Gary Stasek’s hung up his top-level boxing gloves - but still gets the buzz from fight night by organising bouts in the heart of the East End.
And the next date in his diary’s a patriotic one. White collar competitors from Canary Wharf and the City will head to Limehouse on April 23 – St George’s Day – for the 10-match Clash Of The Corporates at The Troxy.
The 20 men and women – currently training at event partner Limehouse Marina Elite – are preparing to showcase newly-learned jabs and punches in front of a crowd of more than 1,000.
“We’ve had a massive response – we could probably put on 20 fights, but we will only pick the boxers that are ready,” said LME trainer Gary who also works for white collar boxing federation and event co-hosts, City Warriors.
“I’ve seen big improvements and we have only trained for a month. Everyone’s working hard and regularly and there’s no better reason than fight club to get your ass down to the gym.
“For me, it’s about seeing people improve in three months down to when they are in the boxing ring in front of 1,000 people.”
The fighters on the night have been selected from a group of 40 in training who have become skilled in pad and bag work and progressed to sparring.
They’ve also engaged in plenty of strength work and muscle-building with exercises including pull ups and sit ups.
Gary says he prides himself on getting the night’s matches spot on.
“I just want them to enjoy it,” he said. “When you’re matching a fight for white collar boxing it’s totally different to the way you would match a professional bout. You could have two guys each weighing 90kg – one exercises, does marathons and the other has been sat at a desk for the last 10 years – on paper, it’s a fair fight.
“I know on the night who it would go to. Personality comes into it too so I get to know people before I do a match.”
The Troxy’s events manager Atif Malik said the historic tiered venue was the perfect place for boxing showcases.
“When you’ve got a full house the atmosphere is electric,” he said. “With the white collar boxing crowd they are here to see their friends, families and colleagues compete but they are also here for a night out.
“The amateur crowd is here to see a particular fight and will watch the fight, then go. The white collar crowd will come for a few drinks, food and experience 10 quality fights.”
The boxers have secured free training places at LME and are using its professional facilities, which include an altitude chamber. More can still enrol for future fight nights.
0845 262 5050 for details.