We are excited to confirm that two Trustmarque colleagues have secured a spot in the renowned CRN Fight Night 2019. For one night only on 23 May – and despite having NEVER boxed before – our IT heavyweights Paul Neary and Lewis Fox will be swapping their knock-out account management skills for an action-packed night in London. Paul and Lewis are competing through their own initiative, but we are proud to give them moral support and wish them the best of luck.
Since first launching in 2008, CRN Fight Night has raised over £210k for charity and is the number one place for wannabe boxers from the IT world.
In this exclusive interview, we introduce you to our dynamic duo to discuss training plans, hopes of victory and how you can support their charitable efforts. Despite the nervous laughter, dislocated shoulders and pre-competition diet of pies, guys we are confident you will bring IT home!
How and why did you get into the CRN Fight Night?
Lewis: “I started doing a bit of boxing with punchbags at the the gym at work, just as a way to keep fit. Then at around Xmas time we got an email about the CRN Fight Night and I thought ‘that’s a great idea and something to work towards’. We’ve had two colleagues from Trustmarque compete in the past and they both lost. Hopefully we can avenge their losses.”
Paul: “For me it was totally different motivation. My colleague John Hughes dared me to sign up and I refused. But then after one too many drinks, I watched a video of Eddie the Eagle and thought ‘if he can do that, I can do this boxing’….*nervous cough*.”
So do you have any boxing experience Paul?
Paul: “No. But like Lewis, I was occasionally using the bags to keep fit. I did a month or two of boxing when I was a kid – but that was almost 40 years ago now.”
What are your training plans looking like?
Lewis: “We’re training about 3 or 4 times per week. It’s pretty tough. I am sure I broke my nose the first time I sparred. In fact, every time I spar I bleed. At first, I was going to an advanced boxing class in Leeds but it was too much.”
Paul: “It was like Pitbull training where they make a huge dog fight a small one, or a ‘Fox’ in this case.”
Anything Rocky style?
Lewis: “Oh yeah you know, lifting tree trunks and that. I do actually run up and down some steps near my home and do a little jump at the top.”
Paul: “It is top secret. But I am eating a lot of pies. I’ve actually just fallen off my bike and now managed to get; a sprained ankle, hyper extended elbow and dislocated shoulder. I’m falling apart. I also poked myself in the eye at the gym the other week when someone threw a medicine ball at me. At this rate I’ll be poured into the ring from a sack. But you could say I’m building pain resistance.
“My ambition at the moment is to get punched in the face during training as I’ve not been punched since I was in school. So that’s a big goal.”
“My ambitions at the moment is to get punched in the face during training.
I’ve not been punched since I was in school. So that’s a big goal.”
Do you know who you will be fighting on the night?
Lewis: “Yeah. After Christmas we had an assessment day in London. We did a boxing test and a fitness test; running, sit-ups and push-ups etc. We were then weighed and measured and they matched us with people of a similar build.”
Paul: “That’s the theory. I think they measured my thighs and my opponents arms and decided they were a good match. He is huge.”
Any words for your opponents?
Lewis: “We’ve been asked to send a message through CRN in the following weeks. We better channel it through them. We don’t want things to get out of hand.”
How supportive are your Trustmarque colleagues?
Lewis: “Everybody in the business now thinks they are a boxing coach. Just kidding. Everyone is excited and they are hopeful for us. We are buying a table for 10 people to attend the black tie Dinner Gala on the night and I think there will be a fight internally to determine who gets to go. Maybe we can use it as an icentive of some sort.”
“Everybody in the business now thinks they are a boxing coach.”
What about your family, what do they think?
Paul: “My mum doesn’t know yet.”
Is she on LinkedIn? This is going on LinkedIn….
Paul: “No she’s not thankfully. At first, I hid it from the wife and told her it was a just a standard fitness thing I was doing in London. Then when I got picked, I had to tell her. She just looked at me like I was an idiot and had a very disapproving expression.”
What are your expectations for the Fight?
Lewis: “I just want to enjoy myself. I don’t care if I win or lose, but I hope it’s a good fight. Although I would like it to go on record, that I do think I have a good chance of winning…*nervous laughter*.”
Paul: “I’d like to get out alive.”
Can you tell us about the charity you’ve chosen?
Paul: “We are doing it for Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) York. My daughter was in there for a while when she was born and so were some of our colleagues’ children. It’s a great local cause that means a lot to the team at Trustmarque.
“We’re actually running a competition via JustGiving where if you donate you can suggest some fighter names for us to go into the competition with. Just make a donation and comment with your suggestion and we’ll consider it. So far we have Paul ‘Princess’ Neary (I’m not keen on that) and Lewis ‘The Fearless’ Fox (way too cool).”
Just in case you’re feeling that fighting spirit…..
By Katherine Murphy, content enthusiast