Ben Little knows that some people think of boxing as a brutal, bloody sport.
But he sees it differently.
He sees boxing matches as an exhibition of skill. And that’s one of the reasons why he wants to share it with others.
Little is the owner of the Bainbridge Island Boxing Club. And this Saturday, he’s sponsoring an exhibition of boxing and kickboxing for charity.
The “Fight for Life” boxing event to benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation will begin at 5 p.m. July 20.
Some of the best kickboxers and boxers in the Pacific Northwest will meet in co-main events and eight individual matches.
“It’s a chance for people to come and watch fighters exercise their skills and help others at the same time,” Little said.
Funds raised are going to support those with breast cancer because cancer has hit his own family.
“When I was young, my mother had cancer and I watched how hard it was for my dad to do everything while my mother was in the hospital,” he said.
And just recently, he said, a good friend’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.”
So that’s why he chose breast cancer as the cause.
The club’s first fundraiser last year, “Battle for the Beasts” was sold out. Proceeds from that event went to the Kitsap Humane Society.
Prior to that fight, Bainbridge Island had not seen a live boxing event since 1906.
“Cancer is an awful thing to go through,” he said. “Just about the only thing I have at my disposal is my business, and that’s why we’re doing what we can to help out.”
Some fighters will be local to Kitsap County. Others are professionals and will come from Seattle to help out.
“Because some are professional and some are amateurs, we’re using the rules of amateur boxing,” he said. “They’ll wear head gear and gloves. It’s an exhibition of skill, not brutality.”
There will be fighters from ages 14 and 25, to adults ages 18 to 26. And there will be a demonstration of female fighting moves.
“Last year we were able to have a round with women fighters,” he said. “But one of the women who was going to take part this year is injured. So we have to limit it to a demonstration this year.”
In all, there will be eight fights with three rounds in each fight. More than 200 people are expected to show up. There will be a professional roped boxing ring with chairs set up all around it for those attending to sit and view the fights.
“Fighters drop everything and put their bodies on the line for a cause that has or will touch all of them at one time or another,” said Little. “Every boxer and kickboxer believes in what he or she is fighting for and is willing to risk injury for it as they step into the ring.”
Fighters slated to participate including Carl Edwards, Mike Ross, AJ Weber, Dustin Praxedes, RJ Hoyt, Randy Tibbs, Cole Lake, Laura Swanson, Anthony Renzo, Travis Gurno, Isaiah Connor, Steve Winger, Keenan Barrow and Anisa Ashabi.
Sponsors include Treehouse Cafe, Firefly Salon, Crowley Custom, Living Well, MaXX Nutrition and Valholl Brewing and Ivan Salaverry.
Local clubs participating include the Bremerton Full Circle Gym, Ivan Salaverry Mixed Martial Arts and Bremerton’s Hybrid gym.
The event will take place at the Bainbridge Island Boxing Club, 563 Madison Ave, Bainbridge Island. Tickets begin at $20 and are available through Brown Paper Tickets or at the club.