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The punters were baying for blood and they got it - mine

AS strategies go, I've had better. The idea was to protect my ribs -- by catching all the punches with my face.

And all I can say is, thank you face. I may be nursing a nice little shiner today, but the ribs are fine.

It was my introduction to so-called 'white-collar boxing' and, other than injured pride, I got through it without too much hurt.

It was all for deserving city charities Prosper Fingal and Skerries Lifeboats -- and, compared to the sterling work these guys do day in and day out, honestly, I was happy to take my punches.

There's nothing a crowd loves more than to see a newspaper columnist get their comeuppance, and I was happy to oblige.

Some 35 boxers took to the ring after six weeks of gruelling training. On the night, close to 2,000 punters filled the glitzy Wright venue and nightclub in Dublin's north side to watch the event.

They paid good money for a show and by God they got one.

It's one thing to dance around the ring with a sparring partner during training with your practice jabs, quite another when a boozed-up audience is baying for blood.

All training goes out the window and for three full rounds it's quite literally survival of the fittest.

It's a no-holds-barred battle of flailing fists and if, you're taking part, you'd better be ready to take your fair share of knocks. All you can do is give your best back in the few seconds you have between hits.

The quickfire series of three rounds shoots by and, at the end of it all, it's down to who packs the most punch.

Would I do it again? Not in a million years. I'm a lover, not a fighter.

But getting your fair share of knocks in aid of a good cause is a privilege. Well done to everyone who stuck out the brutal preparation and battled it out in the ring on the night.