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Metropolis Japan covering the Tony Evans & deVere Group Executive Fight Night III #devereefn

Metropolis covering the Tony Evans & deVere Group Executive Fight Night III

Would you undergo three months of preparation openly billed as, “train till you puke”? Would you subject your body, face, ego and reputation to a beating in the ring?

A surprising number of corporate leaders in Tokyo have accepted the challenge and stepped into the ring. The fact that it all takes place in a luxurious ballroom—Vegas-style—and proceeds go to charity, helps to take a little of the sting out of a right hook.

“We are pleasantly surprised at just how many executives are out there who want to challenge themselves in Executive Fight Night,” says Dave Thomas, who is the vice president of marketing for Adidas Japan by day and fights under the name “Naughty Ninja” by night. Thomas organizes the event with Adidas colleague Eddie Nixon (a.k.a. “Nifty Ninja”) and Nathan Schmid (a.k.a. “Nimble Ninja”), owner of Tokyo Fitness and Club 360.

Like many great ideas, the event was born during a Friday night on the town—but needed a lot to make it work. “None of us had ever organized a fighting event like this,” Thomas admits. “There was a lot to consider and do. We all have demanding jobs, so the work was done late into the night and on weekends.”

At first, the trio brought some corporate sponsors and other organizers on board, but now Executive Fight Night III: Triple Thunder is set for November 8 at Grand Hyatt Tokyo in Roppongi. “When a friend of mine said that it was a charity event, I was in. When I found out it was a boxing event—that was a bonus,” says Tony Evans, area manager for the deVere Group, the event’s main sponsor. “I decided this would be a way to give back personally, as compassion makes us human.”

Compassion wasn’t on the list of requirements for trainer Jan Kaszuba. “Contact training begins on day one,” he stated, adding that some of the fighters were in “terrible shape” when they first came to him.

“Some of these people have never boxed and needed to learn how to give and take a punch correctly,” explains Kaszuba, who has competed in international MMA, Muay Thai and karate competitions. “I like to keep strategy as simple as possible because it often gets thrown out the window if it’s your first fight.”

Ed Overy is one of those who went through Kaszuba’s training and lived to tell the tale. “By fight night, I was in the best physical condition I’d been in in my life,” says Overy, who fought in the first event at the age of 43. The Air New Zealand general manager hung a punching bag in his garage to train and felt ready to face a taller, heavier, and younger opponent.

“I was 100% psychologically ready for the fight,” Overy recalls. “There was not a scenario that I had worked through that had me losing. It was an amazing feeling to step in that ring.”

But after three two-minute rounds, things hadn’t exactly gone according to plan. “He consistently landed more blows on me,” Overy admits. “The brutality of it was intense. I got a few clean shots through but in the end, he landed more on me and won the fight by decision.”

While the part-time boxers duked it out, the audience at the black-tie event enjoyed a four-course meal while making contributions to Refugees International Japan, which funds projects in Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and a host of other countries.

“This event reaches a new audience for us and really gets people involved,” say Jane Best, the president of the NPO. “The boxers did a great job promoting the cause. Refugees find an outlet for their frustrations through sports, and sports therapy is important in projects that help refugees rebuild their self-confidence.”

Is Overy ready to strap on the gloves again? “I don’t think I could find the mental motivation required to lift me to the level needed to get back in the ring,” he admits. “That said, the training was the best physical fitness I’ve ever done.”

From top to bottom row, left to right: Raj “Knuckle Sarnie” Notani (UK), Aaron “Soul-Train” McCain (USA), Nanice “Rapid Fire” El-Gammal (Egypt), Kate “The Brawler” Buehler (USA), Paul “I Gotta Feeling…” Maoate (New Zealand), Tatsuya Tomiyasu (Japan), Stephen “Bulldog” O’Shea (USA), Mark “Boom Boom” Smith (UK), Andrew “The Guv’nor” McGovern (UK), Mirhat “Ice Cold” Alykunov (Kazakhstan), Keith “The Horse” Hudson (reserve, Ireland), Yusuke Toyama (Japan) Nick “The Meguro Mauler” Rees (UK), Naritake “Tank” Fukumoto (Japan), Case “The Ace” Grant (New Zealand), Adam “White Lightening” Johnston (Australia), Hideki “Genie” Izutsu (Japan), Jan Kaszuba (trainer, Canada) Davaa Ona (trainer, Mongolia)

deVere Group Tony Evans supports Executive Fight Night in Tokyo

Press Release on deVere Group Tony Evans supports Executive Fight Night in Tokyo

deVere Group Tony Evans supports Executive Fight Night in Tokyo

deVere Group Area Manager Tony Evans is sponsoring the up-coming Tokyo edition of Executive Fight Night, the worldwide popular sell-out charity boxing event.

The Executive Fight Night is a global success story where executives from all walks of life sign-up for intensive boxing and fitness training with the aim of taking part in the black-tie boxing event at which they fight in front of hundreds of guests cheering them on.

On the inaugural Fight Night, sixteen courageous Tokyo-based executives will fight against each other in a safe, professional, Vegas-style black-tie boxing event.

The up-coming edition of the Executive Fight Night, where deVere Group Area Manager Tony Evans will be Gold Sponsor, will take place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo and guests will enjoy a 4-course sit-down dinner.

Ginja Ninja GK sees the event as a great opportunity to fight for a good cause, with all the money raised from the charity auction and raffle going to an exceptional cause. In 2013, the charity of choice will be Refugees International Japan, a non profit organisation dedicated to raising funds to assist refugees who have been displaced as a result of war and conflict.

deVere Group Area Manager Tony Evans commented, “It is a privilege to be named Gold Sponsor of the popular Executive Fight Night. I am sure it will be a fun night for deVere clients attending exclusively. In addition, we hope to raise as much money as possible for such a noble cause.”

Ginja Ninjas Co Founder Eddie Nixon stated, “We are extremely excited and proud to have the deVere Group on board as a premium partner for Executive Fight Night, Tokyo’s hottest premium event amongst both local and international executives. This support from Tony Evans and the deVere Group here in Japan will undoubtedly add to the quality of the night and be a key boost to help us achieve our fundraising goals for this year’s charity of choice, Refugees International Japan”.

Refugees International President & CEO Jane Best added, “Refugees International Japan is the chosen charity for EFN II with all proceeds from the exciting ‘Bid for Hope’ live ‘telethon’ style auction and raffle going to support RIJ priority projects in Syria, Burma and Uganda. RIJ and EFN II are aiming to raise 8million yen to help change the lives of thousands of refugees by providing essential health, education and resettlement kits that will ultimately enable families to rebuild their lives and return home”.



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