FLINT – Some of the most well-known Flint-area athletes who are currently in the professional ranks will be getting together online Sunday to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint.
Boxers Anthony Dirrell, Andre Dirrell, Claressa Shields and Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma will be taking part in an esports tournament billed as Flint Fight Night | Champions for Charity from 2-6 p.m. ET Saturday, May 9.
They’ll play EA Sports Ultimate Fighter Champions 3 from their homes on Playstation 4 consoles live and anyone who watches will be able to make a donation to help provide tutors, food and water to Flint-area children.
Anthony Dirrell and his team spearheaded the event. There is no fee to watch on Twitch.tv but Dirrell is hoping anyone who does will making a donation on a link that will be provided on the website.
“Just to give back, just to do something for Flint, especially while you’re home,” Dirrell said Tuesday when asked how he came up with the idea for the event. “You’ve giving back to the kids who need it the most. That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to help.
“We’re here to make everything as comfortable as possible for the less fortunate.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, supplies are running short with the Boys & Girls Club, which has no money coming in and had to lay off its staff.
Last week, Flint’s Boys & Girls Clubs CEO Tauzzari Robinson was only able to provide families with water, beans and six bread rolls apiece because that’s all the organization could afford.
Dirrell & Co. are trying to change that this weekend.
“Hopefully, everybody will come in and provide something but if you can’t, you can’t,” he said. “Every dollar helps. I’m happy for anything. I’m going to donate and I’ve already had people donate over $1,500 and the event hasn’t even started yet.
“They say you’ve got to wash your hands (because of the coronavirus) but you can’t wash your hands with dirty water or lead-poisoned water. At the end of the day we need everybody to have clean water.”
The tournament is free to watch and Dirrell said anyone watching will be able to hear the contestants talking among themselves. Trash talking is almost guaranteed.
And Dirrell, who is a gamer himself, expects the competition to be fierce.
“Of course,” he said. “We’re all competitive and we want to win.”
Dirrell is a two-time world super middleweight boxing champion; older brother Andre is also a former super middleweight champ; Shields is a three-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist; and Kuzma has spent the last three seasons with the Lakers after being their first-round draft pick in 2017.
Some UFC fighters, egamers and pro boxers Errol Spence, Jr. and Adrien Broner are also expected to take part.
— to www.mlive.com