Fight Club

When FW's travel editor published a book about her exploits as a pro boxer, we celebrated with a cocktail party that pulled no punches.

It's not every day that I receive an invitation to a party for a boxer. But recently I suited up (not in satin shorts) to celebrate the publication of Kate Sekules' The Boxer's Heart: How I Fell in Love with the Ring. Professional female boxers are a rare breed, and Kate's type is rarer still: The travel editor of F&W (which hosted the party), she has also been a restaurant critic and a singer in a punk-rock band. Kate got hooked on boxing in 1992, when she moved to New York City from England, and was soon training at the famous Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn. Next came professional bouts.

The party, in New York City's Tribeca, was a knockout. In the middle of a raw space was a ring where dancers did routines that combined hip-hop and boxing moves. Guests were a mix of creative types (film director Whit Stillman, artist Andres Serrano, Newsweek arts editor Sarah Pettit) and boxers (Kate's nemesis, Angela Reiss, was there, in a leather jacket that covered her tattoos and lethal-looking muscles). Celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan snapped away at the action. If anyone was expecting beer and pastrami, they were at the wrong party. Karen and David Waltuck, the talented team behind Manhattan's Chanterelle and the new Le Zinc, concocted the hors d'oeuvres, which were passed on trays that looked like mini boxing rings. The cocktails were killer; believe me when I say a few Sucker Punches (created by F&W editor Pete Wells) could put you on the mat.

PUBLISHED June 2001

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