Clocking out, punching in

Updated: 2014-05-29 07:22

By Matt Hodges (

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Clocking out, punching in

White collar boxer Adam Chang (L) trains in Shanghai. Photo provided to

Clocking out, punching in
White-collars, black eyes

Clocking out, punching in

Beijing's fight club

Clocking out, punching in

Video: White collar boxing China

Unfazed by his bruised ribs, Taiwan-born Adam Chang was back at Golden Gloves Gym on Wednesday night training for Brawl on the Bund, Shanghai's pimped-up, ultra-glam white collar boxing (WCB) event. Chang works as a strategic planner for Singapore’s DBS bank.

But as he embarked on the final trimester of a three-month training program, his worst enemy was not a phantom opponent like fear but just the opposite: his own unbridled enthusiasm.

"Sometimes the fighters push themselves too much," says Chris Xiong, a former Shanghai champion. He was given just 12 weeks to get his wards battle-ready but ideally not battle-scarred for the June 14 event at the glitzy Park Hyatt. The five-star hotel is part of a billion-dollar skyline that technically stands opposite the Bund on the east side of the Huangpu River.

"Adam's very light [60kg] but he keeps sparring with much heavier guys when we're not looking. Now I tell them that they have to have a coach around at all times."

White collar boxing is the ultimate story of two worlds colliding: Yuppie bankers and high-flying professionals don 16-ouncers and go hell-for-leather trying to rearrange their opponent's face for three two-minute rounds, all in the name of charity, fitness and 500 strangers including velvet-gowned "it girls" chanting their name. Their stage name, that is.

Chang goes by "Rainmaker," a financial industry term for go-for-broke dealmakers who hit pay dirt. Mandatory headgear makes the face-rearranging part a harder goal to accomplish.

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