Shanghai's favorite black tie boxing bloodbath returns for another round in the rainforest, courtesy of White Collar Boxing International. Brawl on the Bund: Rumble in the Jungle 2017 will rock Hyatt on the Bund tonight for a one-time only event that's the first of its kind in the world.
More than 500 people will watch Shanghai's finest duke it out for victory. 'White Collar' boxers have been plucked from offices across the city and put in intensive training for three months, and will be ready to show off their newly mastered hooks, jabs and – importantly – ability to take a punch.
In the past few weeks leading up to fight night, we have been posting a preview of each match-up. From the final bout, Chris 'The Machine' Jund and Brian 'Lights Out' Stewart took the time to answer some questions.
Chris 'The Machine' Jund
Weight: 91 kg
Favorite quote: "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up". -Vince Lombardi
What made you decide to fight? There are several reasons I decided to fight. The first thing that motivates me is the challenge. It's a very special event with a unique ambiance, and I wanted to offer that to myself for my 40th birthday as a celebration for all the things I had to fight for these two last decades. I did nothing exceptional, but I am proud of what I achieved so far and all the sacrifices I made. This will crown a long race against myself most of all. Because the worst opponent ever, in your life, is you. And I'm proud I took over myself.
I always try to push my limits, but what definitely convinced me to go for this event in particular, is for the cause. Breast cancer, that's the enemy I want to fight. Not Brian, not any other opponent. I have a girlfriend that has this threat over her head. I have a sister who faces the same threat. I can't imagine what it is like to know that one day you might get diagnosed with this creepy illness. I see their fights, I see their fear. This is the enemy, because it can take away those you love and cherish. And it's a long hard walk into hell. I want to fight for that. If my contribution to this event—whether I win or lose —can attract enough attention and resources to help in this long and difficult fight against this invisible but deadly enemy, then I will be happy and proud (to be fighting for) my girlfriend and my sister, and all the women who have to face this terrible threat.
If you could fight anyone living, dead, fictional or real, who would it be? I have no pretention of standing against any professional fighter or martial artist, but I do have a kind of fantasy. I hate violence. As surprising as it might sound, I really hate violence. But... I do recognize, I would take off my gloves, my protections, and give the best I have to teach a lesson to those who beat their wives, or their children. Just to show them what it is like to get punched and beaten. I have no personal experience in this, and I am damn lucky for that, but I know a lot—too many—women and children who are enduring this. It's terrible. No one deserves to be treated like that. So yes, definitely, this is the kind of fantasy I have.
What does it mean for you to be a fighter? It's a mindset. It's about sacrifices, pain, courage, resistance, endurance, awareness and respect. It's not just to master all the technics and become a whole bowl of muscles. You can be physically strong, well prepared, in perfect shape, but it's all about the mindset. And I do recognize—I don't even know, now, if I can call myself a fighter. I will only be able to know after the match. I know it will be hard as hell. My opponent wants it so much. But in the end, only one can win. I wish I will be strong enough to resist and get over the pain and the fear to win this fight.
What sets you apart from the other boxers in Brawl on the Bund? My age! I'm turning 40 just a few days after the fight, haha!
Honestly, I have no idea yet. I don't know them all enough to judge them or compare myself to them. Brian seems to be a nice guy, he is polite and humble, two qualities that gentlemen possess. I see others being really courageous, pushing their limits constantly, working hard, bleeding, sweating, getting exhausted. They all deserve to be honored.
I don't think I have anything particular to distinguish myself from the others.
What holes do you see in your opponent's game? To be honest, I don't see any hole right now. He trains hard, I know he does! I prefer considering him as someone who has no weakness, to push myself to be as best as possible. If I know he has a weakness, I will work on it, I will be more confident, and I won't concentrate enough while standing in front of him. If I believe he is strong and that he has no weakness, I will give my best to find them, though I only have three rounds to sort it out! I see my holes. I know my weaknesses. I work hard on it. On D-day, I need to be cautious and focused, and I will find out if he has any or not.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your fight? I have no desire to shine particularly. I just want to be able to tell my future children or my niece and nephews that whatever you have to face in life, you and you only can decide if it will bring you down or not. If I win, it will be a nice lesson. If I lose, I will keep trying. Maybe with the Brawl on the Bund, maybe in another way. But I will keep trying.
Brian 'Lights Out' Stewart
Weight: 91 kg
Favorite quote: Phil 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
What made you decide to fight? I went to a WCB Event about 1.5 years ago and fell in love with the atmosphere and the event. After talking to some fighters and understanding the inside experience, I knew it was something I wanted to do.
If you could fight anyone living, dead, fictional or real, who would it be? Mike Tyson – I’m sure it would be a first round learning experience, lol!
What does it mean for you to be a fighter? Being a fighter has given me the opportunity to express my personal belief in life. I believe in life that the people that succeed and achieve their goals are fighters in their own way. You have to be a fighter when taking on this world because (and I quote) "nobody is going to hit as hard as life". So if you can step into the ring called the world and take on the opponent of life with a fighter’s mentality (discipline, training, focus and determination in all that you do), you will be successful.
What sets you apart from the other boxers in Brawl on the Bund? I'm a Louisiana Southern Boy.
What holes do you see in your opponent's game? Honestly, I haven't observed my opponent to look for holes. I have been focused on my training and rigorously executing what my trainers are coaching me to do.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your fight? Dominance.