| HONG KONG
HONG KONG Oct 26 Adam Gazal trained for six
months to stand in the ring for six minutes of live boxing. He
remembers the noise, and not much else, and said he'd like to
try it again, though he realizes that the time in the gym took
time away from home.
"I think my wife will divorce me if I go through another six
months of training," Gazal said after the fight.
The managing partner of National Australia Bank was
one of 14 contenders who on Thursday took part in Hong Kong's
sixth annual IronMonger Hedge Fund Fight Night, a fundraising
event that is now a staple of the city's financial community.
Gazal, who fought his pal Grant Livingston, an executive
director at JPMorgan with a long reach and quick jab,
won by unanimous decision.
A survey of the crowd found more bankers than hedgies in
attendance, perhaps a sign of the industry's struggles in the
region. Asian-focused hedge funds as measured by the Eurekahedge
index rose 3.8 percent through September this year, falling
short of a 7 percent rise in the MSCI Asia index
. At least 73 Asia hedge funds have shut down
The city's bankers and financiers aren't faring much better,
though the sector's woes failed to impact attendance on Thursday
night. At more than HK$2,000 ($260) a seat, the black-tie crowd
filled every chair inside the makeshift boxing tent. Proceeds go
to children's charities Operation Breakthrough and Operation
Smile, with last year's event raising more than HK$500,000.
American Anthony Carango, an executive director at Nomura
Holdings, had a focused plan going into his match - a
plan that he said "went out the window" as soon as the bell
Carango, who squared off against Craig Barnish, a managing
director at BAH Partners Ltd, said it came back to him
occasionally - "head, body, head, body" - enough to allow him a
HSBC fielded three fighters on the night. Richard
Rouse, an account manager at the bank, held steady in his match
against Andrew Wylde, head of sales and operations at Hatstand
consultancy. Wylde fought hard, needing to stop twice to mend a
bloody face, but Rouse held on to win.
Blair Crichton, an assistant vice president of HSBC, and
Brad Moreland, a director of prime services at the bank, each
won their matches, pulling off a clean sweep. Crichton defeated
Stephen Taw, a director at South Ocean Management Ltd, while
Moreland won against Frenchman Nicolas Boulay, a derivatives
broker at Louis Capital.
"As the fight goes on, you get tired, you tend to lose form,
which was obvious," said Boulay, who noted his strong crowd
support from friends and clients.
Danielle Midalia, a creative manager at Operation Smile,
defeated Andrea Glynn, an associate at the Bank of Montreal, in
the night's only female match-up. Mark O'Reilly, a managing
director at Astbury Marsden, lost to George Radford, a
consultant at IP Global.
Taw, 53, was the eldest boxer and crowd favourite, known as
the "Wizard of Wanchai". With grey hair protruding from his red
headgear, he went down in the first of three rounds, then held
"My strategy was simple: do not get hit in the face," he
said, a strategy that quickly fell apart. Standing near the ring
in his boxing outfit after the fight and holding two glasses of
beer, Taw reflected on his performance.
"I think I won the third round," said Taw, his face now
cleared of blood. "But I didn't land my jabs."