The “Three Round Heroes” training and fundraising comes to a completion when the charity boxing match kicks off July 6 in Rutland. (Mackenzie Britton - Capital News)

The “Three Round Heroes” training and fundraising comes to a completion when the charity boxing match kicks off July 6 in Rutland. (Mackenzie Britton - Capital News)

Kelowna boxers laced up and ready for charity fight

“Three round heroes” charity fights come to Rutland July 6

Kelowna residents are stepping up to take and give a punch inside the boxing ring to support local charity.

These “three round heroes” received three months of training from local boxing gym Los Gatos Locos all the while helping to support local outreach programs keep their doors open with fundraising.

“Three round heroes are people that come from our community, looking to fight for their community,” said Los Gatos Locos coach Geoff Lawrence.

People that had never boxed in their lives up until earlier this year took on the challenge to help recovery homes in the Okanagan stay open.

Business people, musicians, tree-planters and even former recovery home residents have signed up this year.

Joseph Dube is one of those people, a former recovery house resident who has turned his life around.

“For me, it was a way to learn certain disciplines, and for me to challenge my anxieties and stress,” said Dube at the start of his training in April.

“They have me sparring against experienced fighters, and putting yourself through those higher and higher tests, it gives you a confidence. Having done that and proved to myself that I’ve actually done pretty well, it gives me a new level of confidence in myself.”

Dube is one of four former recovery house residents competing in the boxing tournament this year.

READ MORE: Fighting for charity with local boxing club

This is the third year of the charity fights, but the support for outreach programs and recovery homes in Kelowna is a year-round endeavour for Los Gatos Locos.

Lawrence offers nine-month training programs to recovery home residents, which is helped funded by the support from the heroes. In the past two years, the heroes have raised more than $30,000.

“People, if you give them the chance, they really do want to make a difference, especially in their own community,” said Lawrence.

“And something about the fact that their fighting for their community, and actually fighting for it, appeals to people to become a three-round hero.”

In addition, the charity matches will be followed by sanctioned amateur fights. There are just under 10 matches scheduled between the “three round heroes” and 10 amateur fights, with the main event being the Men’s Elite 69kg championship.

READ MORE: Kelowna marathoner bests former Canucks at Vancouver race

Lawrence donates the time, training, resources and production of the show as his part of fighting for his community. He said that it’s a feel-good rush and he loves the atmosphere of being around regular people turned back-yard gladiators who’re looking to better their communities.

“Going to keep donating and fighting for the community, because we care for our community, for as long as I’m here.”

The charity fight is July 6 at the Rutland Centennial Hall.

Email geoffmadkats@gmail.com for information, tickets and donations.

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