0000Originating in the legendary Gleason’s Gym in New York, white-collar boxing is a sport where both men and women in white-collar professions train to fight in special events. What makes this event unique is that most participants have no previous boxing experience. It has been the world’s fastest growing corporate contact sport since the late 1980s.
Sponsored by Cotai Strip Resorts Macao, the Cotai Ring Club and Macao Fitness, Macao’s first-ever white-collar boxing event, Mayhem in Macao, will debut at 7:30 p.m. at the Venetian Ballroom Friday, July 18, featuring 9 boxing clashes between 18 white-collar professionals aged between 20 and 50, including executives from major corporations in Macau. They have been hard at training for three months before their first fight.
The event is a charity fundraiser for the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Program in Macau and includes a raffle, silent auction, live auction and lucky draws to raise money for Macau Special Olympics. All proceeds made on the night from the auctions and lucky draws go directly to the charity.
The boxers will be closely matched according to weight, and bouts are mercifully brief, just three rounds of two minutes, with the referee stopping the fight at any stage if safety appears compromised. Wearing heavy 16 oz. gloves and protective headgear, groin shields and mouth guards protects against injuries.
According to the trainer Danny Lawley, former superintendent in the Hong Kong Police, the training includes three phases – physical training, skill development as well as mental strength. “Everyday when they wake up, they become a little more scared than they were the day before. In their brain, they’re going ‘Oh my God, in three months’ time, in front of 700 of my friends, I have to climb into the ring at The Venetian and SAhave a fight.’ (…) I have to calm their nerves.”
On the other hand, the hardworking pupils have made the job easier for Lawley, he said. “This bunch of fighters is  probably the hardest working that I’ve ever met. It is unusual – nearly every night everybody turned up for training, nobody missed out, nobody got sick, nobody pulled out.”
To keep the game safe is one of the characteristics which differs from professional boxing. The trainer Lawley, who will also be the referee in the match, said there won’t be a K.O. scene: “It is our job to stop the fight before it gets to a K.O. One of the things about white-collar boxing is you have to make it safe. You can never make boxing safe; it’s impossible. But what you can do is to make sure it doesn’t get too dangerous. As a referee, if I start to see someone is falling behind and is taking a heavy punch, it’s my job to stop the fight before we get a K.O.”AS
For William Boneham, a senior design manager, the training and fight “keeps him alive.” He admitted that fitness is the most difficult part for him: “Being 44, it’s a little bit hard and tiring.” But he’s feeling better now. “You could feel the speed and the fitness. I expect to win,” he said.
Despite boxing for the first time, Mark Daniels, a key account manager, said he has been doing a lot of sport in his spare time. “The fitness side is not the hardest, I love the fitness side. But taking the punch has been the biggest challenge so far.” Daniels wants to honor his brother’s bravery and passion for life during his fight MARKwith cancer. “My brother passed away recently from cancer, so this was one of my motivations.”
Lawley said: “When a guy has only three months of professional training, you can’t expect him to be fantastic. What you will find is that they’ll fight very hard, and I guarantee everybody in the audience will be very impressed. (…) But the other thing is that some of them have boxed before. Over the last three months they have become quite good. So some of them will fight very nicely.”

Tickets for Mayhem in Macao are on sale now via, and are priced at MOP1,500 per head and MOP15,000 for a table of 10 for Silver category, and MOP3,000 per head and MOP30,000 for a table of 10 for Gold category, including free-flowing wine, beer and cocktails.
Categories Macau