The iconic American tradition of boxing is returning the District.
On Aug. 12, the debut of Nation’s Fight Night will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Howard Theatre in Northwest. Sponsored by the clothing store chain Downtown Locker Room, the event anticipates rejuvenating the rich culture of boxing in the District by displaying local talent from the highly coveted Headbangers Gym, located at Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Southeast.
Featured bouts include local fighters Patrick Harris (11-0, 7 KOs), two-time gold medalist Frachon Crews (1-1), world gold medalist Tiara Brown (2-0, 1 KO), Tyrek Irby (3-0, 1 KO) and Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (4-0, 2 KO).
Ahead of the event, the fighters talked about their humble beginnings and the impact that boxing has had on their lives.
Harris, who is related to D.C. boxers Anthony and Lamont Peterson, expressed how boxing is a therapeutic aspect of his life.
“Boxing allowed me to stay away from negative aspects of life, when in doubt I was in the gym,” Harris said. “I just want to be great when it’s all said and done, in the history book with the big names. My uncles and my dad inspired me, so I just tell myself, ‘why not?’”
Tazhibay, a native of Kazakhstan, explained how through strict discipline, he is aspiring to be the best fighter he can be.
“Lamont and Anthony laid the foundation for us to be great,” he said. “We’re not doing this for health, being the best is simply the goal, and you must be disciplined in your training and your diet.”
Irby, the newest professional fighter of the group, said his mind is set on carrying on the city’s great legacy.
“It’s a grind,” he said. “D.C. has a bright future in boxing because we’re hungry, we aren’t letting anyone tell us we can’t have anything and we’re going to be successful.”
Tickets range from $60 to $150, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Midtown Youth Academy, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to inner city youth empowerment and enrichment through boxing and therapeutic recreation.