Boxers throughout U.S. converge on Columbus, Ga. this weekend for Sugar Bert Boxing Title Belt Nat’l Qualifier
Super Bowl Champ Jimmy Farris, who traded in his shoulder pads for boxing gloves, is among hundreds of boxers competing in Columbus this weekend for one last chance to advance to the 3rd Annual Sugar Bert Boxing Title Belt National Championship, a USA Boxing sanctioned competition. The national qualifier will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center at 801 Front Ave. in Columbus.
Farris, a wide receiver for the New England Patriots when they clinched their first championship win in Super Bowl XXXVI, also played for the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins and Jacksonville Jaguars before retiring from the NFL in 2009. He joins other notable competitors at the qualifier, including Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield, son of legendary four-time World Champion Boxer Evander Holyfield and Myles Mizell, a former Golden Gloves winner.
“This is our third year coming to Columbus for the national title belt championship series, and it is always a big ticket for our boxers,” said Bert “Sugar Bert” Wells, president of Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions (SBBP). “We anticipate 350-550 boxers coming from across the nation.” Winners go into a drawing to receive sponsorship dollars for future USA Boxing competitions. They also will receive special medals and recognition from new SBBP partners, the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the National Boxing Association (NBA), in addition to title belts and rankings leading into the championship tournament in Kissimmee, Fla. on Nov. 16-18.
The qualifier kicks off Friday with registration and general weigh-ins. Amateur pugilists of all ages compete in double elimination tournaments for various weight divisions (bantam, intermediate, junior, senior, women, open men, novice, and master). Doors to the Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center open to the public at noon Saturday and Sunday, with bouts beginning at 1 p.m. A live press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m Friday at the convention and trade center.
SBBP partner Nelson Lopez Jr. of Raynelo Management & Nelsons Promotions, a Florida-based father and son combination of worldwide boxing marketing and promotions, said the qualifier allows boxers to sharpen their skills while also exposing them to different fighting styles and techniques. “We are getting our amateur boxers prepared for the 2020 Olympics,” Lopez said.
The qualifier is the third Sugar Bert Boxing Title Belt competition to be held in Columbus in three years. Merri Sherman, director of the Columbus Sports Commission, said past tournaments have brought more than $365,000 to the local economy. Qualifier sponsors include A. Beadle Allstate Insurance Agency, Nike Boxing, Title Boxing, and Perfect Touch Automotive Playground (PTAP) in Columbus. Alexander Beadle, head of the A. Beadle Allstate Insurance Agency in Stockbridge, Ga., said becoming a Sugar Bert Boxing Title Belt sponsor was a natural fit for the agency.
In addition to the boxing matches, event goers also can attend the “Welcome to Holli World” tour concert scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at the Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center. The event showcases music artists signed to the new Holli World Entertainment record label in Atlanta.Performers include Young ‘Dro, Alex Rodriguez, Leggacy, Sweeney and One Playy. Tickets are $20. To purchase, visit www.eventbrite.com and search for “Welcome to Holli World Tour”.
General admission tickets for the tournament start at $10 for children ages 4-8, and $15 for adults. The entry fee is $20 for fighters who pre-register online at www.sugarbertboxing.com and $30 for walk-in boxers. Officials and coaches are free.
Log on to www.sugarbertboxing.com for event information, or call (770) 833-7888.
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