March 27, 2009

Black tie and blood sport

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Last night I attended the IFS White Collar Boxing Charity Fight Night at the Inter-Continental Hotel. I was there to support a friend who was making his second appearence in the ring. I dressed up in my tux for this charity event, but I found it an odd combination with a blood sport like boxing. There was also a charity auction involving sports memorabilia.

There were about 50 tables set up around the boxing ring in the center. I was seated at one of the farther tables but I didn't mind. I still got a good view of the fights. The fights were all pretty civilized. After all, it's mostly a bunch of bankers trying to take out some of their everyday aggression on each other. There was enough padding around the head, and the fights only lasted 3 rounds each. No one expected to see any knock-outs.

The 6 bouts were all pretty evenly matched, not only in weight class but also in terms of the boxers' abilities. Other than the first bout, it was tough for me to pick out a clear winner as a layman.

The main event of the evening was bout #3 - a match up between Merrill's Budgie and Credit Suisse's Gurnsey. The two senior sales traders were well-known in financial circles, and both were accomplished fighters. It was also a showdown between two big Wall Street firms, and both men made sure they had enough supporters on hand to cheer them on. I think they took about half the tables between the two of them... This turned out to be one of the best fights of the evening.

I was able to borrow a staff pass and stroll up ringside with my camera for my friend's fight. I thought about getting up to the catwalk for a better angle, but hesitated, so I made do with shooting the fight from a low angle and having the ropes get in the way from time to time.

From Alex Lin WCB Fight

My friend won his fight. I was happy for him, and glad that I was able to get close enough to take some decent shots of the fight. It was a really good fight and both men were aggressive and quick. In comparison, some of the other fights - especially the heavyweight - turned out to be unexciting.

Oh, and the food wasn't bad. The starter of foie gras terrine was OK, with a bit of caviar and jelly on the side. The cream of mushroom soup with scallops were kinda standard... The cod was actually juicy and delicious, although I wondered why they wanted to use rosemary with it. Finally, the chocolate and caramel mousse finger was a yummy way to finish up the meal.

As for wine, my friend treated us to a nice bottle of 2004 Michel Magnien Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Chaffots, so we wouldn't have to drink the house wine. It was beautiful and classic. All the 2004 Burgundies I have drunk recently have all been beautiful, so I guess I should drink these up quickly.

Looking forward to my friend's next fight...

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