The increase in popularity of white collar boxing events in recent years, means that it is now easier than ever for anyone to live the life of a boxer, at least for a few weeks anyway.
Competitors who sign up are given eight weeks training by boxing professionals before stepping into the ring with an equally matched opponent over three two minute rounds. The events have raised millions for various charities over the years but have also provoked many questions, with some people asking should it be so easy for someone with no experience be able to step into a boxing ring after just a few hours training?
There are several large organisations who put on these events and all of them place the safety of the fighters as a priority. The recor
ds of these promotions are very good with very few cases of serious injury or worse. Every effort is made to make the boxers as safe as possible in a sport that we all know can be dangerous for every man or woman who steps in the ring at any level.
White collar events have their origins in the 1980’s New York, when gym owner Bruce Silverglade began organising informal matches between white collar workers. The events proved to be popular and he began putting on monthly shows. The popularity continued to rise and under promoter Alan Lacey in the 1990’s came to prominence.
In recent years with the help of sites such as YouTube white collar events have drawn millions of viewers firmly placing the genre in the mainstream. According to sources the 2018 match between YouTubers KSI and Joe Weller was watched by 1.6 million viewers in the UK making it the largest boxing audience since Joshua and Klitschko had their epic battle for the heavyweight title.
With all this coverage it is no surprise that fans of all ages and abilities want to lace up the gloves and step between the ropes and try to emulate their heroes. There is then the matter of cross over with some fighters looking to use the white collar route as a stepping stone to a professional career. A good example of this is Fabio Wardley who is managed by heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte. Wardley who turned professional after just four white collar bouts has built a record of 6-0 with 5 ko’s, proving that even if it is not the usual route it is a possible avenue to the paid ranks. It will be interesting to watch how his career progresses in the coming years.
For the average person looking to sign up for a white collar show the bright lights of the O2 will be a far distant thought. They will be looking to raise money, get fit and have a taster of what a real fighter has to go through to get in fighting shape. They will be looking to see if they have what it takes to compete and give their all for those three rounds in front of a large crowd including their family and friends. It is for these reasons that white collar events are here to stay and why I would still consider lacing up the gloves and taking part in an event myself