Amateur boxing event filled with great athletes with better stories
This event doesn't come to Chattanooga. It goes to Chicago, to LA, to Las Vegas. So, we're fortunate to get this marquee event here in Chattanooga, Tennessee," founder of Y-Cap Boxing Joe Smith said.
The 2019 Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions, right here in the Scenic City. An event filled with future Olympians and world champions. But on a deeper level, it includes some saved by the sport of boxing.
"I was really out here doing everything. Fighting, breaking into cars, putting up with guns, a lot of stuff. It gave me a bigger outlook on, like, life," amateur boxer from Cincinnati Lavars Carter said.
Carter got into the sport after his cousin Wayne passed away. Now, he's using it to look out for his younger siblings, to show them there's more to life than what they may see.
"If this is the way that I can make a way for them, than this is what I'm going to do. Get them out the way, make some money, make a career out of this, and change my life and stuff. I can get them out of where I came from and keep them out of trouble and stuff," Carter said.
And if anybody knows how boxing can change a life, it’s Smith. For years he's been helping local kids take what they learn in the ring, outside, into the real world.
"Perseverance, hard work, respect, all those things that are just such life lessons. Obviously we want to build champions in the ring, but more importantly we want to build champions in life," Smith said.
The semifinals are taking place tonight with the championships on Saturday. The tournament is being held at the Chattanooga Convention Center and price of admission is $10.