Boxers taking hits for a good cause - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Boxers taking hits for a good cause

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Would you take a few punches to the face if it were for a good cause?  Almost 100 guys were doing just that Wednesday night at Notre Dame, and it's part of a decades old tradition.  This is the 83rd year of the Bengal Bouts.  It raises money for the Holy Cross Mission in Bangladesh.

The motto of these bouts is "Strong bodies fight, that weak bodies may be nourished."  The money raised from these boxing matches goes to Bangladesh for schools, health care clinics and more.  "Still one of the poorest countries in the world," said Terry Johnson, "so we knew not only were we competing athletically but we were doing it for a great cause."  Johnson has been a referee for the Bengal Bouts since the 70's.  Before that he boxed in them himself.  "Back then it was legendary boxing coach Dominic "Nappy" Napolitano."

Dominic "Nappy" Napolitano started the Bengal Bouts in 1931.  Just years after Knute Rockne started boxing at Notre Dame to keep football players in shape in the off season.  83 years later it's turned into a huge tradition at the University.  "It's a good mix of staying in shape, learning boxing, learning a new sport but the charity aspect of it is huge too.  All the work we do in Bangladesh is really important...really special," said Danny Leicht.  Leicht is boxing in the bouts for his third year.  He was able to really understand why just last year.  "Last summer I spent 8 weeks over in Bangladesh," said Leicht, "a lot of people are in situations that are pretty dire."

He said now that he's seen where the money from the bouts is going he has a lot more people in his corner this year.  "You're not just fighting for yourself, you're fighting for everyone we met over there.  Priests, sisters, children"

Wednesday night was only the quarter finals of the Bengal Bouts, the finals will be held in March.  After the finals they'll know how much money they've raised this year.  Their goal is to beat last year when they raised over $200,000.

 

 

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