AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Saturday night was Fight Night at the California Palms Hotel in Austintown.
Hundreds of people gathered to watch 12 amateur boxing matches and 10 celebrity matches, all for The Hope Foundation’s fundraiser to raise money for terminally and chronically ill children.
Former professional boxers Kelly Pavlik and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini were there for all the action, but not in the ring.
“Any time you have this cause and this many people coming out, we’ve been lucky with the weather, it’s a beautiful night and I think we can raise a lot of money for it. Everything about it is very nice and I’m proud,” Pavlik said.
The foundation said boxing is a great way to get kids active, both physically and mentally.
“Our foundation is 100 percent volunteer. There is no staff, I don’t get paid, I have a full-time job. The money comes in, the money goes back to the community,” said Anthony Spano, founder of The Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.
The night gave boxers a chance to show off their talent in front of their families and friends.
“It’s a sport that takes a lot of dedication, you got to be in shape, you got to be ready to do it. It’s a very good discipline sport. Teaches good discipline,” Pavlik said.
“You got the people supporting it, you got a lot of fighters, guys who never fought before, who never stepped in the ring before who are willing to do this for charity. It takes a lot,” Mancini said.
Tiempl Thorenton’s son was one of the first fights of the night. He’s been boxing since he was four years old.
“It’s like I’m fighting almost. I get butterflies in my stomach, I get so nervous as a mom,” Thorenton said.
She’s there every time he steps into the ring and said her son’s interest in boxing has helped in more than one way.
“It translates both to this and to school. He’s able to stay concentrated,” Thorenton said.
The night was a great way to bring people together to raise money for such a good cause. And as The Hope Foundation’s slogan goes, “It’s all for the kids.”