by Francisco Salazar
Former world champion Sugar Ray Leonard has become a good host within the last couple of years, all for a good cause.
Celebrities in and out of the ring came out to support the 4th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Fight Night at the Santa Monica (CA) Pier on Tuesday night.
Overcast skies did not dampen the mood or atmosphere as about the event had everything from silent auction on sports memorabilia, complimentary food from Southern California eateries, and professional boxing under a giant tent.
A three-fight card was highlighted by the action-filled six round split decision draw between Cruiserweights Hamilton Ventura (8-0-1, 8 KOs) and Mitch Williams (7-3-1, 5 KOs).
Proceeds from the event funded the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, which raises funds for research and awareness towards a cure for juvenile diabetes.
Leonard even auctioned off a day where the highest bidder would spend a day with him, which included a visit to his home, lunch, and a round of golf.
The event always brings out celebrities, both in and out of the ring, to support the event. Andre Berto, Rashad Holloway, and promoter Lou DiBella represented the boxing world. Access Hollywood host Bill Bush, singer/ actor Usher, NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman, R & B singer Johnny Gill, and actress Catherine Bach were amongst those who also attended.
Master of ceremonies was actor/ comedian Tommy Davidson.
Leonard, who was a former world champion in five weight classes, appreciates the support for a good cause.
“Each year we get closer to our goal of raising funds for such a worthy cause,” Leonard told Boxingscene.com prior to the event starting. “The event gets more impressive and it’s an evolving process.”
“It’s very humbling.”
Besides juvenile diabetes, proceeds go to other services, such as educational resources, job training, accessible housing, and affordable healthcare.
For more information, go to sugarrayleonard.com
Francisco A. Salazar has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper. He could be reached by email at [email protected] or on twitter at Saalzar_soccer