With national and international attention turning back to boxing on May 2 for the highly anticipated bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, this weekend’s Azalea Festival is a perfect chance for fans to get a look at competitors of all age and skill, who will converge on the Port City for the 38th Annual North Carolina Azalea Boxing Tournament.
While the weeklong celebration has been around since 1948, the boxing event began nearly four decades ago and continues to showcase fighters from across the country and military branches. The tournament was founded by Sherriedale Morgan and currently run by Andre Thompson.
Held at the Schwartz Center on the downtown campus of Cape Fear Community College, this year’s tournament will feature a variety of fighters. Weigh-ins are scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m. Friday, with bouts set to take place from 2-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Boxers will compete in eight divisions: 8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18,19-40, and 41 and older in the novice and open division.
Participants expected to compete are from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington D.C., along with a boxing team from Canada.
The tournament, presented by Ringside, is sponsored by the North Carolina Azalea Festival, Friends of Boxing and N.C. Amateur Boxing Association. The competition is free and open to the public.