White-collar boxing

Last updated

White-collar boxing is a form of boxing in which people in white-collar professions train to fight at special events. Most have had no prior boxing experience.


Early history

White-collar boxing has its beginnings at Gleason's Gym in New York City. Gym owner Bruce Silverglade began organizing informal fights between the white-collar workers of his clientele in the late 1980s, which later developed into regular monthly events. After developing into a regular monthly event, the sport came to prominence in the mid-1990s under the organization of boxing promoter Alan Lacey. [1] By 2004 over 65% of Gleason's Gym membership was from a white-collar background, compared to 10% in the early 1990s. The increase of membership from this demographic has been credited with maintaining the profitability of boxing gyms in the U.S. and UK. [2]

Event management consultant Alan Lacey, who co-promoted the Gary Stretch vs. Chris Eubank WBO middleweight championship bout in 1991, belatedly discovered boxing training at the age of 45. Captivated and motivated by the discipline over the following years, he started training under former European champion Jimmy McDonnell and alongside two-time Olympian and world title challenger Adrian Dodson, who having spent most of his youth at Gleason’s Gym in New York suggested Lacey to fulfill his ambition to box, even at the age of 48, and arranged for him to visit Gleason's and box there. On the flight back to London, Lacey decided white-collar boxing could flourish in London. [ citation needed ]

In July 2000, the inaugural white-collar boxing event, "Capital Punishment", in collaboration with Gleason's owner Bruce Silverglade, saw a team of Wall Street bankers fly to London to compete at Broadgate Arena in London, generating interest and media coverage. Lacey boxed twice on the night and subsequently devoted his time and energy to developing the sport exclusively since. Over 100 sold-out events have followed "Capital Punishment", including "Celebrity Boxing" on the BBC in 2003 featuring, among others, Les Dennis and Ricky Gervais, and raising more than £1.5 million for various charities. [ citation needed ]

In the Asia–Pacific region

The many bouts in the Asia–Pacific region are usually contested under WWCBA (see below) sanctioning.

Governing bodies

In 2001, Lacey and Bruce Silverglade co-founded the International White Collar Boxing Association (IWCBA), [3] the first and to this day main advisory and sanctioning governing body in the field, designed to regulate the bouts with a focus on safety. The IWCBA uses the same weight divisions of professional boxing and awards a belt to the champions of each weight category. Matchmaking of non-title bouts is based on level of experience as much as actual weight. It also rigorously requires the presence of an experienced doctor, an anesthetist, and a paramedic unit at ringside as well as thorough medical checks. Over 1,500 bouts have been sanctioned by the IWCBA over the years, with zero injuries aside from bloody noses. IWBCA-sanctioned bouts are predominant in the UK and US.

In 2007, the World White Collar Boxing Association (WWCBA) was founded to London, UK, to regulate and promote the sport throughout the world, but is principally active in the Asia–Pacific region. The WWCBA provides a common platform in the form of rules and guidelines allowing boxers to become ranked nationally, regionally and globally and to contest for championship titles. In 2008 the WWCBA sanctioned 9 events throughout the world. The WWCBA works with other boxing authorities such as the amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) to ensure strong standards. [4]


Bouts are usually three 2-minute rounds ("3×2" format), unlike the longer three 3-minute rounds (3×3) in the Amateur Code for men and 4×2 format for women. The IWCBA bouts have traditionally been "no decision" draws (ties) in absence of a knock-out, while WWCBA ranking system requires a win-loss decision for all bouts.

The first large gala events included the Boodles Boxing Ball series attended by Prince Harry as well as the "Hedge Fund Fight Nite" raising over $200,000 for charity both is initially organized/staged by The Real Fight Club.

In 2005 a purely non-profit black-tie gala at the London Hilton organized by The David Adams Leukaemia Appeal Fund & Mr King with more than 950 black-tie dinner guests raised over £100,000 for The Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Campaign on the night. It was the largest event of its kind until 2013, see below.

In April 2009 a gala at Suntec Singapore Exhibition and Convention Centre staged by Vanda Promotions had more than 900 black-tie guests.

On Saturday, 18 July 2009, the Channel Island of Jersey held its first white-collar-boxing event. Nine fights were watched by over 600 paying, black-tied guests at the Hotel de France, raising around £15,000 for local charities.

In 2009, Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB) hosted their first event in Derby and soon became the largest company organising events in the UK. They hold events in over 110 towns and cities across the UK and have raised over £21,000,000 to date through Ultra Events for Cancer Research UK since they began fundraising in 2013. UWCB organise over 450 events a year with an average of 15,000 people taking part each year. In their 10 year history more than 50,000 people have taken part in UWCB events organised across the UK.

One of the newest names in the industry is Premier White Collar Boxing (PWCB). Hosting sold-out shows at glamorous venues, PWCB gives the boxers the opportunity to raise money for a charity of their choice.

On 13 October 2012, Neilson Boxing, a Swindon-based white-collar-boxing promoter, put on the largest show of its kind to date. A venue verified attendance of 1398 watched ten contests at the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon with the main event seeing Dave 'Bam Bam' Gregory retain his NP Heavyweight title against Rich 'The Tank' Loveday over three rounds. This was surpassed in March 2014 when a crowd of nearly 2,000 fight fans saw 'Sugar' Shawn Grant defeat ex-pro Phill Day to gain the Vacant Cruiserweight Title.

On 20 April 2013, Vanda Promotions (part of Vanda Sports Group) held its twenty-fourth event in Singapore making the series the longest consecutive white-collar boxing in the history of the sport. A verified attendance of 1,943 attended the black-tie event at the Raffles Convention Centre which brought total attendance over the five-year history of the events to 15,491. The event also saw Vanda move past the $2 million mark for funds raised for children's charities in Asia and for the continued funding of the Vanda Wing at Children's Surgical Centre in Cambodia. Vanda was also the recipient of the "Promoter of the year award" for the fourth consecutive year from the World White Collar Boxing Association (WWCBA).

YouTube Boxing Championship

On 3 February 2018, two British YouTubers, KSI and Joe Weller, fought at Copper Box Arena in London, England, where KSI defeated Weller by technical knockout. At its peak, 1.6 million viewers tuned in live.[ citation needed ] On YouTube, the KSI vs. Weller fight drew 21 million views on fight night, [5] and over 25 million over the next several days, becoming the biggest white-collar boxing fight in history. [6] KSI was awarded the YouTube Boxing Championship Belt.

KSI fought American YouTube personality Logan Paul in a white-collar boxing match on 25 August 2018. One judge scored in favour of KSI and two judges scored a draw, resulting in a majority draw. [7] The fight has been labeled "the largest event in YouTube history" [8] [9] and "the largest ever amateur boxing fight". [10]


Sixteen-ounce gloves are standard in the white-collar-boxing ring in order to protect competitors from heavy blows and hand injuries. Some gyms permit 14 oz gloves as well for lighter weight classes and for female competitors. Moreover, headgear, groin protectors, and mouthguards are obligatory requirements inside the ring. [11]


On 21 June 2014, white-collar boxer Lance Ferguson-Prayogg collapsed following a fight at The Forum nightclub in Nottingham, England. Paramedics were called, and he was taken to hospital, but died the next day. [12] [13] An autopsy ultimately attributed his death to the use of diet pills, not boxing. [14]

Related Research Articles

Womens boxing

Although women have participated in boxing for almost as long as the sport has existed, female fights have been effectively outlawed for most of boxing's history, with athletic commissioners refusing to sanction or issue licenses to women boxers, and most nations officially banning the sport. Reports of women entering the ring go back to the 18th century.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. American boxer and boxing promoter

Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. is an American professional boxing promoter and former professional boxer. He competed between 1996 and 2015, and made a one-fight comeback in 2017. During his career he won fifteen major world titles including The Ring in five weight classes, the lineal championship in four weight classes, and retired with an undefeated record. As an amateur, Mayweather won a bronze medal in the featherweight division at the 1996 Olympics, three U.S. Golden Gloves championships, and the U.S. national championship at featherweight.

Gennady Golovkin Kazakhstani boxer

Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin, often known by his nickname "GGG" or "Triple G", is a Kazakhstani professional boxer. He is a two-time middleweight world champion, having held the IBF and IBO titles since 2019. He previously held the unified WBA (Super), WBC, IBF and IBO titles between 2014 and 2018 and was ranked as the world's best boxer, pound for pound, from September 2017 to September 2018 by The Ring magazine. As of May 2021, he is ranked as the world's seventh best active boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec, eighth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and tenth by Boxing Writers Association of America. He is also ranked as the world's best active middleweight by BoxRec, The Ring, and TBRB, and second by ESPN.

Johnny Coulon Canadian/American boxer

John Frederic Coulon was the World Bantamweight Champion from March 6, 1910, when he wrested the crown from England's Jim Kendrick, until June 3, 1914, when he was defeated by Kid Williams in Vernon, California.

Yuri Foreman Israeli boxer

Yuri Foreman is an Israeli professional boxer who held the WBA super welterweight title from 2009 to 2010. He was born in Gomel, Belarus, but currently fights out of Brooklyn, New York. Foreman has also pursued Jewish religious studies during his boxing career, and in 2014 was ordained as a rabbi. He has been referred to as the "Boxing Rabbi."

Professional boxing Full contact combat sport

Professional boxing, or prizefighting, is regulated, sanctioned boxing. Professional boxing bouts are fought for a purse that is divided between the boxers as determined by contract. Most professional bouts are supervised by a regulatory authority to guarantee the fighters' safety. Most high-profile bouts obtain the endorsement of a sanctioning body, which awards championship belts, establishes rules, and assigns its own judges and referees.

Amateur boxing Boxing by non-professionals

Amateur boxing is a variant of boxing practised at the collegiate level, at the Olympic Games, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games, as well as many associations.

A majority draw is an outcome in several full-contact combat sports, including boxing, mixed martial arts (MMA), and others sports involving striking. In a majority draw, two of the three judges agree that neither fighter won, while the third judge indicates one fighter being the clear winner on his/her scorecard. Thus, the majority of judges see the outcome as even and the result is announced as such, although one judge gave a clear victory on his/her card to one fighter.

Errol Christie

Errol Christie was an English professional boxer and boxing trainer. He was the captain of the English amateur boxing team from 1980 to 1983 and European amateur champion in 1983. After turning professional he was a regular fixture on ITV Fight Night in the 1980s. After retiring from boxing he became a trainer in white-collar boxing.

Naseem Hamed British boxer

Naseem Hamed, nicknamed Prince Naseem and Naz, is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1992 to 2002. He held multiple featherweight world championships, including the WBO title from 1995 to 2000; the IBF title in 1997; and the WBC title from 1999 to 2000. He also reigned as lineal champion from 1998 to 2001; IBO champion from 2002 to 2003; and held the European bantamweight title from 1994 to 1995. Hamed is ranked the best British featherweight of all time by BoxRec. In 2015, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Michael Norgrove was a British professional boxer from Woodford Green, London. Nicknamed the "Zambezi Hitman", at the time of his death Norgrove had an unbeaten professional record. His death occurred several days after he was taken ill during a boxing match in London, and marked the United Kingdom's first post-match boxing fatality of the 21st century. Norgrove's death reopened the debate as to the safety of boxing as a sport.

KSI British YouTube personality, rapper, recording artist and boxer.

Olajide Olayinka Williams "JJ" Olatunji, better known as KSI, is an English YouTuber, Boxer, and a rapper. In 2019, he was ranked second by The Sunday Times in its list of the top 100 UK influencers. He is also part of the British YouTube group known as the Sidemen.

Heather Hardy is an American professional boxer and mixed martial artist. In boxing, she held the WBO featherweight title from 2018 to 2019. She is also a trainer, living and working in Brooklyn, New York. As of September 2020, she is ranked as the world's third best active female featherweight by BoxRec and fourth by The Ring.

Logan Paul American YouTuber, actor, and boxer

Logan Alexander Paul is an American YouTuber, internet personality, actor, podcaster and boxer. As well as posting on his own YouTube channel, he has run the Impaulsive podcast since November 2018, which currently has over 2.7 million followers on YouTube.

Jake Paul American YouTuber, actor, rapper and boxer

Jake Joseph Paul is an American YouTuber, internet personality, actor, rapper, and boxer. He initially rose to fame on Vine, before playing the role of Dirk Mann on the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark for two seasons.

KSI vs. Logan Paul Amateur boxing match

KSI vs. Logan Paul was a white-collar amateur boxing match between the British YouTuber KSI, and American YouTuber Logan Paul. The undercard consisted of a number of YouTubers, including a bout between the headliners respective younger brothers, Deji Olatunji and Jake Paul. The bout took place on 25 August 2018 at 8:30 PM BST in the Manchester Arena, Manchester, England, and was streamed on YouTube's pay-per-view platform, and resulted in a majority draw, with two judges scoring it 57–57 and the other 58–57 in favour of KSI.

KSI vs. Logan Paul II

KSI vs. Logan Paul II was a boxing match between the British YouTuber KSI, and American YouTuber Logan Paul. The fight constituted a rematch of the previous white-collar amateur boxing fight between the two, which ended in a majority draw. The bout was held at the Staples Center, Los Angeles on 9 November 2019, and was scheduled for six three minute rounds in the cruiserweight division, with both fighters making their professional boxing debuts. The result was a split decision victory for KSI, with two judges scoring the bout 56–55 and 57–54 in favour of KSI, and a third judge scoring the fight 56–55 in favour of Logan Paul.

Viddal Riley British boxer

Viddal Ethan Danso Riley is a British professional boxer, YouTuber, rapper and internet personality. He is notable as being the boxing trainer and associate of YouTube personality KSI.

Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. Exhibition boxing match

Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. was an eight-round exhibition boxing match contested between former undisputed heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson and former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. The bout took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 28, 2020, and was sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). With three former WBC champions acting as judges, the result was scored as a split draw.


  1. McAuley, Tom (12 May 2000). "White men can box". The Economist. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  2. Hindo, Brian; Cohn, Laura (28 November 2004). "Out of the Office, Into the Ring". Business Week. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  3. "White men can box". 12 May 2005 via The Economist.
  4. "WWCBA - About". wwcba.org.
  5. "KSI Vs Weller Got Over 20 Million Views On YouTube Last Night". LADbible . 4 February 2018.
  6. "KSI Reveals What He Said to Joe Weller in the Ring During a Breakdown of the YouTuber Boxing Fight". Dexerto. 7 February 2018.
  7. "Who won KSI vs Logan Paul fight? Result from YouTube boxing fight in Manchester". mirror. 25 August 2018.
  8. MoreSidemen (24 August 2018). "THE BIGGEST EVENT IN INTERNET HISTORY..." via YouTube.
  9. Hamdani, Adam (25 August 2018). "KSI and Logan Paul weigh-in ahead of 'biggest internet event in history'". Independent . Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  10. Radio Times Staff (22 August 2018). "KSI v Logan Paul: why are YouTube's biggest stars going to fight in the boxing ring?". Radio Times . Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  11. admin (25 January 2016). "White Collar Boxing Rules - TWCB".
  12. "Boxer dies after boxing bout at The Forum". Nottingham Post. Nottingham Post. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  13. "Tributes to 'white-collar' boxer Lance Ferguson-Prayogg". BBC website. BBC. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  14. "'White collar' boxer death caused by diet drugs", from bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire Retrieved 2 October 2016

Further reading