Best friends out of the ring, brutal opponents once the bell rings
Rachel Jacqueline and Tricia Yap were best friends when they entered the ring for their bout at last night's Hedge Fund Fight Nite - just how strained the relationship might be after three brutal rounds was made clear just minutes after the bell.
With the crowd still on its feet after a furious onslaught from both fighters, the pair linked arms for a quick dance just after Yap was declared the winner by majority decision. 'We agreed before that the loser buys the winner breakfast tomorrow,' Yap said. 'So I'm happy. Last night I started to freak out and I was freaking out all day but once I got into the ring I remembered everything everyone had told me through five months of training and I just went for it. We both did.'
That's for certain. The 29-year-old Yap - a PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountant - used her long reach to keep her opponent at bay and the 27-year-old Jacqueline, a lawyer with Baker & McKenzie, just couldn't find a way in to make her blows count.
It was the first time the Hedge Fund Fight Nite had hosted an all-women's bout and it brought the crowd to its feet for the duration.
The bout was one of six on the card for the event at the Indian Recreation Club with all fighters picking up the sport in the name of charity - specifically Operation Smile and Operation Breakthrough. And after five months of training, the 12 fighters - drawn from the city's financial sector - were certainly looking lean and even pretty mean.
Apart from when the ladies entered the ring for their bout - and the applause that went up from when the 'ring boy' appeared as a special guest of the occasion - the biggest cheer of the evening under the sold-out marquee was for the heavyweight clash between Oliver Reed from the Options Group and Jack Youldon, representing Nomura.
Theirs, too, was a brutal three-round encounter won by Reed that showed just how serious this game is once the bell sounds.
'You can see them change once they start training and once they realise what it is all about,' said event director Robert Derry from Ironmonger Events. 'Each year we have different fighters so each year different sectors of the financial industry support us. It is a great way to raise money, a great challenge for the boxers and a great way for the community to get together.'