Boxing: Giving Back
21.11.07 - By Ted Sares:
Article posted on 22.11.2007
Everyone’s just shut the book and forgotten about me.
Along the way, I came to believe that fighters themselves were among the best human beings I knew. They were mercifully free of the macho bullshit that stains so many professional athletes. They were gentle in a manly way …
Are the blood clots tolerated because the dead and brain dead are members of the permanent underclass? Is boxing such a fringe sport nowadays that nobody cares enough to express outrage?
No one likes to ask for help and I’m no exception, but I am committed, both as a fan and writer, to make others become aware of the Retired Boxers Association and that there are people devoted to the cause of helping the retired fighters. The RBF is a legitimate 501(c) 3 charity and the media needs to understand this. Many potential donors don’t understand that their donations will not only be for a great cause but also will be tax deductible.
Through Alex Ramos (founder) and Jacqui Richardson (executive director), the mission of the RBF is to assist retired professional boxers in the transition from their days in the ring to a dignified retirement. In short, it helps to provide a bridge between the time a boxer leaves the ring and when he begins the next direction in his life. Helping hundreds of fighters annually, the RBF, with the motto “Fighters Helping Fighters,” has been able to secure medical services, housing, rehabilitation and emergency assistance for many former athletes. Ramos, Richardson (and all the volunteers) are dedicated to restore and/or fill these gaps.
Teddy Atlas raises money for his Atlas Foundation and this is indeed a righteous cause, but inasmuch as he has made a life in boxing, perhaps he could lend his fund raising abilities to assist needy fighters and their families as well. Perhaps organizations like the World Boxing Hall of Fame in California could also help raise funds. There are many other potential high profile donors like Laila Ali, Oscar De La Hoya, Don King and Bob Arum who could help this cause by giving a part of their annual donations, charitable or otherwise, to the retired boxers who have toiled in the ring and who gave us so many thrills. When Floyd Mayweather Jr, waves fistfulls of dollars around on 24/7, think how imgage enhancing ot would be for him to send in a donation to the RBF. As a minimum, their visible support would be great.
In 2006, Ramos, along with Harold Lederman, was awarded the Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). That’s the kind of publicity and support the Foundation needs.
While fighting, a boxer often enjoys the adulation of his fans and the guidance of others including his management team. But once it’s over, all of that can disappear in a nanosecond. Suddenly, he is all alone and badly in need of a support structure to help him make that transition to life after boxing. Perhaps during this coming holiday season, you can find it in your heart to help these many warriors who gave so much but now need our help. A donation to the RBF is one great way to give back.
RETIRED BOXERS FOUNDATION, Inc.
3359 Bryan Avenue
Simi Valley, CA 93063
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