Weekend’s events include hall of fame induction ceremony

Two amateur boxers fight at the 2018 Freedom Fight that was held at Jacksonville High School. 

The All-Marine Alumni Boxing team will gather together in Jacksonville on June 19-23 for their 2019 reunion and hall of fame induction ceremony. The alumni team is partnering with the Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission (JOSC) for the third Freedom Fight, a sanctioned USA Boxing event, on June 21. Amateur male and female boxers from outside of North Carolina will compete against local amateur boxers and Marines. The ages of the participants will range from 8 years old to 57 years old, said All-Marine Alumni Boxing team chairman retired United States Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Michael Cline.

“We put the event on to show the caliber of individuals that fight, from young children to adults, and to bring the entertainment of boxing to the Jacksonville area,” Cline said, who also serves as the U.S. Marine Corps boxing team’s head coach.

The boxing event, which is presented by title sponsor Marine Chevrolet of Jacksonville, will be held at Northside High School in Jacksonville on Friday, June 21 at 6 p.m. The night will consist of 26 bouts and is expected to last three to four hours. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for general admission and $30 for VIP access which includes ringside seating, food service and access to former Olympians and boxing champions. Gold medalist Ray Mercer and world champion Bonnie Mann are expected to be in attendance at the event along with many other boxing greats.

“It’s just an all-around fun night,” said Scott Smith, executive director for JOSC. “The fights are action packed and we will have some celebrity boxers on hand to sign autographs.”

With the All-Marine Alumni Boxing team’s reunion and hall of fame induction being the same weekend as the Freedom Fight, it gives many of the team’s members the opportunity to enjoy the boxing event while catching up with old friends and teammates.

“My favorite part of the weekend is bringing all our brothers and sisters together to share the camaraderie of one of the greatest sports we could be involved in,” Cline said.

The mission of Cline and the alumni team is to bring people together, create awareness about the history of the All-Marine Boxing team and to promote the restoration of boxing as an All-Marine Corps Sport. Boxing was last an All-Marine sport back in 2012. The All-Marine Boxing Team Alumni Hall of Fame began in 2016 and will have 20 inductees this year.

A pre-fight event will be held at Twin Peaks restaurant on Western Boulevard on June 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will have discounted Freedom Fight tickets for sale. Tickets can also be purchased online at playjosc.com or at the door on the day of the main event. JOSC is a non-profit organization that is committed to fostering economic development and quality of life through sports in Onslow County.