Train As A White Collar Boxer

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After watching a white collar fight, drama teacher Keriann O’Rourke decided to step into the ring herself… Three months later she won her first fight and helped raise over USD60k for a children’s charity



I would be in the gym usually six days per week and sometimes I would go for a light run on day seven. Training in the boxing gym includes a 10-minute skipping warm up, followed by cardio or resistance exercises. I would then practise punching combinations on the bag or on the pads with my trainer, and I would do ab exercises to finish the session. The training is intense but it is amazing how far you come in such a short amount of time when you are working that hard on a focused goal. The first time I did WCB I trained like this for three months and the second time I trained for four months before stepping into the ring.



I really relied on my husband to encourage me to keep going. My trainer, Rey Caitom Jr from Vanda Boxing, was also very supportive throughout those days when you feel like you just can’t go on.  I had an amazing amount of support and lots of words of encouragement from all of my friends and family. I knew I had to try my very best even if my body felt like it couldn’t. Your mind is a powerful tool.



In my first fight, I needed to drop weight to try to reach my opponent’s weight. However, near the end of the training, I found out that I would be fighting someone else and had to stop dieting and try to maintain my weight to get into a higher weight category. The switch was difficult as it required me to eat more and I didn’t really have the appetite for it. My training diet usually consists of high protein foods to build muscle and I would drink protein shakes regularly as well. I did my best to eat as healthy as possible and stayed away from foods that would make me feel heavy or bloated. There were always cheat days to balance it out too.



My second time around I was much more aware of what my body was telling me. Overexerting myself wouldn’t help. I learned that the hard way when I decided to do a bootcamp at 6:30am, work all day, and then do a personal training session with my coach that evening. I was spent and totally useless.



I actually feel that having a background in dance has helped me more in the ring. Combinations and footwork are sometimes hard to get your head around and I find that thinking of them at times like a step you would do in dance helps my muscle memory. It does also surprise me how heavy I can feel on my feet too despite taking dance all my life. I guess I never had to also consider someone trying to punch me in the face all those years of ballet training!



Keriann’s tips for the title

1. Take your training seriously. Commit to yourself, your goals and your diet.

2. Set yourself goals that are achievable for you. Everyone is different and sometimes comparing yourself to others all the time won’t help you mentally prepare yourself for stepping into the ring.

3. Drinking and boxing really don’t mix. I did it a couple times and struggled to box at my usual standard if I did.

4. Listen to your trainer. He or she is the expert. The only way to improve is to learn the proper skills you need in the ring.

5. Video yourself sparring as much as possible and watch yourself critically and with positivity. It is very easy to find all the mistakes all the time, but take the time to see what you are doing right as well.


Follow Keriann at To find out more about white collar boxing in Singapore visit

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