It’s a tournament whose magnitude will have year end ramifications.
More than 400 amateur boxers will be part of the Sugar Bert Boxing National qualifer, which begins today at noon in Punta Gorda at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. It’s expected the number may increase to closer to 500 pugilists, with an ample number of walk-ups registering for the event. This is the third time in the last four years the boxing promotion has held the tournament in Punta Gorda.
“It’s an honor to have the boxers here, and this tournament has some of the best officials in the country,” said Sugar Bert Wells, Sugar Bert Boxing president and CEO.
The event will have three rings going simultaneously, and is conducted in a tournament boxing format.
The tournament itself places an emphasis in having the participating boxers face the best amateur competition possible at different venues around the nation, with other qualifiers scheduled this year for Ontario, Calif., Louisiana and Georgia.
The national qualifier is a double elimination tournament, said Wells. If a boxer loses on the first day, the fighter would still be matched up on the second day automatically, if there are four people within the bracket.
Punta Gorda is the second stop in a five-stop qualifying tour, ending with the national championship in Kissimmee, said Wells. The National Championship will be held at the Park Inn by Radisson Resort and Conference Center in Kissimmee, Nov. 22-25.
The event is produced by Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions and sponsored by USA Boxing, International Amateur Boxing Association, Title Boxing, the National Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, Impact Mouthguard and Raynelo Management.
Boxers from St. Maarten, The Bahamas, the United States Territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and nearly 40 states will be represented in the tournament that starts today.
Friday afternoon was the first time the promotion has ever had a Title Fun Zone at one of its tournaments.
Inside the arena, spectators had the opportunity to get some exposure to the sport by putting on the gloves and hitting a heavy bag or speed bag.
This year, the boxing promotion awarded $10,000 worth of sponsorships, in the amount of $450 to 22 boxers, who were ranked in the Sugar Bert Boxing tournament series in 2018.
Sugar Bert Boxing is going to start promoting professional boxing in addition to its amateur tournaments. In the cities, where the promotion will be conducting its national qualifiers, the evening before the tournament, they’ll be hosting professional shows, placing an emphasis on those boxers who’ve participated in the promotion’s previous tournaments, while competing as amateurs.
The doors open Saturday and Sunday at noon, and the boxing commences at 1 p.m.
Tickets are available at the door. VIP admission is $25 per day and seating is in the first three rows of each ring. General admission is $15 and children 4-8 are $10 each day.
Seats are on a space available basis.
Tickets may be purchased online through Eventbrite on the Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions Title Belt National Qualifier — Punta Gorda, FL June 7-9, 2019 page.