Boxing at the Pipkin 3 has evolved into an all-Memphis thing, with its organizers declaring, “This boxing event has really taken on momentum.”

The youth-oriented affair at the Fairgrounds (940 Early Maxwell) is set for the evening of April 3 (beginning at 7 p.m.) and is the latest in a series of such events now spearheaded by the City of Memphis Office of Youth Services.

“The last count we had at our Boxing at the Pipkin 2 we counted 1,400 tickets,” said Ike Griffith, director of the Office of Youth Services. “We are adding 250 more seats.”

Ike Griffith

The premise behind Boxing at the Pipkin is to “give our young people opportunity to get involved in a sport that is not for everyone,” said Griffith. “We do have some aggressive young people and I would like for them to do something positive with that energy. Also it (boxing) teaches discipline. In many cases, that is a very important element in helping to develop young people.

“We also have young ladies boxing too, because they are aggressive also. We really want to make sure we do something positive for our young people in the city when they are not doing anything.”

The first in the boxing series was held last November, with the second event following in February. The plan now is for several more boxing shows this year en route to putting together a team to represent Memphis on the amateur level.

This week, Boxing at the Pipkin 3 was fine-tuned to feature an All-Memphis fight card. Pete Mitchell, who runs the boxing side of the Boxing at the Pipkin venture, said the latest event in the boxing series is being dubbed “‘Memphis Boxing Talent Showcase.’ We’re showcasing these kids in Memphis and, hopefully, they will go somewhere from there. …

Pete Mitchell observes an amateur match in Arkansas while awaiting his team’s next bout. (Photo: Karanja A. Ajanaku)

“We are building a team,” said Mitchell, the founder of the Restoration House Boxing Academy in Frayser. “And the reason we can do this now, since this program started back in November, the boxing community has grown quite a bit…

“We’ve accumulated enough boxers in Memphis to do what the original idea was – to have a Memphis boxing program.”

No winners will be declared in the all-Memphis event.

“We’re developing boxers. Both boxers will be winners. There will be no losers. This (event) is one way to develop boxers,” said Mitchell. “We don’t want to discourage anybody. We want everybody to have a chance to showcase their talents and skills and sportsmanship in front of their families, friends and loved ones.”

Wednesday’s event will feature boxers in the age range of 8 years to 22 years.

“We’ve got a couple of 8 year olds that are really going to get at it,” Mitchell said.

“What I am trying to do is form a Memphis boxing team to represent Memphis against national competition, regional competition. …Out of these Memphis boxers – and some others to – We are going to choose boxers to represent Memphis against Arkansas (in) June. That same group will represent Memphis against Chattanooga in August.”

Griffith said people “who love the sport” attended the first two boxing events.

“It is a diverse group. That’s one of the things I really want to try and bring – that unification within our city. We’ve been getting a lot of participation. The Hispanic community has presence. We have students in school who really like the sport from the different school systems; charter school systems…

“Job Corps is going to be implementing a boxing component based upon what we are doing,” Griffith said.

“I had two young men yesterday. Their mother brought them by and wanted to sign them up for boxing. They didn’t know anything about the event coming up but they had heard you could come by 315 S. Hollywood and sign up.”

(Tickets for Boxing at the Pipkin 3 are free and can be picked up at various police precincts, Ching’s Hot Wings, 1264 Getwell Rd., Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken, 3633 Millbranch Rd., Pete Mitchell & Associates, Inc., 4216 Millbranch Rd., and at the MPLOY office, 315 S. Hollywood.)