'Journalists fighting readers – it's the way ahead'

A freelance journalist will go head to head with a reader of the weekly trade title CRN after he was roped in at the last minute to fight in a white collar charity boxing match.

Incisive-owned CRN organised a Fight Club-style event for its clients and readers, who work in IT sales.

Freelance Nick Booth was asked to step in at the last minute after one of the 16 fighters dropped out.

‘I was in there covering and said if they were short of people I’d fill in,’said Booth. ‘Nothing came of it, then someone pulled out [three weeks earlier] so I got drafted in.’

The event was announced earlier this year and since then contestants have been in training with Mark Burford, the organiser of Cityboxer, a white collar boxing event.

‘I was still smoking and drinking heavily until that point,’said Booth, just a few days after he found out he was taking part.

‘I don’t even know how many rounds I’m doing. I’ve been punched in the face playing football, but it’s quite different trying to box,’said Booth, who told the organisers he was born in 1975 because he was worried he wouldn’t be allowed to take part at 47.

Eight fights will be held to raise money for charity. Booth, who will be raising money for Help for Heroes, said: ‘I think it’s great that someone has finally organised a fight between a magazine’s journalists and its readers. There are plenty of people in the IT industry who’d like to see a journalist getting punched in the face, believe me. This is the way ahead for journalism.”

The event took place on Thursday (29 May) in The Brewery, London. Burford said Booth ‘had champion written all over him’when he first stepped into the gym at the Ring Boxing Club. ‘He is coming in at the last minute and is showing the sort of heart and skill that I would expect from a CRN representative.”

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