London's weekend warriors get a night in the ring
By Peter Myers
LONDON (Reuters) - Marno Herinckx is bruised and bloodied after a particularly vicious pummeling in a hot, floodlit boxing ring.
But Herinckx is no battle-hardened prize-fighter. He's one of a number of white collar London office workers who have spent the last few months training to box and tonight is fight night.
"It's like every moment was frozen in time. It was like fight or flight," Herinckx told Reuters after his bout.
As he spoke, the packed crowd gathered at an arena in southeast London were already erupting in a roar for the next city professional swaggering towards the ring, swathed in laser lights, smoke-machine effects and the pumping beat of music.
Herinckx and the other 37 boxers strutting their stuff on Friday night have spent the last three months on a grueling three days a week training routine run by Chrissy Morton, founder of Bad Boy Promotions.
"As soon as one of the guys on signs up, they all have to," Morton told Reuters. "It passes from one to the other. If they don't do it - well...it's a rite of passage."
"We train the white-collars like professional boxers; they go from being a normal person in the office to someone who can go out there and fight in a ring."
Morton doesn't charge for the training period, relying on the boxers to raise money through ticket sales to their friends and colleagues. Many of them sold as many as 50 tickets. Continued...