Amateur Boxing Returns to Punta Gorda

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Amateur boxers from the Southeastern United States will return to the ring for the Sugar Bert Boxing National Qualifier World Boxing Council Green Belt Challenge tournament on Aug. 28-30. The event will be held at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center.

 The three-day tournament, sanctioned by USA Boxing and its Back to Boxing program, is expected to draw 200 to 300 amateur boxers. The event will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those guidelines include limiting spectator seating, temperature checks at the door and wearing face masks.

 Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions (SBBP) is sponsoring the event with USA Boxing, Title Boxing, World Boxing Council, WBC Cares, KO Addition, Raynelo Management and the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau.

 “CDC guidelines will be strictly enforced,” said Bert “Sugar Bert” Wells, president of SBBP. “We are going to have a safe tournament that will promote the skills and training many of these boxers have sharpened since the shutdown and reopening of our country. They are ready.”

 Boxers will compete in three different rings at the qualifier, separated into weight classes: Bantam, intermediate, junior, senior, women, open men, novice and master. They are competing for the title belt championship and other prizes, including eligibility to possibly receive scholarships for future USA Boxing competitions.

 The event will be limited to competitors from nearby states in similar phases of reopening. Fighters near Florida including those from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina are eligible to compete.

 Special guests include undefeated professional boxer Evan “Young Holy” Holyfield, son of boxing legend Evander Holyfield; Nelson Raynelo with Raynelo with Raynelo Management; Chico Rivas with Warrior Boxing Promotions; Paul Pearson, president of Central Florida Boxing Association; and Sean Doherty, interim tourism director for the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau.

 General admission tickets for the championship event are $25 per person; children under the age of four get in free.