A surreal experience – Punching your client in the face

At the start of this year I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity – to have a charity boxing fight with one of my main clients.


To some, this is probably the thing of PR fantasies that they’ve spent countless meetings dreaming about. To be honest though, for me, this was more of a nightmare.


Apart from the fact I’m not remotely a violent person and the last fight I had was in Primary School when someone took my lunchbox so I had to defend my honour, I also genuinely really like my client.


This, added to the fact there was going to be around 500 people watching the fight on the night (including a large number of other clients who had come to watch/ laugh) made the whole experience incredibly surreal.


The hardest part of training was teaching myself to not close my eyes when a fist comes flying at my face. Not easy when you’re not naturally a fighter, and I struggled even more to get my head around the fact that I would be punching someone for no particular reason.


With a week to go people ask ‘how you’re feeling?’, ‘are you prepared?’, my answer was always the same, “I’ll be ready, I know my game plan”. They didn’t need to know my main game plan was “try not to get completely humiliated”.


It’s hard not to get caught up in an act of macho bravado. This also wasn’t helped by the multiple memes and photoshopped images of myself and my client on various boxer’s heads…as flattering as I look with Anthony Joshua’s body.


When fight day eventually came, I had mixed emotions. All that stood between me and bragging rights over my client was three rounds of two-minute boxing. At the same time, I didn’t want to ruin the relationship by suddenly turning into Gennady Golovkin overnight and knocking my client out.


I don’t really remember too much of what actually happened when the bell went. There was a bit of punching, a lot of missing, some hugging and a lot of counting down the seconds praying the whole thing was going to end.


What I did find surprising is how quickly we both seemed willing to hit each other, to the point I became suspicious my client must have secretly hated the Christmas present we got him this year.


After what felt like thirty rounds the referee finally signaled that the whole thing was over. After a long embrace between the pair of us the announcer declared I had actually won a fight that I think it’s safe to say wasn’t exactly pay-per-view standard.


It was a weird sensation winning, obviously I’d rather that than lose but ultimately I just wanted the whole thing to be over, have a few beers with my clients and laugh about it.


Following all that, would I recommend punching a client in the face? Absolutely…as long as you have 500 witnesses.