White Collar Boxing

*** See what happened on Fight Night HERE *** (some may find video a little gruesome!)


*** Read details of the intensive training routine here ***

I’d never even held a proper pair of boxing gloves when I was approached to take part in White Collar Boxing. Like 80% of the execs I HeadHunt, I initially said no. But just like majority of those execs, when I was asked a second time I was tempted….. It meant climbing into a Boxing ring 8 weeks later, with an opponent, in front of 500 people.  This is proper boxing. It will hurt. It already has.

The training (and pain) for this has already been intense. I have been training between 8 and 10 times per week, and that increases for the final 4 weeks. I have had a bloodied nose, a black eye, bruised ribs and a suspected broken finger already. That is only going to get worse.

But it will be worth it….if I can raise money for the amazing Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity. The Children’s Hospital has a real place in my heart after my 5 day old daughter’s life was saved by these nurses. I want to do whatever I can to help to save more – last year it was cycling from London to Manchester, this year it is getting punched. A lot.  The hospital has 100s of initiatives to help these children forget where they are, and why they are there. That makes a real difference and makes small faces smile again. See more on how to help me, help the Hospital here: JustGiving

The main event is on 17th November at Mere Golf & Country Club, Black-Tie gala dinner and a full card of fights. More details from Cheshire White Collar Boxing.

This time last year, 1000s of people, most of them tabloid-story believing Daily Mail readers, would have paid to see me get hit. Now is their chance…..HERE


17th September
Two months to go. Weighed in at 66kg, 14% body fat (target 63kg, 12% body fat). First training session, first time wearing ‘proper’ boxing gloves. They stank. Memo to self, buy own gloves.

26th September
7 training sessions this week. “The more you know; the more you realise you don’t know”. Fitness and strength are fine, but ‘Drills and Skills’ are what are quickly becoming obvious are the main challenge.

7th October
First sparring session. First realisation what it feels like to get hit, properly. This is going to hurt. Committed to giving up alcohol during the week.

10th October
Second sparring session, first time in a proper boxing ring. First bloodied, swollen and bruised nose; first brain rattling shot to the head. Suspected broken thumb from mis-timed/well-blocked body hook. ….First one-to-one coaching session booked.

13th October
Clocked up 10 training sessions this week, not easy with a very full on workload. Feel like I’ve been in a car crash. Nothing prepares the body for what this does to it. I have aches in places I didn’t even know existed, but I am quickly becoming hooked.

20th October
Tough week to fit training in this week, and to stick to no mid-week alcohol commitment: Insider 42under42 dinner and EN Entrepreneur award dinner taking 2 evenings up. Managed 9 training sessions; yesterday’s 3rd sparring session saw first black eye and nose re-bruised/swollen. Wife just shook her head as I got home.

22nd October
4 weeks to go. Training increases to 2 sessions, 6 days per week. Black-eye subsiding (thank god for Arnica), just in time for sparring session at Pro-Boxing gym tonight…..

26th October
Another week of training, another bloodied nose. JustGiving site has seen target hit within 48 hours which is amazing, thank you to all who have contributed.

2nd November
Bearly two weeks to go; Training ramping up, photo for programme taken, entrance music being selected, black eye subsided, nose still swollen. 10th training of the week this morning, 11th this afternoon with more sparring. Anything but the face….

4th November
Last 7 days has seen 25+ miles run, 5 sparring sessions and 7 gym sessions. It’s also seen 1 bloodied nose, one swollen nose, a swollen thumb and a sprained wrist. Two weeks to go….

5th November
Spotted out running in sub-zero temperatures by two different people last night to a chorus of shouts and car horns…both contacted MrsC to voice concerns of my sanity!  Just need to find a beanie hat and a compliant abattoir!

7th November
10 days to go til fight night. Physical preparation is almost there, now time for mental preparation. Fantastic comments below are really helping me.

8th November
7am weights workout, 1pm 1-2-1 sparring with a Pro, 7pm eight-mile run. In hindsight, growing a moustache would have been easier……
Also, media coverage here

10th November
One week to go. Reality starting to dawn. Last Sunday morning training tomorrow.

12th November
Just finished last sparring tonight, experienced fighter demonstrated what it’s like when you turn the pressure up ready for fight night. Pain is what it’s like.

14th November
Last bag session…..over zealous left hook and I pull an intercostal muscle. I can’t even lift my arm!  Cue Sports-Physio. Idiot (me, not the physio)

17th November
Fight night! Physio worked wonders, not 100% but close enough. My nerves are working overtime. I’m climbing into a ring to get punched. Why? You can smell the fear. 8 hours to go till Gary ‘IronMan‘ Chaplin makes his debut. *hums Rocky theme tune*
See you on the other side…

Read what happened HERE

Gary ‘IronMan‘ Chaplin (Black Shorts) Vs Paul ‘Silky‘ Smith (Blue Shorts)

Photos – taken by Mark Van Spall, one of the most accomplished, versatile, dynamic and promising photographers I’ve worked with, known for his sports photography but with a far broader skillset. Mark’s work can be seen here

47 Comments on “White Collar Boxing”

  1. Well done in this Gary. Great to see such commitment as always and raising money for a great cause. You deserve every success in this and in life. You’re a real inspiration. Good luck on the night! Knock them dead (or at least down)

  2. Love this, especially the Daily Mail reference. Shame they don’t pick up on this, but good news stories aren’t really their forte.

    Really good look on the night. We’ll get some sponsorship sorted for you.

    Good on you.

  3. Good effort Gary. We saw an event in Hale 3 weeks ago and it was brutal. Hope it doesn’t spoil your looks!

  4. Balboa Chaplin. Good on your for taking this on, getting punched certainly makes riding a bike look like childs play.

  5. Brilliant! Only you would think of getting punched for Charity, then goad Daily Mail readers after what they did to you last year !!

    You’re are a nutter, but you’re our nutter !! Good luck !!

  6. Good luck Gaz, hope they find you another midget to fight! Keep it fair an’ that!

    Seriously all the best, you’ll leather them!!

  7. Executive Search’s very own Rocky Balboa, I can see the PR now!

    Well done Gary, amazing cause and as always an amazing effort.

  8. Can’t help agreeing with this “Are you mad” comments, but even more so with the well done for taking it on.

    An amazing effort for an amazing cause. Every good wish dude.

  9. I didn’t realise it was this intense. Well done little man, amazing effort.

    What next, taking on Afghanistan single handed?

  10. Well done Gary, incredible effort by the sounds of it, but all credit to another above average approach to an above average challenge.

  11. Not sure raising money for a hospital by risking the need for their services is the route I would have taken, but well done on another great display of positive attitude.

    Good luck on the night.

  12. Oh my god, I’ve only just seen this…..are you crazy? I’m wildly impressed but fear for your teen-idol looks!

    Well done though, a real inspiration. Good luck!

  13. Rediculous way to raise money, but impressive commitment. Are you just going to go the full distance next time and put your balls in a lion’s mouth? In fairness, your balls are bigger than most!

    Well done Gary, great effort, good luck on the night.

  14. Good luck Gary. After I couldn’t ride with you last year, I promised to join in on your next effort, I assume you are not going to hold me to that over this? You are a nutter, but looking fine!

    Please look after yourself in the ring, we are all worried. And PLEASE do something sensible next?

  15. You win our nomination for lunatic of the year, but also our nomination for hero of the year!

    Can we have a vote for your Boxing name? 😉

    Amy & Co ;-*

  16. I would never, ever bet against you Gary. Aside from being the come-back, bounce-back king, your resolve and determination to succeed, even when you take the hardest path, is nothing short of incredible.

    Well done on another great challenge! Good luck.

  17. You’re mad. Inspirational and motivational perhaps, but above all, mad. You’re going to get punched and you’re cool with this?

    Good luck, protect the pretty boy looks or you’ll never make it in a boy band.

  18. Good luck for Saturday Gary, I had no idea this was so consuming. Amazing.

    If you are half as good on the night as you were giving advice earlier, you’ll be a knock out.

    Thanks for your time today, and good luck again.


  19. Good luck Big-G. Keep moving, keep moving then hit hard.

    Float like a buttefly, sting like a MotherF*****r.


    Andy P

  20. Well done Gary, true commitment for a great cause.

    All of us here wish you well, just don’t expect us to follow your lead!

  21. I had to look this up after our conversation just now. Just brilliant. Fair play to you for taking this on.

    Good luck for tomorrow.

  22. Good Luck Mate – didn’t know about the muscle issue, hope you’re ok. Just dont’ let the other guy know!! 😉

    Go Gary! Go!
    Win Gary!! Win!!!!

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  26. A great story, not an easy thing to do but something you will always remember… I just recently did one in November up in Durham, best experience ever, I have just started a blog about my experience as well, if anyone is interested…


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