Bartender Boxing Fight Night: Rachael Merritt vs Federica Thorn — it’s on!

Federica Thorn and Rachael Merritt.

During Bar Week this month, the Bartender Boxing Organization comes to Sydney for the first time — and what a huge night it is set to be. After some three-odd months of regular training, of diet plans, and a whole load of ducking, weaving, stepping and sparring, these Sydney bartenders will take to the ring at Home and slug it out for charity.

Hear, hear, we say.

Two of the bartenders who will pull on the gloves are Rachael Merritt and Federica Thorn — below, get to know them a little better and understand just what the Bartender Boxing Organization’s training has done for them.

This is just one of the 36-plus great events lined up over five days of Sydney Bar Week, taking place between Saturday the 14th and Wednesday the 18th of September. It’s set to be the biggest Bar Week ever — get over to and get your RSVPs and tickets sorted before they run out.

Take a look at the details for the Bartender Boxing event below.

What: Bartender Boxing
Date: Sunday, 15 September 2019
Time: 8:00pm to 11:00pm
Where: Home Nightclub
Tickets: $20 + booking fee — proceeds go to the Black Dog Institute $20 + booking fee — proceeds go to the Black Dog Institute — click here to get yours.

The Bartender Boxing Organization is thrilled to bring its health-and-wellness platform to Australian shores after two successful years in North America with the support of Australian Bartender magazine. Come along and see your friends compete in this unique format. There will be 6 bouts on the night at Home Nightclub. Tickets are $20 with proceeds going to Black Dog. So get behind this great cause champs!

Rachael Merritt from Sydney bar, Jangling Jack’s. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Rachel Merritt
Jangling Jack’s

How has competing in Bartender Boxing changed your daily routine and attitude towards your own health and wellness?
Joining this training program has shown me that really, we are all just full of excuses for not looking after ourselves. It can be done if you really want to make the change and put in the hard work.

Yes, we are pushing for an extreme but if we all have time to train six days a week and push ourselves this hard then a few early nights and booze-free weeks really aren’t that hard of a choice to make.

You’re about to be involved in your first official amateur boxing bout. Are you excited? Nervous?
I am an absolute tangled mess of excitement, nerves and frustration.

What was the most fun part of training? What was the most difficult?
I have absolutely loved learning the technique that goes into boxing and sparring. I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the level of fitness that sparring requires. Also sparring is so mentally draining; you can spend all day riding a high.

What should the people coming out to the Bartender Boxing event expect to see from you and your Sydney BBO Teammates?
I think they will be amazed to witness the physical transformations. It has been so inspiring to see people completely change their lives/lifestyles. 12 weeks of dedication and training; here’s hoping we ca put on a good show!

What aspects from the BBO program will you continue on with in life? Will you continue to train boxing?
I will definitely continue boxing post fight! I never in a million years thought that I would get to do anything even close to stepping into a boxing ring for a fight; I will definitely use this a bench mark to always push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things, and to remember to not make excuses.

Federica Thorn from Continental Deli Bar Bistro. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Federica Thorn
Continental Deli

How has competing in Bartender Boxing changed you and your daily routine?
It’s changed my routine heaps. I’ve been training up to six days a week, which means getting up earlier to find the time to train before doing a long shift at work. I’ve stopped smoking and don’t drink as much. Overall feeling a lot more fit with more energy to get things done in my day to day. I’ve never been more productive.

What do you enjoy the most about the program? What is the hardest part of training?
I’ve always loved boxing, so I love that I have this opportunity to put my all into it alongside a group of people that work in the same industry as me and have a chance to showcase and celebrate our efforts.

I enjoy being in a space where I’m being constantly challenged to be better, but the mental game with boxing can be pretty hard.

The big event is coming up. Tell us how you’re feeling with these last few weeks to go?
I’m super nervous and excited at the same time. I’m working hard to ensure that injuries are being rested well enough that I can make it to the end, but also doing my best to keep working on my strengths.

With this being the first Bartender Boxing event in Sydney, what should spectators expect to see from you and your teammates on fight night?
Spectators should expect to see a group of really dedicated individuals putting their everything into what will undoubtedly be a few very entertaining bouts. From what I see every week, everyone just gets better and better, so it’ll be interesting to see what level we get to on the night with all that adrenaline rushing.

How do you plan on celebrating your accomplishment after the fight?
I’m going to keep up with the training. The discipline of the sport has really changed my life for the better.