Putting up their dukes for a cause

Rookie boxers to fight for charity at black-tie event in Victoria

Amar Sandhu has begun training for the first annual Fight 4 the Cause boxing classic Dec. 8.

Two weeks ago, Amar Sandhu put on boxing gloves for the first time.

On Dec. 8, he’ll be one of 30 people squaring off in a red-carpet charity boxing fundraiser at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

“The worst thing that’s going to happen is a knockout, and that’s probably not going to happen,” Sandhu said.

A new Victoria resident and chiropractor by trade, he wanted to challenge himself and connect with the community. When he heard about Fight 4 the Cause, he jumped at the opportunity.

“Everyone knows it’s for charity. We’re obviously all trying to win, but you go out and just have a good time,” he said.

Proceeds from the event will benefit three local charities: The Mustard Seed, the Brazilian Cultural Foundation and Power to Be Adventure Therapy.

Each boxer is sponsored by a local business that covers the cost of eight weeks of personal training at Studio 4 Athletics.

Sandhu’s sponsor, Aria Health and Wellness, will also be providing chiropractic and massage services to participants on fight night.

The “social boxing” event is fully sanctioned by Boxing B.C., and fighters must wear headgear and use 16-ounce gloves, said organizer Braden Lee, who has staged similar events in New Zealand.

“It’s asking people who have had zero experience to put their chins on the line for charity,” he said.

“We wanted to put the class back into the sport. There’s all the other fight leagues, but the glamour of the sport is sort of gone now.”

Contenders go through a brutal training regimen that involves 6 a.m. workouts four days a week, and boot camp on Saturdays.

“The first week, my shirt looked like I’d been in the rain for five hours,” Sandhu said. “But now, when I’m there (at the gym), I don’t want to leave.”

Fight 4 the Cause takes place in the Carson Room at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Tables at the black-tie event cost between $1,100 to $1,300 and include a four-course dinner, live entertainment and ringside seats. Theatre seating is also available for $45 per person.

Tickets went on sale Nov. 1 and Lee expects they’ll sell out.

For more information and tickets, visit fight4thecause.ca.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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