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Airdrie Oilmen's White Collar Boxing returning to pack a punch for local charities

“It is probably one of the most electric events you will see,” Pruden promised.
Punches for charity
The Airdrie Oilmen's Association "White Collar Boxing" fundraiser will make a triumphant return to the Palace Theatre on March 23.

The Airdrie Oilmen’s Associaton (AOA) own version of fight club is set to rock the Palace Theatre in Calgary on March 23.

And unlike rules one and two in the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, or the film starring Brad Pitt, the AOA very much wants to talk about it.

Not only is the AOA’s “White Collar Boxing” fundraising fight night making its triumphant return after three years of COVID-related cancellations, AOA president Adrian Pruden said it is hoping to punch above its weight to support North Rocky View Community Links, the Airdrie Food Bank, and the Airdrie and District Victims’ Assistance Society.

“We are supporting Airdrie charities,” Pruden explained. “These charities, with the growth we have had in the city, are in desperate need of additional funds to help fund the programs they put on.”

This year’s White Collar Boxing event will feature 24 local amateur fighters, drawn not from the mean streets but rather from among the ranks of the AOA themselves, as well as local realtors, financiers, various white collar workers, and other professions.

“It’s kind of a varied group,” Pruden said. “Participation is open to anyone interested in participating.” 

The fighters all started training in the first week of January. They’ve trained twice a week at White Collar Boxing Company in King’s Heights, in preparation for the upcoming fight night. 

“These guys get to know one another,” Pruden said. “They build a solid friendship, and we match everyone accordingly within their skillset and (weight class).”

According to Pruden, the final 24 fighters for this year’s fight card were trimmed down from a group of initial applicants that numbered over 50. The event is sanctioned through Alberta Boxing.

He estimated each fighter participating has dropped an average of between 20 and 30 pounds since training started earlier this winter, and each of the fighters is eager to show off their newly acquired boxing skills and put on a good show for the crowd.

“It’s a full Vegas-style, UFC-style event,” Pruden explained. “We do a weigh-in the night before where the fighters actually learn who their opponents are going to be. They don’t have any clue while training [who they’ll be fighting] literally up until the day before.”

Over the years, the Airdrie Oilmens' Association has raised over $300,000 to support local charitable causes through various events, Pruden confirmed, but none are as highly anticipated as the annual White Collar Boxing event, which first kicked off in 2015.

“It is probably one of the most electric events you will see,” he promised. “We sell out the Palace Theatre annually for this event. Fighters will walk out with their full entourage and make their way through the crowd just like you’d see at a UFC fight.”

Those wishing to purchase tickets or provide sponsorship for the March 23 fundraiser can visit 

“Come out and support the fighters,” Pruden said, making a direct pitch to Airdrie residents. “Many of them are locally based, with a few from Calgary. It’s your neighbours and the businesses you support. So yeah, come on out and have a good time.”

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