Boxing at the Pipkin is designed to tap into Memphis' history with boxing while providing a positive outlet for Memphis-area youth. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley)
(Photo: Tyrone P. Easley)

Boxing at The Pipkin — billed as the first of more such events to come — drew a youth-ladened crowd to the Fairgrounds Wednesday night for a series of amateur bouts.

The event was presented by Mayor Jim Strickland and the Memphis Office of Youth Services, whose director is Ike Griffith.

Boxing at the Pipkin extends from an initiative spearheaded by Memphis Box Group LLC and the nonprofit Battlefields for Life, in association with several other groups, including Restoration House Boxing Academy, the Afro-American Police Association, Flowers Power Boxing and The New Tri-State Defender.

Clift Dates, principal organizer of Memphis Boxing Group, is orchestrating what he has described as a faith-based initiative fighting to  “save our youth with boxing.”

Before last night’s first bout, Griffith outlined the thrust of the Boxing at the Pipkin event and the need for even more positive outlets for young people.

General admission tickets were free for Wednesday night’s event, which featured 10 scheduled bouts.

Notables, who had earned reputations in the ring and were on hand, included Kennedy McKinney. The Hernando, Ms. native won the bantamweight gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics and became a two-time world champion as a professional.

Also present was Memphis’ Anthony “Amp” Elmore, a five-time world kickboxing champion.

Here are some images from Boxing at the Pipkin: