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Fight Night 2024 Review



St Andrews’ annual Fight Night occurred on Thursday 21st March; a spectacle eagerly anticipated by students each year. It saw twenty of the University's bravest individuals stepping into the boxing ring, spanning various academic years with little to no prior boxing experience. They all devoted the past two months to intense training and trading their textbooks for boxing gloves, captivating a crowd who were dressed in their finest 'cocktail attire'.


Applications for student fighters opened at the start of the semester, allowing individuals to apply solo or with a potential opponent of the same weight category. Following the Christmas holidays, training occurred twice a week in Dundee under the guidance of experienced coaches, teaching boxing techniques as well as general fitness. They also had the opportunity to purchase additional boxing lessons in order to try and set themselves apart from their competitors.


Held at Kinkell Byre, the event's venue remained unchanged for the third consecutive year, and it proved to be the perfect setting with a boxing ring placed at the centre of the dance floor, and a prosecco-fueled crowd encircling the ring. While ticket prices were predictably steep, it is worth recognising the unique opportunity to support and admire their peers' dedication and commitment to training.


White-collar boxing has been gaining momentum in the UK since the early 2000s and it operates independently from regulatory bodies like the British Boxing Board of Control. The phenomenon of Fight Night is taking universities across the UK by storm, creating both excitement and controversy. Fight Nights are spreading like wildfire across student cities, but as these boxing matches are rarely recognised by boxing organisations, there is potential for them to be unsafe and lacking in proper medical expertise.


Unlike professional fighting, this kind of temporary training often lacks rigorous training, resulting in matches that can be more aggressive and have more serious consequences. After the tragic death of 23-year-old Nottingham Trent University student Jubal Reji Kurian who sadly passed away after he was seriously injured during a charity boxing match, it was important for the organisers to ensure that there were adequate safety measures put in place to generate the safest, supportive environment for those who do choose to compete.


Simply put, boxing is a dangerous sport, and it is important that there are adequate safety measures in place including onsite medical professionals, an accredited referee, insurance coverage, head and mouth guards for fighters, and comprehensive post-fight medical checks. Despite being unregulated by the amateur boxing governing body, these precautions aim to mitigate risks associated with the high-intensity sport and fighters acknowledge the inherent risks associated with stepping into the ring.


The evening presented an extraordinary and exhilarating opportunity for all those who attended, most of whom had never before witnessed a boxing match of any sort. The bouts delivered a steady flow of adrenaline-pumping excitement, captivating the audience throughout. As the final match came to a close, the boxing ring was dismantled to pave the way for a dance floor, offering everyone a chance to relax, let loose, and have a boogie to end a great night.


Fight Night left a lasting impression on those who went with the courageous participants all making their mark in the ring. For those eager to be part of future events, applications will open at the start of next semester, promising another exhilarating evening within St Andrews.



Image by Hannah Peart

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