• Third annual Real Estate Rumble pinned real estate professionals against one another in a boxing ring
  • The event raised funds for the Big Brothers Big Sisters charity
  • The sold out event took place at Park West

Months of training, sweat and sacrifice all led up to May 19: two coaches, 28 fighters, 14 bouts and three rounds in the ring. The third annual Real Estate Rumble took place at Park West, and the sold-out event was filled with high energy.

The crowd, supporters and fighters were clamoring at the start of the first bell at 7:30 p.m. For the fighters, their teams and coaches, it all came down to a total of 270 seconds.


After each bout, a winner was crowed a Real Estate Rumble belt, and the respective team was awarded a point. But at the end of the night, the true winners weren’t those who dealt the most punches, they were those that raised the most money.

Donning the traditional boxing attire, each contestant took to the ring with headgear and boxing gloves. A few participants even created personas for themselves, wearing capes with names like Frank the Tank.

Fighters were matched up against others of their same size, age or sex, generally, with participants ranging from young guns to middle-aged men who still got it. And some of the most exciting matches were the girls, not holding anything back once the bell rang.

Leading up to the event, contestants learned how to hit, how to take a hit and how to swiftly maneuver around the ring. All for the chance to wear a Real Estate Rumble belt.

Big Brother Big Sisters of Chicago was the event’s main partner, receiving profits from the event and money raised by participants. Participants from all across Chicagoland’s real estate industry were represented that night. From mortgage providers to commercial developers to real estate agents, the event brought together the industry under one roof.

The Real Estate Rumble continues to grow, selling out an even bigger venue this year. Last year’s event took place at Joe’s on Weed Street and had only half the amount of fighters. More than $12,000 was raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters and another $3,000 for Mercy Home last year. Having just 600 attendees last year, the event grew by about 50 percent in 2016.

Real Estate Rumble founders

The founders of the event, Greg Pekarsky and Ryan Cotter, brought their love of working with charitable causes and raising money to the real estate world. Both are real estate professionals in the local market.

Ryan Cotter has been boxing for more than 20 years, and he has been a big name in Chicago real estate. Currently at CONLON/Christie’s International, Cotter has been featured in Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Tribune, WGN and more.

Pekarsky has been named one of the National 30 under 30 Realtors by the National Association of Realtors and co-owns Vesta Preferred.

Email Kimberly Manning

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