Monday, February 26th, marks the semifinal round of one of Notre Dame’s oldest traditions, the Men’s Boxing Club’s 88th Annual Bengal Bouts Boxing Championships. The club, originally founded in 1920 by legendary football coach Knute Rockne, throws its punches to fight poverty in impoverished parishes in Bangladesh.
Training for the fights kicked off in mid-October, with over one hundred Notre Dame undergrads, postgrads, and law students in attendance. After several weeks of burpees, Russian twists, and ladder exercises, the fighters moved down into “The Pit,” the basement of the JACC, for further practice. Here, novice fighters learn boxing technique under the leadership and instruction of undergraduate captains and university coaches. After months of intensive practice, fighters are ready to face off under the lights of the Purcell Pavilion.
More important than how the boxers fight, is why. Bigger than the physical fight on campus is the personal fight burdened by the poorest of the poor across in the East. To help the cause, fighters collect sponsorships to raise funds for the Holy Cross missions in Bangladesh. Every summer, the club sends a select group of boxers on a service trip to the country, deepening relationships between the missions and the University. One hundred percent of proceeds are donated directly to founding and improving primary and technical schools, as well as healthcare clinics for poor Bengali children. Just fifty dollars can pay for a semester’s tuition for one student. Five hundred dollars is enough to keep a medical center open for a full year.
Through the medium of fighting, the Boxing Club teaches its members the virtue of personal physical exertion to benefit others. The Men’s Boxing Club teaches sportsmanship, brotherhood, charity, and goodwill both inside and outside the ring.
Semifinals: Monday, February 26, 2018 at 7:00PM – Duncan Student Center- Dahnke Ballroom
FINALS: Friday, March 2, 2018 at 7:00PM- Purcell Pavilion