SANTA MONICA—Six-time world boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard will host the eighth annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” charity boxing night on Wednesday, May 24, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica. Proceeds from the exclusive event will go toward the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, which strives to fund research and spread awareness for pediatric type 1 and 2 diabetes, and to guide children toward healthier lives.
The event will be hosted by actor and comedian Bill Bellamy and presented by full-service investment bank B. Riley & Co. R&B group En Vogue will perform the National Anthem, and a live and silent auction will be held, featuring one-of-a-kind memorabilia. From 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya’s firm, Golden Boy Promotions, will present live fights featuring boxers such as Kevin Rivers, Jr., Mario Macias, Marvin Cabrera, and Quantavious Green.
According to Boxing Insider, guests in attendance will include former football and baseball player Bo Jackson, model and actress Cindy Crawford, actress Holly Robinson Peete, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, and musician Usher.
During the event, nine-year-old Jackson Blair will receive the 2017 Golden Glove Award for his dedication to raising money and awareness for type 1 (T1D) diabetes. Blair has been a part of the cause since he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at four years old. He was chosen at age six to represent the State of California as a delegate for JDRF’s Children’s Congress in Washington, D.C. He worked with Arrow Crossfit in La Verne, California, to create a fitness event, “Fighting Through T1D,” which draws the community together and spreads awareness. Blair’s efforts have raised about $30,000 for his JDRF Walk for a Cure team.
The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation was founded in 2009 by Leonard and his wife, Bernadette, after he witnessed the devastating effects of diabetes on his father and friends, according to the organization’s website. Type 1 diabetes strikes children and adults at any age and can come on with no warning. Injected or pumped insulin is necessary to survive. Type 2 diabetes, which may develop more slowly, stems from obesity and lack of exercise.
Ray Charles Leonard, best known as “Sugar Ray,” is considered one of the greatest boxers of all time. His career includes three National Golden Glove titles, two Amateur Athletic Union championships, and world titles in five different weight classes. He has appeared in the 2010 film “The Fighter” and television shows including the sitcom “Half & Half” and horror series “Tales from the Crypt.”