HNCF? In 2013, I was diagnosed with a jaw disorder and referred to one of the UK’s top head and neck surgeons, Luke Cascarini. During the consultation, Luke informed me he was about to participate in his first white-collar boxing event for charity. Two years later, he asked if I’d be interested in being a founding trustee of the HNCF.
Why a boxing event? My dad and his two brothers were amateur boxers and my uncle won two Amateur Boxing Association titles, boxed for England and also turned professional. You could say we have a bit of a heritage in the sport.
Did anyone involved have boxing experience? It was a real mixed bag, to be honest. Chris Good, the president of Estée Lauder, had done some very basic boxing classes but had never climbed into the ring before for a competitive match. He lost more than 10kg in weight. Luke, the director of the HNCF, has participated in one previous event, and Nicky Territt, the sales manager at News UK, has been involved in five white-collar bouts.
Was it difficult to convince people to get involved? I was amazed at how easy it was to convince people to get involved when you explain what the charity is trying to achieve – it honestly doesn’t take much. We sold more than 500 tickets and The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, the London Evening Standard and Metro were all headline sponsors.
How much did everyone train? I took it quite seriously: training every day of the week, twice a day three times in the week. I didn’t have an alcoholic drink for more than 15 weeks and lost about two stone. I wanted to commit to it
100 per cent.
Were there any surprise stars? Is the next Rocky Balboa in the media industry? I think we’d all give Stallone a run for his money, but maybe not Ivan Drago!
What are your goals for the project in the future? I have a target of raising £500K in two years and I’ll definitely be hosting another white-collar boxing event. The next one will be even bigger, with more matches and a bigger crowd – I’m hoping to raise £250K on the night.