I wanted in that pit! It is perfect for my style. I contacted them via email, but was told to keep fighting, since at the time I only was 1-0,” Horowitz told Chicago’s MMA.

So he kept fighting — and kept winning, too. He added two more first-round knockout wins to his record and by then BKB had seen enough.

“I was offered a fight and my answer was yes before I even asked who my opponent was. I am just so happy and grateful for an opportunity of this magnitude.”

Horowitz left MMA a few years back to focus solely on boxing. While he could strike with anyone, his ground game wasn’t up to the task of grappling with the multitude of high school and collegiate wrestlers that fight MMA.

“My jiu jitsu was at a growing level, but I lacked the wresting background that so many high-level fighters come from. The better competition usually meant a higher level of wrestlers, and it just wasn’t fun for me anymore. Even though I loved fighting and competing in MMA, boxing was much more natural for me and my true love.”

With the decision to go for broke on a boxing career made, he needed full-time coaches to take him to the next level.

When Brock Lesnar made the move to MMA, he quickly proved he was taking it seriously by putting together a veritable all-star team of coaches that featured Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros, Greg Nelson and Erik Paulson. Horowitz pulled off a similar move, working under the tutelage of the great Sam Colonna and Rita Figueroa, both legends in Chicago boxing.

Sam Horowitz - Hitz Boxing

Horowitz with trainers Sam Colonna and Rita Figueroa and actor Jon Seda. (Photo: Hitz Boxing)

“I consider them the best in Chicago. My best friends are Donovan George and Mike Jimenez, and they made the move awhile back to start training with Sam, and at the time Don and Mike were trained by Don’s father Mr. Peter George, who he still trains with. We all made the move to Sam’s gym, and after my last run in the Chicago Golden Gloves I asked him officially to become my trainer and our relationship has blossomed ever since. I have learned so much from him and Rita, and every day has new learning experiences where I feel like a sponge soaking up some of the best boxing knowledge in the world.”

Horowitz has experience in a cage and a ring, but how do prepare for a fight in a pit? His team put together a plan to help simulate what the experience will be like when he fights Chris Spang, another former MMA fighter, on Saturday night.

“My entire training regimen was styled around the pit and the fast, hard, aggressive two-minute rounds. We set up a roped off area about the same dimensions as the pit, and all of my rounds, shadowboxing, conditioning and sparring has been with that in mind, but at a much more brutal pace.”

Horowitz is not only a professional athlete, he’s also a professional stuntman and actor that has worked on shows like Empire, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. As you might imagine, it’s been nothing short of a thrill for him.

“It is just literally a dream come true. Seriously. I work with the coolest, best men and women in the film business and I have learned so much from them. Tom Lowell, Brian Christensen, Jim Fierro, Chris Nolte, these guys are like the Mike Tysons of the stunt world and they teach me so much. The coolest thing yet was probably “killing” the commander in the season finale of Chicago P.D. this past season. I had to do a getaway scene and it was a speeding exit in a sports car in downtown Chicago! Tom Lowell coordinated the entire thing, and it was awesome!”

So which would Horowitz like to win most: an Oscar, an Emmy or a World Title?

“World Title,” he said without hesitation. He’ll continue to move toward that goal Saturday night at BKB 3, and he predicts he will win by any means necessary. However he gets it done it will be with the grit and toughness of a Chicago kid, and the flair of a showman.

Click here to learn more about Big Knockout Boxing and find out how to order the event. Click here to follow Sam Horowitz on Twitter.

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About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is a former TV producer who turned to new media in 2005, and he is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the XFO. His work has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided and more.

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