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Cruising for More Bruising

Wall Street boxers prepare for a rematch. Will anyone show up?

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“Boxing,” Joe Frazier once said, “is the only sport you can get your brain shook, your money took, and your name in the undertaker book.” Not true! Lately, banking can turn you into a beaten sack of potatoes, too. This Thursday, Doubledown Media, publisher of Trader Monthly, will present the Wall Street Boxing Charity Championship, in which eighteen finance workers will beat the bejeebers out of each other to raise money for orphans in Rwanda. The last event, which took place in June at B.B. King’s, attracted an audience of over 500 and raised about $100,000. The organizers have rented out the much larger (and twice as expensive) Hammerstein Ballroom for this week’s rematch. “June was our playoff game,” says Josh Lane of Doubledown Media. “This is our Super Bowl.”

It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Devin “The Fist” Darcangelo, a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley and a six-foot cruiserweight, admits to an adjustment of priorities. “Last week, I only got to the gym twice,” he says from his office, where he’s spending all his time calming skittish clients. “The fight will be six minutes, and life goes on. This is real life. This is your livelihood.” Craig “Hot Commodity” Capurso, a NYMEX trader and a hulking ex–semipro linebacker, has seen less activity on the floor, but this hasn’t given him more time to work out. “It’s just given me more time to stress about my job.” One person who won’t be competing is Andrew “Don’t Blink” Myerson of Goldman Sachs. In June, a victorious Myerson taunted the crowd, saying, “Who’s booing Goldman Sachs? Why?! Because we’re making money? Big whoop!”

But the biggest challenge isn’t in the ring. At B.B. King’s, almost every boxer’s employer bought a table. This time, many of the 60 tables remain unsold (at up to $10,000 each). Lane’s now offering discounts. “It’s not a fire sale yet,” he says, “but we’ll see.”

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