Clocking out, punching in

Updated: 2014-05-29 07:22

By Matt Hodges (

Clocking out, punching in

White collar boxer Adam Chang 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

Frenchman Luc Micaelli went by "Lightning Luc" for his first bout in Shanghai in homage to his electric speed.

"Shanghai tends to swallow you up, but this is a great way to get fit and stay on top of your crazy workload, especially for entrepreneurs," says the 24-year-old. He works for a Chinese start-up called Guanxi that has just produced a "personal event assistant" app.

Next month he will take on a Japanese guy coming from a Muay Thai background. "Should be an exciting fight because we've both got some experience," he says.

Some of the 16 or so expats and locals who will mitt up are greenhorns. One Chinese lady from the country's famously tough Northwest is returning to the Bund for her third straight year.

"I didn't realize how much it would change my life," says Jackie Zhang, 28, who is now heavily inked up with a Mohawk. The Gansu province native works in sports equipment marketing.

"I wasn't comfortable getting punched in the face for the first two months but then you get used to it," she says. "You need to be really self-disciplined to do this sport, especially in Shanghai, where everyone works really hard and parties even harder."

All of the fighters are matched based on their weight and skills in the ring rather the size of their tattoos or time in the game. The rule of thumb in Asia is that they have to be within 2.5 kg of one another.