The latest edition of Shanghai’s premier white collar pugilistic-cum-charity event took place Saturday night, and surely gave the red carpet stars at the premiere of SIFF’s Water for Elephants a run for the city’s most glamorous on the evening.
The flocks of the well-dressed and well-heeled congregated upon Hyatt on the Bund, milling about elegantly and drinking gratis from spherical red plastic goblets until the doors opened and the assembled guests took their seats.
They were treated to an evening of fine dining and valiant efforts from amateur boxers who’d been training three times a week for three months, many looking like they were in the best shape of their lives.
Fresh from his light heavyweight title-clinching bout with Jean Pascal in Montreal, Bernard ‘The Executioner’ Hopkins made an appearance and thanked the crowd for coming out. Later on in the evening, CEO of Wear Me Apparel Artie Rabin and The Executioner donated $25,000 US dollars to the Foundation for Newborns with Respiratory Failure, the charity being the main beneficiary of the proceeds from the evening’s competition.
While several boxers began their bouts with hesitancy, the fights would consistently reach their apex after the nervousness of the first round was replaced by a greater sense of purpose in the second. The respective trainers sponsored by The Big Bamboo and the Mailman social network would give an earful and attention to their fighters, who were firmly instructed go for the jugular. However, by the third round, exhaustion from the full exertion of trading blows would wear on the fighters, who often seemed somewhat relieved to hear the end-of-round bell.
Though the members of the media weren’t treated to any of the evening’s culinary delicacies, the ring girls that would circle the boxing perimeter before each round ameliorated whatever thoughts we might’ve had about food and the lack thereof. Carlton ‘Soul Man’ Smith began the evening’s festivities by belting out an energetic number and lifting a woman over his shoulder.
Further proceeds were also generated for Leo’s Foundation through silent auctions and raffle ticket sales. The after-party took place at Mr & Mrs Bund, ensuring that the evening’s energy would burn onward toward the wee hours.
A special mention should also be extended towards Bar Rouge and Visual Orient Limited, who were instrumental in bringing The Executioner to Shanghai, in what was Bernard Hopkins’ first ever trip to Asia.
Related: Lunch with The Executioner: Bernard Hopkins on the Bund