Our Product Support Advisor, Daniel George, recently participated in a White Collar Boxing match in Northampton. Raising money for Cancer Research UK, the event saw him facing against an opponent who, like Dan, had no prior boxing experience. We caught up with him to get some insight into his 8-week training schedule, and to see how he fared... Cover---1080
When did you first get into fitness?
Fitness has been a part of my life as long as I remember. At school, I was always in the sports teams and from the age 9, I have played rugby for my local club.  
Was this your first event of this kind, and what inspired you to sign up?
This was the first event I have done where “all eyes were on me”. While playing rugby I have been lucky enough to play in cup finals at Franklin's Gardens (home to Northampton Saints RFC) which was an amazing experience but nothing similar to what I experienced in the ring. Knowing that it is all on me and not having teammates in there to support me was very unusual and definitely out of my comfort zone. My inspiration to sign up was personal – I wanted to see if I could do it, see if I had what it takes to step into the ring, let alone win! The fact that we were all raising money for such a worthy cause was the icing on the cake.   Dan-George-Boxing-2---1080
How long were you preparing for the event?
You get 8 week's training, twice a week for 90 minutes a time. We were working on boxing as well as general fitness. I cannot give enough credit for the team we had coaching us for the effort they put in to take a bunch of lads and ladies who had never boxed (or never exercised at all in some cases!) And turn into something looked ever so slightly like boxers.  
What did your training entail?
I remember the first session as if it was yesterday. It was 60 minutes of cardio. No gloves, no punch bags, no mention of a boxing match. They really did put us through our paces to see what they were working with. After that, the rest of the sessions were a good mixture of cardio/fitness and sparring/technique work. We worked a LOT on getting the group fit and second to that, just teaching us the basics of how to box – Jabs, hooks, defence. As much as they could teach in such little time.  
 What equipment couldn’t you do without for your event prep?
This one is easy - I wanted to work a lot on my cardio and the Schwinn AD8 was brilliant for this. I incorporated many HIIT sessions using this piece of kit and would recommend it to anyone looking to improve their cardio and burn an amazing amount of calories!  
What was the result of the fight?
I was lucky enough to get the win in a third round stoppage. My opponent on the night was much like me in that he had never boxed before. He had trained very hard for the fight and his progression over the 8 weeks was phenomenal. Unfortunately, for him, it wasn’t enough on the night. Dan-George-Boxing-3---1080
Will you continue training after the fight?
I have not done any further boxing training but it is something I do think I will keep up and I will likely pop down the boxing gym every now and then for a session. I am still playing rugby and going to the gym so that takes up a lot of my free time.  
What is your advice for someone hoping to take up boxing, or compete in a similar event?
Take that first step! It is the hardest part but you will not regret it! When I first walked into the boxing gym for our initial meeting, I knew no one, much like everyone else in the room and that is the hardest part. But I promise anyone who signs up to a similar event or who just wants to start doing a sport to take a deep breath and walk through the door. I can say with certainty that you will be welcomed and made to feel comfortable from minute 1. Do not be afraid of not knowing what you are doing or worry that you are not fit enough. Everyone started somewhere and everyone has felt that at one time or another.  That first step if the hardest but I can say with 100% conviction that you will not regret it and you will not look back.   Daniel’s JustGiving page is still open following his fight, if you would still like to donate to Cancer Research UK, and you can watch the full fight on YouTube!