May 27, 2018 by Alan S. Hale
It was fight night in Cornwall again on Saturday. But instead of fans watching local boxer Tony Luis fight in a professional bout, he was in the ring as a referee while several other local athletes fought against opponents from Quebec.
It was the annual Boxing for Change fundraiser to support the Children's Treatment Centre. Cornwall's future boxing stars all fought in the ring to help raise money for the CTC.
Before the bouts got underway, those who purchased tickets for the fundraiser were treated to a prime rib dinner at their tables surrounding the ring, while they listened to live performances by the DwaneDixion Trio and Les Respectables.
Last year's guest-of-honour, former heavyweight boxer Gerry Cooney, was back and he brought former heavyweight champion of the world Larry Holmes with him. The pair were interviewed together in the ring during the intermission between the bouts.
The event's head organizer, Sean Adams, was thrilled with the night.
"It's been a wonderful evening, there's been great entertainment by two bands who did a wonderful job. The food was terrific and so was the service. Gerry Cooney and Larry Holmes have been perfect to everyone, they've signed so many autographs, they've been happy to talk with fans and pose for pictures with them, and Larry also did a great pep talk for the boxers in their change room (story on page B1)."
This year's event was moved to the Cornwall Civic Complex, from the Nav Centre, and it appeared to make a big difference in the number of people who came out to watch the boxing matches.
Because the event is a fundraiser, tickets for the dinner itself are fairly expensive, but organizers also sold much less expensive tickets to people who just wanted to watch the boxing. About 150 spectators came and sat in the civic complex arena seats to watch the bouts. It was a big change from the couple of dozen people who came to sit on chairs at the back of the Nav Centre's ballroom.
"We're very pleased to have so many people in the stands as well as people having dinner on the rink floor," said Adams. "We couldn't have done that anywhere else in the city of Cornwall. So I would say the move was worth it."
The amount of money raised from the event will take several days to tally.