John Graham is well-known throughout not only Shenzhen but China for running White Collar Fight Night; an innovative new sporting and social event that allows CEOs, business executives, and other white-collar professionals to show off their boxing prowess while at the same time putting on a wildly entertaining show and raising money for local charities. Participants are given three months to train so that they can put their best foot forward on the night. For more info, check out the official White Collar Fight Night website.
John spoke with Shenzhen Party to give his opinion on the top fighters in Shenzhen. Each earned their place on this list for different reasons and impressed John in different ways.
Sander Kole from Invincible
First, I would put Sander Kole. Sander is a vlogger who came to me earlier this year with an interest in fighting in a WCFN event. I remember meeting him in 901 gym in Shekou for a boxing/sparring session. He was very stiff and uncoordinated. When it came time for sparring, he was running away and throwing wild punches.
I told him his best chance of getting in the ring was to join the Invincible team and get proper pro coach training. I saw his moments and videos of his training and could see he was getting serious and putting his heart into it.
I put him on the card for the July 7th WCFN event in SZ. I hadn’t seen him in the ring since that 901 session long back and his performance was the best out of anyone in the card. He was extremely confident with carefully timed punches and footwork.
Aleksandr from Boxing Manufacture
Next fighter on the list is Aleksandr. He is based out of Boxing Manufacture gym, where he is a trainer. It is one of Shenzhen’s boxing only gyms.
He is an upcoming pro trainer under Chen, a Chinese ex-pro who runs Boxing Manufacture gym. Aleksandr was a European champion and also a national champion in Ukraine. On August 4th this year, he won the WBC International Professional Competition in Yunnan.
On September 15th, he joined the WBC6 pro boxing championship in Zhengzhou and is scheduled for seven more fights in the coming eight months.
Next on my list is Chen Zi Jun, a Chinese kickboxing pro. When making this list, I spoke with a good friend of mine, Vaugne Anderson, who been in the fight business in China for many years and is the Marketing Director of Fight Bro gear. He introduced me to Chen Zi Jun.
While ranked as a kickboxer, Anderson said watching how Chen Zi Jun moves he would do exceptionally well in MMA as well. He fights out of Shen Li Ren He fight club and has had 8 fights with 5 wins and 3 losses.
Shark – Invincible
Next up we go back to the amateur community with Shark. Shark is a pilot and won his first amateur boxing fight in the WCFN ring in December 2017. After his fight, he was directly challenged by Oli Overhead who won his fight the same night. Whoever won would be 2-0 in the WCFN ring. In WCFN, if you win 3 fights in a row then we award you with the Golden WCFN belt.
At the July 7th WCFN Shenzhen event, Shark came in and put on a great show winning against Oli. What impressed me with Shark was his calm attitude and relatively relaxed nature, as well as being able to produce very hard power.
He’s very focused and takes his training seriously even though he’s not pro. It’s very motivating for other working professionals who want to take up a challenge.
Michelle Yu from Invincible
The last one for my list is Michelle Yu. Michelle, a happily married mother of two and fitness fanatic, she had her first amateur fight experience in December of 2017 at the WCFN008 event in the Sheraton ballroom. In attendance to watch her debut were over 80 fans, friends, and family.
Her opponent was Lillian, a fitness coach trainer and also a well-trained fighter. Michelle came out very strong and immediately showed stronger confidence by aggressively pushing forward with simple combos that connected well.
I believe due to her spirit and determination right from the beginning she was able to dominate the first round, which sealed the outcome of the fight. She has since become a great inspiration for aspiring female fighters to take up the challenge and get in the ring and push yourself to greatness.
I will end this article with those highlighted fighters for now, but I’m sure there are many more inspiring and talented male and female fighters in Shenzhen. After hearing feedback, I’ll write a second part to focus on those fighters not mentioned here.
I would like to encourage any and all to keep training, boxing, grappling, kickboxing, or even to try an MMA class. It’s great, empowering fitness that gives you confidence and gets you ready for any challenge that life can throw at you.