By Peter Lim
Since hanging up his gloves in 2007, former heavyweight contender Lou Savarese has punched his meal ticket as a trainer and promoter. Together with partner Bobby Benton, he bought over the Main Boxing Gym and began staging boxing events at various venues in and around Houston. The cards typically showcased local young up-and-coming prospects trying to pad their records and make their way up the ranks.
But Savarese’s latest show deviates from his usual fare. On Sept. 20, Savarese will host the Knockout Child Abuse benefit at The Revaire, 7122 Old Katy Road in Houston. The event will benefit the Children’s Assessment Center (CAC), a Houston-based non-profit providing a professional, compassionate and coordinated approach to the treatment of sexually abused children and their families.
“100 percent of the money raised is going to the CAC,” Savarese said. “I toured the CAC. It’s great that there’s something like this but it’s so sad there’s a need for it.”
At press time the show was sold out with $850,000 raised. That figure is expected to exceed $1 million by fight night.
The boxers competing at the event are not the typical fighters featured at Savarese’s cards either. Energy executives, all of whom have been trained by Savarese himself, will do battle in about 20 amateur bouts. They range in age from mid-20s to late-40s with the average age being about 35, and all but one will be formally competing for the first time.
“We have 40-45 fighters - when I say fighters, I mean (energy) brokers and traders - and they’ve been training for about four months now,” Savarese said.
“It’s fun. They’re very smart guys. All these guys are very highly educated and very cerebral. They pick up on stuff quickly and they’re pretty driven the same way they are in business. They don’t want to lose so it’s pretty cool.”
Any congregation of the movers and shakers of the energy industry in the energy capital of the world spells big money, and in this case, every dollar generated will go towards a noble cause.
“Traders and brokers have got big egos,” Savarese said. “It’s going to be kind of cool because and a lot of them are from rival brokerages so there’s a gambling aspect too and all that money goes to the CAC too.”
The CAC provides a safe haven to sexually abused children and their families and serves as an advocate for all children in Houston and Harris County. The center employs an effective multidisciplinary team approach in the prevention, assessment, investigation, referral for prosecution and treatment of child sexual abuse. The goal is to promote the complete healing of child victims of sexual abuse and their families.