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25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event

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Photo Credit: Monica Alvarez

The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.

Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.

The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.

Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.

I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”

In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”

And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,

Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”

Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”

Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”

Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”

Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”

Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”

Individual tickets for Celebrity Fight Night start at $1,500 – $10,000.  To purchase tickets or to get more information on the event, please visit www.celebrityfightnight.org, or call (602) 956-1121.

About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.

The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.

Grew up in and went to school in Peoria, Arizona. Sports has always grabbed my attention, especially boxing. Love talking sports, muscle cars, hip hop, and comics. Follow me on Twitter @AlvarezBoxing & on Instagram @albertalvarezboxing

Boxing

Oscar De La Hoya Denies Sexual Assault Allegations

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Oscar De La Hoya

Boxing Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya has been accused of sexual assault by an unidentified woman via court papers that were submitted for filing in the Californica Superior Court for Los Angeles County, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael.

On October 17th, Greg Kirakosian, the attorney for the San Bernardino, California, woman, submitted the 10-page lawsuit, and the unidentified woman is reportedly seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages for alleged sexual assault, sexual battery, gender violence, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to documents obtained by ESPN.

“To date, Plaintiff continues to suffer from extreme distress, humiliation, indignation and outrage as a result of De La Hoya’s conduct,” the lawsuit said. “As a result of said distress, Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer constant and daily symptoms of depression, anxiety, and related symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The woman, who did not indicate within the lawsuit if she filed a report with the police, claims that she met and became friends with De La Hoya in late 2016 before they eventually began a consensual sexual relationship. However, she claims that on November 12th, 2017 the things turned violent when she was invited by De La Hoya to see a new home he had purchased in Pasadena, California.

While the woman claims that the two would have consensual sex later that night, an allegedly intoxicated De La Hoya became more aggressive when she denied his requests for a specific sex act stating; “Plaintiff repeatedly said no and demanded that De La Hoya stop.” It then says De La Hoya “overpowered her” and violently sexually assaulted her.

The woman states in the lawsuit that she “screamed in pain,” got away from De La Hoya and screamed at him, but that De La Hoya laughed “and responded by repeatedly urging Plaintiff to take a shot of alcohol.” The woman eventually collected herself and left “in extreme shock and pain.”

Additionally, the lawsuit states that the woman “felt extreme swelling and pain” and sought medical treatment at an urgent care facility, where she was prescribed medication. According to the lawsuit, the woman later was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the alleged assault.

De La Hoya, 46, has denied the allegations.

“A frivolous lawsuit was filed recently alleging that Oscar De La Hoya sexually assaulted ‘Jane Doe,’ which is completely false,” the statement from his spokesman said. “Oscar is a very successful businessman, running one of the country’s leading sports and entertainment companies — thus a prime target. It is worth noting that both recent lawsuits have been filed by the same attorney who is looking to make a name for himself. We vehemently deny these allegations and look forward to vigorously defending Oscar’s good name and reputation.”

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Boxer Patrick Day Dies of Brain Injuries Following Knockout

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Patrick Day

Less than a week from suffering a brutal 10th-round knockout loss on Saturday night, Junior middleweight Patrick Day died from brain injuries endured from the fight on Wednesday at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, promoter Lou DiBella said, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael.

Day, 27, was knocked out by unbeaten 21-year old Charles Cornwell, a blue chip prospect and 2016 United States Olympian, in a fight that Cornwell controlled throughout although Day put up a fight.

Cornwell delivered two rights along with a left hook that knocked out Day, slamming the back of his head on the canvas hard and prompting referee Celestino Ruiz to stop the fight without a count.

“On behalf of Patrick’s family, team, and those closest to him, we are grateful for the prayers, expressions of support and outpouring of love for Pat that have been so obvious since his injury,” DiBella said in a statement. “He was a son, brother, and good friend to many. Pat’s kindness, positivity, and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met.”

Day received medical attention and was removed from the ring via stretcher where he was taken to an ambulance and transported to a hospital.

Day never regained consciousness. Day had a seizure at one point, and then lapsed into a coma before undergoing emergency brain surgery with doctors giving him very little chance for survival.

“During his short life, boxing allowed Patrick to impact many communities, both big and small,” DiBella said. “In his hometown of Freeport, Long Island, he was a beacon of light and the star pupil at the Freeport PAL, the gym he trained in from the moment he began boxing until the last bout of his career. He was recognized as one of Long Island’s finest professional fighters for years. He was a fixture in the boxing community throughout New York City. Patrick was even known in Japan, which he visited to spar with his friend and colleague, world champion Ryota Murata.”

The fight was streamed live on DAZN, who issued the following:

“DAZN is incredibly saddened to learn about the passing of Patrick Day,” a DAZN spokesman said in a statement. “Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

“I never meant for this to happen to you,” Conwell wrote. “All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would. No one deserves for this to happen to them. I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you. I can’t stop thinking about it myself. I prayed for you so many times and shedded so many tears because I couldn’t even imagine how my family and friends would feel. I see you everywhere I go and all I hear is wonderful things about you.”

“Before establishing himself as a world class professional fighter, Pat was a highly decorated amateur,” DiBella said. “He won two nationals titles, the New York Golden Gloves tournament and was an Olympic team alternate, all in 2012. Day turned pro in 2013 and overcame early career struggles to become a world-rated (junior middleweight) contender. He captured the WBC Continental Americas championship in 2017 and the IBF Intercontinental championship in 2019. In June 2019, he was rated in the top 10 by both the WBC and IBF.

“He was also a dedicated college student, having earned an associate’s degree in food and nutrition from Nassau Community College and, subsequently, a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness from Kaplan University.”

“Patrick Day didn’t need to box,” DiBella said. “He came from a good family, he was smart, educated, had good values and had other avenues available to him to earn a living. He chose to box, knowing the inherent risks that every fighter faces when he or she walks into a boxing ring. Boxing is what Pat loved to do. It’s how he inspired people and it was something that made him feel alive.”

Dibella went on to say that he hopes Day’s death will lead to ways to make boxing a safer sport.

“It becomes very difficult to explain away or justify the dangers of boxing at a time like this,” DiBella said. “This is not a time where edicts or pronouncements are appropriate, or the answers are readily available. It is, however, a time for a call to action. While we don’t have the answers, we certainly know many of the questions, have the means to answer them, and have the opportunity to respond responsibly and accordingly and make boxing safer for all who participate.

“This is a way we can honor the legacy of Pat Day. Many people live much longer than Patrick’s 27 years, wondering if they made a difference or positively affected their world. This was not the case for Patrick Day when he left us. Rest in peace and power, Pat, with the angels.”

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Errol Spence Jr. Hospitalized Following Car Crash

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Errol Spence Jr.

Unified Welterwight World Champion Error Spence Jr. has been hospitalized with serious injuries following a one-car crash early Thursday, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael.

Spence crashed his Ferrari overnight and is currently in intensive care, but is expected to live.

“Errol was in an accident, and his parents are with him at the hospital,” Premier Boxing Champions spokesman Tim Smith said, per the report. “The doctors are monitoring his condition, but his injuries are not life-threatening. We will have further updates as the doctors update his condition. We’re all wishing the best for Errol.”

“The Ferrari veered left over the center median onto the southbound lanes and flipped multiple times, ejecting the driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt,” police said.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash, which they say occurred at 2:53 am when the car was traveling at “a high rate of speed.”

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