Andre Berto donates tickets to Saturday's “East-West Showdown” to Connecticut kids from the Champions of Life boxing program

Andre Berto donates tickets to Saturday's “East-West Showdown” to Connecticut kids from the Champions of Life boxing program

Charter Oak Boxing Academy

MASHANTUCKET, CT – Taking time out of his fight week schedule, WBC welterweight champion, Andre Berto, spent part of his Thursday night making sure some aspiring pugilists had a very special Saturday night.

Berto joined a group of forty children, coaches, and parents from Middletown, Connecticut’s Champions of Life boxing program for pizza and soda and presented them all with t-shirts and tickets to Saturday night’s “East-West Showdown” from the MGM Theater at Foxwoods, which will be headlined by Berto defending his title against WBC #5 ranked, “Vicious” Victor Ortiz.

Such acts are not uncommon from Berto, who along with Victor Ortiz and Berto’s promoter, Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment, donated tickets to thirty students from Harlem’s Rice High School who attended the final pre-fight press conference.

“There is never a wrong time to give back and show support for adolescents who need it, even during fight week. The kids I met today want to be world champions, and I look forward to giving a championship effort and hopefully providing them inspiration to attain their dreams.”

Local referee Johnny Callas, who coaches the members of the Champions of Life program and its parent program, the Charter Oak Boxing Academy, saw the glean in his pupil’s faces as they received their gifts, posed for pictures, and formed a line for autographs with the champ.

“It’s very rare that a professional boxing promoter and champion of Lou DiBella and Andre Berto’s stature take a personal interest in the welfare of kids. Just like the last time they came to the area, DiBella Entertainment has supported Charter Oak Boxing Academy’s Champions of Life Boxing Program for disadvantaged urban youth and we can’t thank them enough.”

In March, Sergio Martinez had lunch with Monique McClain, a teen who had to leave school after being the victim of severe bullying. After leaving school, Monique joined the Champions of Life program to help rebuild her confidence. Martinez dedicated his fight with Sergiy Dzinziruk to Monique, even bringing her on stage at the post fight press conference to rally support for the anti-bullying cause.