Boxing Club Showcases White Collar Boxers
The sport of boxing usually conjures images of disadvantaged youths stepping into the ring to fight their way out of a bad neighborhood. While that scenario is still true in many cases, there’s another form of boxing that’s been quietly taking the world by storm since the mid-1990s: white collar boxing.
On June 1, State of Mind Fitness held a showcase for such boxers at The Harrow Club in London. The gym trains white collar boxers and supports the training of pro boxers, as well as offering fitness classes and personal training for individuals of all fitness levels.
Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York is acknowledged as the home of white collar boxing. The amateur sport is so named because the boxers are employed in white collar professions such as banking, law and medicine. At one point in the ’90s, Gleason’s had a membership made up of over 65 percent white collar professionals.
Competitive white collar boxing is open to men and women between the ages of 25 and 57. Much less emphasis is placed on knocking out your opponent and heavy hitting. The International White Collar Boxing Association (IWCBA) has sanctioned more than 1,500 bouts since its inception in 2001, and injuries in those fights have never been more serious than bloody noses.
The IWCBA regulates bouts with a focus on safety. Its sanctioned fights require an experienced doctor, an anesthetist and a paramedic unit at ringside, as well as thorough medical checks for all participants. In 2007 a second organization, the World White Collar Boxing Association (WWCBA) was founded in London for worldwide promotion and regulation of the sport. It provides a standard of rules and guidelines so boxers can become ranked on national, regional and global levels and compete in championship title bouts.
Jane Govey, one of the event’s organisers, says that along with showing off their white collar boxers, they also wanted to “increase the profile of the gym.” There were 10 bouts during the event and “four of those were title fights,” she explains. One of the bouts was also an exhibition fight used to fundraise for FOP, an extremely rare and disabling genetic condition where bone grows on muscles, tendons and tissues when areas of the body experience any kind of trauma, no matter how small.
For Govey, the event was a smashing success and had several memorable moments. “It was a great evening with lots of people, including all of our gym members attending the event and 6 out of 10 of our boxers won on the night.”
They used Facebook, Twitter and posters to promote the event, and Govey believes attention to detail leads to event-planning perfection.
“The more you put into the planning of your event, the easier it is” to have a wonderful night, Govey states. “A great event schedule and lots of detail are essential for success.”