By Lee Anderson, Special to the Cape Coral Daily Breeze
It has been nearly a decade since former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker and Cape Coral resident Jeff Brady suited up the pads and spent Sunday afternoons tackling unsuspecting quarterbacks. A veteran of nine years in the NFL, Brady is tackling his latest challenge - to become a professional boxing promoter.
Teaming up with Florida Boxing Hall of Fame manager and trainer Steve Canton, the two have formed what seems to be a solid relationship and a mutual interest to bring back quality boxing shows to Southwest Florida. Brady's company, Brady Productions, LLC., chose Punta Gorda's Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center to launch a series of Tuesday night fights entitled "War on the Peace River."
"Of course, I was an athlete, so I respect all athletes, especially boxers," Brady said Tuesday. "We have some great boxing people in the area. Some good people. I love boxing, and I love this coast. So why not mesh the two together?"
The first of the Tuesday Night Fights series is Aug. 31, 2010 in Punta Gorda.
The main event features former IBO world middleweight champion and Naples resident Freeman "The Natural" Barr. Winning five titles in three weight divisions, Barr looks to bring back a title to Southwest Florida in the near future. Also on the card is Port Charlotte's "Tough" Theo Kruger. Known for his aggressive style, Kruger is always a crowd favorite and will give fans their money's worth.
"We do have talent in the area. Most people in the industry know this," said Canton, a Fort Myers resident. "The problem is getting these young fighters exposure. Holding these fights at the new facility in Punta Gorda will definitely give these young fighters the recognition they deserve."
One young fighter looking for recognition is "Silky" Wilky Campfort. After representing Haiti in the 2008 Olympics, Campfort recently turned professional and has won three of his four bouts by knockout.
The Aug. 31 event also includes many boxing and NFL luminaries.
There will be a public workout and sparring session involving all athletes at John Hall's Goal Post Sports Bar and Grill on Aug. 15.
Proceeds of the event benefit the fight against juvenile diabetes.