She's caught the boxing bug

FIGHT QUEEN: Bloomberg reporter Eleni Himaras sitting in her corner in the fifth bout of last week's Hedge Fund Fight Nite in Hong Kong. She won the match.


    Jun 06, 2013

    She's caught the boxing bug

    I WON my first boxing match and, now, I'm hooked.

    The rush of stepping out in front of 550 screaming friends, colleagues and work contacts, entering a boxing ring for six excruciating minutes and emerging victorious tops anything I have experienced.

    My "Rocky" moment came at the seventh annual Hedge Fund Fight Nite last week, a black-tie charity boxing event in Hong Kong.

    The most striking part was the moment when my match ended, before the winner was announced. The pain from months of preparation and competition dissolved into respect for my opponent, who had just given her all in a way only the two of us could understand.

    I'm not the only one who has been bitten by the boxing bug.

    "I'd do it again," said Mr Ash "The Bash" Dale, chief marketing officer at Mirae Asset Global Investments, who lost his men's bout to Mr Dominic "The Daddy" Smith, area sales manager for HSBC Expat. "The training and the aim of winning have provided a real focus for me over the past four months. The challenge got me in the best shape of my life.''

    There's nothing like your first boxing training session to show you just how unfit you are.

    I stepped up my regime to twice a day typically, mixing in rope-skipping intervals, punching-bag work, sparring and crunches, with yoga, running and hiking.

    Though my weight didn't fluctuate during my four months of training, I managed to drop two dress sizes.

    The focus required of me topped any yoga meditation I'd experienced. Digging for reserves of non-existent energy pushed me mentally further than any distance-running event.

    And the adrenalin of taking, returning or blocking a punch trumped previous thrills experienced while skydiving and bungee jumping.

    To any woman considering entering a fight or taking up boxing, former Hedge Fund Fight Nite champ Tricia Yap has this advice: "Put your insecurities and fears aside and just do it. Women are so mentally strong, but they are so conscious of what they think are their weaknesses. They need to apply that same mental strength to saying 'I'm going to look past this fear and just do it, and have the time of my life'."

    Because Hedge Fund Fight Nite doesn't allow boxers back for a second year, I've already started looking for amateur events. I have every intention of getting back into that ring.

    The writer is a Hong Kong-based market-structure reporter at Bloomberg.