Anthony Dirrell’s “Flint Fight Night — Champions For Charity” UFC3 Esports Tourney

 Two-time WBC Super Middleweight Champ Anthony Dirrell has created “Flint Fight Night — Champions For Charity,” a live-streamed fundraising event during which celebrities challenge each other to play the game “UFC3” on PlayStation 4.

Dirrell’s Chance Foundation is staging the esports battle with other athletes, entertainers, gamers and influencers as a way to raise funds for food, water and educational materials for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint and local families battling the impact of coronavirus shut-down, as well as the Flint water crisis that has continued to plague the community for years.  

“They’re telling you to wash your hands with clean water to avoid catching coronavirus, and Flint doesn’t have that,” Dirrell told the Shadow League via phone interview on Wednesday. “We are 80 percent done, but there’s still parts of Flint that don’t have clean water. I’m here just helping to make people happy and entertain some people in the comforts of their home. 

Participants will play EA Sports Ultimate Fighter Champions 3 from their homes on Playstation 4 consoles. The event will air live on Twitch on May 9 from 2:00-6:00 PM and participants, viewers and esports lovers can donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint 


“We also have to find a cure for COVID-19 because our community is at higher risk,” Dirrell insisted. “I don’t think any city or state in the world shouldn’t have clean water. We’re trying to shine a light on the fact that the water crisis is still not fixed since April 6, 2014.” 

Studies have shown that the children of Flint need extra support to account for the developmental challenges the water crisis had on them. Now with the shut-down, money and staffing for services the kids could access for free through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Flint have largely diminished. The Dirrell’s Chance Foundation’s goal is to generate funds to make an immediate impact. 

This will enable the Boys & Girls Club of Flint to rehire recently laid-off staff  (COVID-related) to provide needed tutoring through mobile apps to help those kids who are unable to access computers for the distance-learning requirements mandated by school closures. Additionally, the Club provides food to families in need. 

Last week, all they could afford to bring was water, beans, and six bread rolls. Water is still a critical need as all pipes have not been replaced – and replacement work has been halted due to COVID-19. Clean hands require clean water.

A host of celebrities have confirmed their participation. 

  •     Kyle Kuzma, LA Lakers, Forward 
  •     Errol Spence, Jr. – WBC & IBF Welterweight World Champion, Olympian 
  •     Ryan Hollins,  ESPN Analyst, Retired NBA Player
  •     Claressa Shields, 3x Division World Boxing Champion, 2x Olympic Champion
  •     Jaire Grayer – 2020 NBA Draftee Class                       
  •     Andre Dirrell – Professional Boxer, Olympic Champion   
  •     Josh Smith – Retired NBA Player              
  •     Adrien Broner – Four Division World Champion Boxer
  •     Arif Kinchen – Esports gamer    
  •     Eddie Jackson – Chicago Bear Free Pro Bowl Safety

That’s a nice roster of accomplished people.  

“I just called them and asked them,” Dirrell told The Shadow League. “ Being the people that they are, they look after their community also, so they agreed to it and that’s a good thing because it’s people like that, that can change the world.” 

In addition to coming up in Flint, Dirrell has experienced many setbacks and potential backbreakers throughout his boxing career. He’s beaten cancer and a life-threatening motorcycle accident, eventually merging out of the shadows of his brother Andre to capture World titles in 2014 and 2019. 

Dirrell says his resilience is a common trait that can be found in people from Flint. 

“We don’t stop until we fight the war we want,” Dirrell proudly asserted. “And not just Flint, but the state of Michigan produces good athletes and people that are resilient, and that’s what it’s all about. Going in there and fighting until you get what you want.”

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