Boxing returns to the Windy City when Hall of Fame boxing promoter Bobby Hitz presents the “Belvedere Bash, Friday February 22 at the Belvedere in Elk Grove Village. Super middleweight Tommy “White Lightning” Hughes (7-1, 3 KOs) tops the eight bout card.
Hughes is coming off a majority decision win in an all-action brawl versus a tough, experienced southpaw in fellow Chicago fighter Chris Chatman (15-9-1, 5 KOs) last November. It was his first fight back after suffering his sole defeat last June against Damar Singleton. Many of today’s fighters would look for an “easy touch” following a loss, but Hughes chose an even tougher foe.
“I admire Tommy and his team’s desire to really become a force in this business,” said promoter Bobby Hitz. “Coming off his first loss, which was on a cut, but still a loss, they could have taken a much easier route, instead of fighting Chatman, who was just coming off a win over a very good fighter in George Carter Jr. He performed well, getting the decision win.”
“A lot of fighters are looking for that hero versus zero setup,” Hitz continued. “This kid’s the real deal. He and his team want real fights against real fighters. That ideology will serve him well down the road.”
Hitz and Hughes share more than just boxing in common – Hughes was a starting linebacker at Robert Morris University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, and where his coaches were struck by his work ethic and passion for competition. Hitz was inducted into the American Football Association Semi-Pro Hall of Fame in 2015.
“In football, you don’t get to choose the guy that’s going to hit or tackle you,” said Hitz. “You just prepare to hit the other guy and get hit. Maybe that’s why Tommy fights whoever is in front of him, regardless of how tough the other guy is.”
Hughes-Chatman is the kind of fight that Hitz wants to see up and down his cards in 2019.
“We need to switch gears and get these fighters, trainers and managers to think differently,” said Hitz, Chicago’s longest running boxing promoter. “It’s 2019 and the public has way too much information for us to BS them. We have to continue to put on good quality shows – that’s what Chicago fans expect and that’s what we’re giving them.”
The undercard for Belvedere Bash will be announced soon. Tickets are $150 (VIP with Dinner), $100 (reserved), and $40 (general admission), and go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 23rd at 10:00 a.m. Doors to the Belvedere open at 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 22, and first bell is at 7:45 p.m.