C.O.M.B.A.T.T. Still packs a Punch for the Brick City's Youth
By Danny Serratelli (March 28, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
Once again, boxing celebrities and other notable accomplished individuals were honored at the amateur boxing organization, C.O.M.B.A.T.T., Inc.'s annual awards dinner on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at the Robert Treat Hotel. The youth organization, which celebrated its 6th anniversary, honored all time great champion, Tommy "the Hitman" Hearns and former heavyweight & light heavyweight champion, Michael Spinks for their contributions to the sport of boxing. A list of noteworthy honorees receiving awards in the categories of leadership, humanitarian, mentor, sports medicine, entrepreneurship,
community service and the coveted, Founders Award.

HBO's boxing judge, Harold Lederman, was featured as the guest speaker and was introduced from his daughter top boxing judge Julie Lederman. Other local favorites and ambassadors for boxing such as former cruiserweight champion AL "Ice"Cole as well as several top professional boxing referees, many who were mentored by Larry Hazzard were in attendance including Benji Estevez, Randy Neuman, Harvey Dock and Ricky Vera.

Serratelli and Spinks

As always, C.O.M.B.A.T.T. will gave away dinner tickets to Newark and Irvington local youths to also enjoy the evening festivities.

Circle of Friends Proud Sponsors 2007/2008


West Insurance Company Main Events, Inc. Golden Boy Promotions, East SHOWTIME NETWORK SCOTT HIRSCH MANAGEMENT C.O.M.B.A.T.T. is an acronym for Community Organization Making Better Alternatives Today for Tomorrow. The non-profit group promotes education, healthy physical development, and recreation activities for youth. They assist participants in improving self-concepts and social development, redirecting participants' negative behaviors and deterring potential criminal/gang activities that often lead to detention/incarceration. The organization opened its doors to Newark youths in December 2002 and Irvington youths in January 2004.

"Six months ago, we expanded our scope of services to include other aspects of combative sports such as traditional and mixed martial arts. We offer physical fitness training, and various life skills workshops to local youth and adult residents", said Larry Hazzard, Sr., founder of the organization. "Our major focus remains with our youth, but we now offer these additional services for nominal fees to the public at large to help cover the cost of our youth services," he continued.

Serratelli and Cole

C.O.M.B.A.T.T. has moved its Newark training facility from the Tyrell Homes to the Newark Housing Authority's brand new recreational facility, The Club House, on Irvine Turner Boulevard and Spruce Streets in Newark. The facility offers a full gymnasium, exercise room, showers & locker rooms, classrooms, and dance and recording studios.

Serratelli and Stewart

Chief Executive Officer, Rhonda Utley-Herring stated, "Cutbacks in funding have had a tremendously negative affect on us this year, and the competition for non profit funding is steadily increasing. This year the City of Newark has eliminated us from their roster of CDBG recipients, after five years of dedicated service to this community. Now, more than ever before, we are relying heavily on our fund raising efforts and private donations to maintain our existence. Our young people are counting on us to continue to provide much needed services to them and their families. We remain very thankful to the boxing and martial arts communities, and other concerned individual supporters who continue to provide private resources, financially, as well as physically by participating as mentors to our youth. We need them to survive," she added.

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