White-Collar boxing back with a ‘hug’ – but no kisses

By Angel Chan

DUBAI 6 October 2017: 16 combatants from the UAE’s corporate world will push nutrition, wellness, technical and physical training to the limit, as training starts in earnest ahead of Fight Night XVIII.

A teacher, a lawyer, a digital marketer and a model agency boss, are just a few of the ‘White Collar’ hopefuls, that have embarked on an eight-week training programme to equip themselves with the necessary stamina, skills and ambition, to outwit their opponents at White Collar Fight Night XVIII.

Corporate contestants, both men and women, from 16 organisations, including Hug Digital, modelling agency Lush, will be trading their pens, laptops, catwalks and make-up, for a pair of boxing gloves, a trusty gum shield and some carefully honed ring-craft, to prove that it takes more brains than brawn (or should that be Braun), to outwit a fellow budding pugilist.

According to promoter Mark Povey of MJP Events, the showdown, is a guaranteed sell-out. “White Collar Fight Night will take place on Friday, 10th November, at the Andalous Ballroom, Habtoor Grand Hotel in Dubai Marina. A black-tie audience of over 500 corporate executives, will witness eight bouts of White Collar Boxing, where contestants will leave office etiquette in the changing rooms in an ultimate test of survival over three, two-minute rounds of boxing.”

However, before letting any raging bull or even a haymaking Whirling Dervish in to the ring, each would-be contestant must go through a rigorous eight-week training programme. Under the expert tutelage of fitness coaches at Dubai’s Fit Boy Gym, the regime consists of two, one-hour training sessions, three-times a week. Morning workouts focus on fitness and evening stints concentrate more on bag work, technique and ring awareness.


This year, Fit Boys has announced two innovations, engaging the services of a motivational and leadership coach and a nutrition and lifestyle coach.

“We see all of our coaches adding a new dimension to the training programme and are very keen to see how successful the initiatives are and the impact they have on the fitness and skills of the competitors,” commented Milad Saadati, owner and head coach of Fit Boys Gym.

“The first and most obvious mood benefit of boxing training is the same as that which anybody gets from any sort of vigorous exercise. The workout releases endorphins, which can induce a state of euphoria that gives an instant and often lasting lift to your mood.

“In addition, learning to box lends a sense of achievement, building self-confidence and self-esteem, not forgetting, it is also a fantastic way to get rid of pent-up aggression and frustrations! Taking advice about diet, fitness and lifestyle choices, will also help contestants keep up with the physical demands of the training, helping them to not only look better, they will feel better, sleep better and think better,” added Saadati.

Safety Rules

All bouts will be conducted under the rules of White Collar boxing which places priority on competitor safety and welfare. Each bout will consist of three two-minute rounds under the supervision of a professional referee. In accordance with White Collar’s sporting ethos, there are no losers – anyone who trains and then competes in White Collar Fight Night is considered a winner.

And who would deny former world heavyweight and cruiserweight champion, David Haye the last word? He gave contestants some very practical advice, before White Collar Fight Night XII: “It takes a special kind of person to get in the ring. Land your punches, move, duck, weave and don’t get hit back!”