SPRINGFIELD–Another worthy cause taking place today was “Night With The Champions” dinner. It was put on by Darrell “Coach Smitty” Smith to benefit his outreach program – Midwest Boxing Gym and Youth Center.

Since 2012, Coach Smith has mentored at-risk inner city youth in springfield through boxing to keep them out of trouble.

As a disabled army veteran, with an extensive career in the ring, Smitty forges a path for youth members to develop personal goals and real-life skills through a positive, structured environment.

Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Michael Spinks and Former WBC Female Super Welterweight Boxing Champion Christy Martin were in attendance at the event. They served as featured speakers.

Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion “Merciless” Ray Mercer was also in attendance.

“Boxing is great for kids to stay out of trouble because for one thing it’s a discipline game,” said Mercer. “You have to be disciplined to learn how to box.”

“That’s what I do at my gym. I give them that courage and I give them that ability tto stand up and speak for what they want, and to learn how to beleaders instead of followers,” said Smitty. “That is my main focus in life. To make sure all my kids become successful. It’s not just about boxing. That’s why I cover B average in grades and tutoring, and public speaking, also in my program.”