Here was a docu-web series set in real time, or as close as it can be without live streaming, of two actual office jockeys—Kai Hasson and Nate Houghteling—who ditched their cubicles to train to become serious amateur boxers. And they were starting from scratch. Twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) new episodes are released showing the weight loss, the pain and the inescapable musical training montages.
What really stepped things up for the Bay Area web series was the ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ homage video that became the Giants’ fans World Series anthem last month. The video is at nearly 2 million views, and won the hearts of a city still basking in the glow of a championship.
“One of our main goals for the show was to make it local,” said co-creator Kai Hasson. “The Giants video expanded to a local fan base that we wouldn’t have reached otherwise. White Collar Brawler isn’t just a show about two guys boxing—it’s about everything that is happening in our lives. The Giants winning the world series was one of the biggest event of the year – so it couldn’t be ignored.”
Now the White Collar Brawler boys are stepping out to help out a local non-profit charity while pitting some of the biggest named tech firms to fight against each other to settle some long-brewing rivalries. Apple vs. Google? Zynga vs. Everybody? (Watch out for those Zynga cats, word is their Russian investors have been training them to the bone.)
The fighters in Thursday night’s Tech Beat Up:
- Zac Morris (Apple)
- Rick Johanson (Zynga)
- Zoraida Rodriguez (Zynga)
- Tenia Green (IBM)
- Robert Spiro (Google)
- Theodore Summe (Salesforce)
- Sarah Austin (Pop17)
- Luther Lowe (Yelp)
- Amro Radwan (ZeroDivide)
- Anthony Ha (VentureBeat)
So after a decade of UFC cage match fandamonium in the States, is boxing poised for a comeback?
“Is it a coincidence that a studio movie, a documentary, a TV show—and our web series—all about boxing are all coming out at the same time? Maybe,” says Hasson. “But we’ve been saying that boxing is such a test of fortitude, that during times of hardship, you see people coming back to the sport. It’s such a pure test of, when you’re down and out, can you get up off the mat and fight?”
And what about side bets, this is boxing after all. Hasson handicaps the field for us:
“Anthony Ha is almost certainly going down in round 1, unless he wins crowd support. I’ll put my Farmville bucks on Rob Spiro from Google—he was raised on a junkyard by boxers who beat him up daily who he then murdered. When I showed up to his apartment, he was watching Muhammed Ali videos on repeat.”