Alan Lacey has an amazing story to tell. When he was 44, in an attempt to stop smoking, he picked up boxing. And the rest is history. Today, he has built up one of the most successful commercial boxing businesses in the UK, the Real Fight Club.
The Real Fight Club is a white collar boxing enterprise that focuses on city workers who have no prior experience in the ring. The way that it works, as described by the Daily Mail, is that “Mortgage brokers, investment bankers and City accountants enroll in a two-to-three-month intensive training regime, culminating in an actual fight at a charity boxing event. Participants sell tickets to colleagues, friends and family and raise money for their chosen charity.”
As Lacey dispels the misnomers about boxing, he says, “Boxing is not just about hitting people. It’s about discipline, about deception. And it’s a great stress reliever. The perceived danger comes from getting repeatedly hit in the head, but that really only happens if you’re in the ring every day. For most people that’s not the case. Injury-wise, boxing is right down the bottom of the list of sports.
It’s a question of creating a safe, enjoyable environment to teach a new skill and get fit – because God knows this country has an obesity problem. And you don’t need huge resources to box. Don’t need a lot of investment or infrastructure.”
Lacey took a trip to New York to see one of these white collar boxing programs and was hooked. In the year 2000, he funded the Real Fight Club and opened his own gym in London. The concept became a great success with many City professionals finding it as the perfect release from their daily pressures. Today, The Real Fight Club has about 100 events in locations around London.