Another epic Bartender Boxing Sydney Bar Week event, done!

Story by BBO Founder, Raj Nagra

Photography by Chris Pearce

Launched in the States in 2016, and after debuting in Australia in 2019, it was super cool to put another successful BBO SBW event in the books, brought to life thanks to our brand partners who ultimately continue to invest in the long-term health of our great industry.

Frankly, it takes a tremendous amount of time and investment, months of planning, programming, and execution by the time we get to a fight-night. And so, a great many thanks go out to the local BBO team – a mix of local industry professionals and previous competitors – for their commitment, passion and dedication. It’s always rewarding when we get to see Bartender Boxers deliver nail-biting bouts after months of sweat and tears in the gym.

With seven bouts this year, the team all looked in excellent condition and put on a stunning display in Boxing Australia Incorporated amateur bouts, sanctioned by the Combat Sports Authority of NSW.

Congratulations to our Sydney Bartender Boxing team of 2023!

“I cannot recommend this enough to everyone who might be considering it – and don’t let a possible slightly bloodied nose put you off!” – Joseph Stephens – Dead Ringer

Thank you to the 400 in attendance at Paddo RSL this past Sunday, 10th of September, who came out to support their peers, bringing attention to the mental health and wellness of the hospitality industry.

We’re grateful to Sydney Bar Week for continuing to support our cause through scheduling and coverage, and of course, our brand partners whom we couldn’t do this without. We share endless gratitude for the belief and generosity of:

  • Proof & Company
  • Vanguard Luxury Brands
  • Jagermeister
  • Reyka Vodka
  • Fernet Branca
  • Fever-Tree Australia
  • Hickson House Distilling
  • Crawley’s Syrups

A few words from this year’s competitors:

“This program is life-changing! I learnt to be disciplined and to be more hardworking, which really paid off! I will keep pushing myself to greater extents as the sky is the limit!” Oneil Thakuri – Franca Brasserie

“Bartender Boxing is an amazing platform that inspires bartenders to commit to better health. Working late nights and drinking is problematic, so committing to BBO made me more engaged and provided better work-life balance and a better overall sense of being. Physically, I lost weight, increased upper body muscle and strength, and got to learn technical boxing. Mentally, I learnt how to control my emotions better, and how to adjust and plan as I took on an injury during training. Making new circles of friends and the comradery was just awesome. Hopefully, more and more bartenders will join and get to enjoy the benefits of Bartender Boxing in Australia.” Doris Gao – PS40

“The program throughout the last few months had been both mentally and physically challenging. I valued the joy of committing to an activity with my (new) mates outside of work. It was great bonding with the team through sport, getting to discuss things outside of work and enjoy each other’s company without the worries and everyday ‘stresses’ of life. I intend to continue boxing with my new tribe as I did during the program to remind myself of the joys of life outside of work ongoing.” Jaime Santos – The Lobo

“Bartenders Boxing was a thing I heard about a year ago and from that moment I knew I wanted to participate. It was for a good cause of course but I needed to instill disciplined routine in my life. The 10 weeks of training pushed me to my limits and beyond which made me realize my resilience, the importance of discipline and mental fortitude in the face of adversity. I will carry these lessons with me in every aspect of my life, continue to train boxing and keep moving forward with the same dedication and heart to achieve all my goals.” Aman Karmacharya – Palazzo Salato

“BBO brings the industry together in the best possible way, providing a genuine platform outside of nightlife. I am tougher than I thought! I have my punch pad with me so I can keep myself continue on this journey and share it with my friends.” – Kennedy Chung – Nomad Sydney

“Bartender Boxing was an unreal experience and even weeks later I can’t quite process how incredible the fight was. Having never trained in any combat sport before, I went in looking to challenge myself and learn something completely new. It’s a great feeling to know that I am still capable of surprising myself by pushing my own boundaries. I cannot recommend this enough to everyone who might be considering it – and don’t let a possible slightly bloodied nose put you off!” – Joseph Stephens – Dead Ringer

Follow us @bartenderboxing and apply to 2024 programs at

See you next year!

Peace & Love, BBO