It was a boxing-themed night to remember when Wish Upon a Teen teamed up with Jabs Gym for its charity boxing fundraiser on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Bert’s Warehouse in downtown Detroit. The venue was transformed to give attendees an authentic ringside experience as boxers from all over metro Detroit took the ring to raise money for teens with life-altering medical conditions.
As the donations poured in, attendees were treated to a night of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, raffles, music and some of the best amateur and undercard boxing from around the city, including a celebrity bout between Dr. Darrius of 97.9 FM WJLB and former WBO light middleweight champion Bronco McKart. Local businesses, fans and members of the city’s boxing elite like the world famous Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns came out to show their love and support.
Wish Upon a Teen board member and co-owner of Jabs Gym, David Tessler, was instrumental in bringing the premier boxing event to life. With the help of Jabs co-owner Willie Fortune and a host of sponsors like Operation Detroit (a boxing program designed for youth) and the Detroit Tigers, the event was able to raise over $2K in funds to help finance the teen-oriented non-profit’s special endeavors. The Detroit Tigers have been active participants in Wish Upon a Teen’s “Design My Room” program, donating many items to assist teens with normalizing their surroundings during long hospital stays.
Dr. Darrius is always involved in the community, especially when it comes to encouraging Detroit’s youth. The host of Detroit’s #1 rated night show, “The Doctor’s Office,” trained for weeks with Jabs Gym’s Akio Miller and coach Greg to prepare for his first time stepping into the ring. When asked what drew him to participate, he couldn’t help but share his enthusiasm about boxing for a good cause.
“I’m a celebrity ambassador for Wish Upon a Teen and we go out and re-decorate kids’ hospital rooms that have life limiting medical conditions,” he said as he headed to the ring. “It costs around $250 to $300 per room to design so it definitely warms my heart when we get a chance to do that. It makes kids feel good while they are recovering from their injuries. I’ve never boxed in my life but I have some good friends. Shout out to coach Greg, Akio Miller and Willie Fortune. It’s A Fighting Chance is a good cause, so I’m definitely down to do it.”
Former 3x World Champion boxer Bronco “Superman” McKart would do anything for the kids. The veteran light middleweight king came out of retirement after a 22-year career just to lend his talents to the fundraiser.
“I came back just for this event. I have a heart for kids. I love doing anything I can for the kids and when this event offer came out, I was all over it,” McKart revealed backstage.
The crowd was all over it, too, cheering, “Doctor! Doctor!” as the two celebrity fighters duked it out during the main event. Even as Dr. Darrius held his gloves up high proclaiming himself as the winner, the real winners of the night were all of the happy, smiling teens who now have A Fighting Chance at living a normal life.
To learn more about Wish Upon a Teen and all their charitable efforts, please visit www.wishuponateen.org. For more information on training at Jabs’ Gym, go to www.jabsgym.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @jabsgym. Check into “The Doctor’s Office” weeknights on 97.9 FM WJLB from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. to catch up with Dr. Darrius.
See pictures below.