Night of boxing comes to Waukegan March 4
In March, the American Boxing Organization (ABO) -- headed by former police officer Juan Curiel -- is bringing a night of boxing festivities to the Waukegan Area.
First, they are sponsoring a banquet fundraiser that will benefit the ABO Cares charity program. Following the dinner, ABO will also be sponsoring an amateur boxing event through Hook Aim Cross Punch (HACP) Boxing, an amateur organization out of Round Lake, Illinois.
In addition to boxing, HACP also offers a youth mentoring program, which is why Curiel decided the group was a worthy beneficiary of fundraising efforts from ABO.
"We chose them as the beneficiary because they are a nonprofit group," Curiel recently told Lake County Gazette. "They do a lot of good things for the kids."
The banquet portion of the evening runs from 4-6:30pm and will feature a wide array of local area officials and department heads in an effort to get them involved with the ABO charity program.
"At the banquet, the (Illinois) secretary of state, Jesse White, is going to be there," Curiel said. "He's bringing along the Jesse White Tumblers to the venue. We're inviting all of the major people here because we want them to support the ABO Cares program. We're inviting heads of major departments, like the Department of Human Services, so that they can all partner with the ABO and so we can start trying to improve people's lives, that's what we want to do. We want to stop the violence, the gun shooting."
In addition, there will be numerous ex-professional boxers in attendance. For instance, the chair of the ABO Cares program is former Cruiserweight Champion and ex-gold medalist out the Chicago area, Lee Roy Murphy. Also in attendance will be former WBC Heavyweight Champion Oliver McCall; former IBF Super Middleweight Champion Anwar Oshana; and Illinois Boxing Hall of Famer and ABO Champion Committee member Luis Mateo.
Those who purchase the $100 ticket to the banquet will also receive two tickets to the amateur boxing event that follows immediately afterward, featuring competitors from around the nation.
"We have guys coming in from Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana and locally here, boxing clubs in Waukegan," Curiel said. "We're going to be giving them ABO amateur championship belts so that these boxers, young kids, have something to wear proudly."
The ages of the competitors range from 14-21, and the highlight of the evening with be a local area boxer that Curiel wants spectators to know about.
"Henry Ortega, from HACP Boxing, will be part of the main event, because he's an area local boxer, and we want to give him the spotlight," he said.
Curiel founded the ABO in 2015 after leaving the police force; he later founded the ABO Cares program before handing the reigns off. The HACP is run by Curiel's son, Andres Calle, and the two organizations routinely partner together -- with the goal of getting young boys and girls off the street in the area and into a productive activity inside the boxing gyms.