Charity boxing in recent times has been associated with white collar boxing and pink collar boxing. White collar charity boxing is predominately associated with (although not exclusively) men’s boxing and the pink collar charity boxing associated with women’s boxing. White collar boxing came about first, with the ladies charity boxing coming as an offshoot, allowing women to train in a female only environment. Both centre around the raising of money for charity, whilst getting fit, learning how to box and meeting new friends.
Charity Boxing has its beginnings at Gleason’s Gym in New York City. Gym owner Bruce Silverglade began organizing informal fights between the white-collar workers of his clientele in the late 1980s, which later developed into regular monthly events. After developing into a regular monthly event, the sport came to prominence in the mid-1990s under the organization of boxing promoter Alan Lacey.
In July 2000, the inaugural white-collar boxing event, “Capital Punishment”, in collaboration with Gleason’s owner Bruce Silverglade, saw a team of Wall Street bankers fly to London to compete at Broadgate Arena in London, generating interest and media coverage. Lacey boxed twice on the night and subsequently devoted his time and energy to developing the sport exclusively since. Over 100 sold-out events have followed “Capital Punishment”, including “Celebrity Boxing” on the BBC in 2003 featuring, among others, Les Dennis and Ricky Gervais, and raising more than UK£1.5 million for various charities.