Brawl on the Bund takes place on Saturday night at the Hyatt. Shanghaiist’s own James Griffiths is taking part, fighting for the Big Bamboo Red Team. We spoke to Big Bamboo‘s Jonathan Cope about the event and how Big Bamboo got involved.
Shanghaiist: How did you become involved in the boxing?
Jonathan Cope: Initially I went along to see a long term friend Pauly Grey fight at one of the first Brawl on the Bund events and found it to be such a great event and such a worthy cause (Leo’s foundation) that I bought along our owner Bryce Jenner and in his vision with Big Bamboo being a Sports Bar we could really get behind an event like this and get fully involved with the White Collar community in Shanghai.
SH: What makes it such a great event?
It combines all the old world charm, turn of the century feeling that Shanghai has in it’s history, (Taipans in evening dress, the gala ball, a night at the biggest ballroom) with the brutal sport of boxing, played out by men and women just like us who have trained hard and can let their frustrations of being in an unfamiliar crazy place out of a box in the ring for one night and go all out.
SH: Tell us about your company in 100 words or less.
Big Bamboo just celebrated it’s 10th year in Shanghai. We are a Sports Bar and Grill that strives to provide the best products and service we are able across 3 locations in Shanghai. We cater to predominantly expatriate crowd that like a taste of home and also bring a genuine foreign run concept to our increasing Chinese clientele. We work harder so that you all can play harder!
SH: What are you looking forward to on the night?
I have been in Shanghai for a few years and I always look forward to seeing that one unexpected face that pops up from your past who you never though you would see again. These events always brig out a great mixed crowd of people from a wide range of back grounds and I always see a face in the crowd that surprises and delights me. Also ,after watching the absolute pain and suffering that the boxers go through during the fight, the final bell when you can see that men and women who have fought have one of the greatest senses of achievement expressions I have ever seen!!
SH: Do you have a best memory of from previous fight nights?
My favourite memory is still from the first event I went to .All dressed up to see Paul fight when one of the earlier fights had a late replacement and an Irish friend of mine and my wife’s Noely was roped in at the last minute and went 3 rounds with a guy that had been training 6 months. I will never forget looking at my wife screaming basically for blood in support of him and just being totally engrossed in the moment like I had never seen before. Very special.
SH: If you could box one person in Shanghai- who would it be and why?
I have been involved in a few affrays in Shanghai working in Nightclubs and bars for such a long time, I really don’t want to fight anyone because I have seen and been in the middle of some particularly nasty incidents (no deaths or dismemberments, but once a senior Sargent who was standing right next to me during APEC in 2000 got punched directly in the jaw and all hell broke loose) and I don’t really have that urge. I would be willing to bet though that there are a fair few people out there that would like get me in there with them though.