Executive Fight Night (EFN) is back for its annual event on Friday, May 26th, 2023. Once again, Tokyo-based executives will face off at Roppongi’s Grand Hyatt Tokyo in front of hundreds of cheering fans in a Vegas-style boxing event to benefit Shine On! Kids (SOK), an NPO that supports children with cancer and other serious illnesses. Guests will enjoy a four-course dinner, drinks, fabulous prizes and all the glitz and glamour associated with a Vegas-style boxing event.
More than 50 participants tried out for Executive Fight Night this year, a record number. From that number, only 18 fighters made the final cut and will be undergoing a gruelling 12-week training program before stepping into the ring on May 26th.
Each executive will be training to raise awareness and funds for children fighting cancer and other serious illnesses in Japan and their families. Friends, family and coworkers can support by donating funds to their chosen fighters via the official website.
These are your two teams participating in EFN 2023:
- Yoshi Asaoka – Japan, 40 years old, Partner at Nishimura & Asahi
- Eddy Elsagh – Canada, 33 years old, Director of Marketing at Breitling
- Mickey Langley – Japan, 31 years old, Director at Langley Esquire
- Meg Sakuma – Japan, 44 years old, CEO at Oishii Co., Ltd.
- Selim Henri Norbert Leconte – France, 31 years old, Data Scientist credit risk at Paidy @PayPal
- Glenn Peter Dawson – UK, 43 years old, Commercial Project Manager at Siemens Gamesa
- Joe Ashizawa – Japan, 38 years old, Manager at EY
- Shun Kyle Nakamura – USA, 30 years old, Event Lead at Salesforce
- Erik Almadrones – USA, 50 years old, Partner at EY Strategy and Consulting Co, Ltd.
- Denislav Milenov Metodiev – Bulgaria, 29 years old, Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company
- Chris Orr – UK, 39 years old, Broker at TP ICAP
- Daniel Paul Hess – USA, 28 years old, Sales Trader at Credit Suisse
- Zach Rivers – UK, 39 years old, Consultant at Specialized Group
- Shunsuke Takai – Japan, 47 years old, Hospital Director at Fukunaga kinen clinic
- Matthew Beasley – UK, 27 years old, Consultant at Robert Walters
- Kenta Yooku – Japan, 30 years old, Sales Executive at GPlusMedia
- Fayaz Budhwani – Canada, 30 years old, Senior Manager at Deloite
- Hiroko Kasahara – Japan, 58 years old, Managing director at Evolution Japan Securities co., Ltd.
Head to the official EFN website to learn more about this year’s fighters and make a donation.
What makes Executive Fight Night compelling is its message of teamwork and unity. “The metaphor of the fighters in the ring representing our kids fighting through their personal treatments is powerful,” says SOK co-founder Kimberly Forsythe-Ferris. “Everyone in life has to fight at one time or another. The battles are different, but as humans, we all have challenges we have to overcome.” Each fighter is assigned to a family with a child suffering from a serious illness who they meet during the training process for fun and mutual support. For the children, having someone to cheer on and give support to is as important as knowing the fighter is in their corner. “Everyone’s always telling them to ‘ganbatte’ and today they get to say it to someone else which is really special and empowering,” Forsythe-Ferris explains.
Once again, this year’s Executive Fight Night is raising funds for SOK’s Facility Dog Program, the first of its kind in Japan. A nurse is paired with a specially-trained therapy dog to work full-time in a children’s hospital. Together they improve outcomes and the children’s approach to medical treatment through various animal-assisted interventions — such as accompanying kids during medical procedures and visiting them regularly during their hospital stay. Program leader Yuko Morita describes how facility dogs Bailey and Yogi help her patients: “We hear so many comments like, ‘With Bailey, I can overcome painful and tough treatments.’ ‘If Yogi is with me, I can undergo an operation.’”Shine On! Kids manages the event in collaboration with Club360, Empire Entertainment, and other corporate partners.
Even though the cause is serious, the event promises to be hugely enjoyable — necessarily so, to represent the positivity of SOK’s joyful mission. May’s championship will be the 11th Executive Fight Night and the event is famed for its luxurious food, wine and spectacular Vegas-style boxing — a rarity in Tokyo. Finally, for the many people who work under these executives, Executive Fight Night offers the fulfilment of a fantasy that is hard to find elsewhere: seeing your boss get punched in the face. And as it’s for a good cause, you don’t even need to feel bad about it.
Executive Fight Night is held at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo on May 26. Tickets to the event are available here and sell out fast so hurry!