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The Crowd: Fight Night alright for raising money

March 09, 2011|By B.W. Cook
  • FIGHTING FOR KIDS: Bo and Dick Marconi host Fight Night XIII, which raised $360,000.
FIGHTING FOR KIDS: Bo and Dick Marconi host Fight Night… (Courtesy Blue Cotton )

A reporter from a competing news outlet walked up to a woman, who requested anonymity, and asked her why she was attending the Fight Night at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin.

She replied, "I don't love the fights, but I love the men that love the fights that come to this event."

The 13th annual Fight Night at the Marconi Automotive Museum on March 4 raised an astonishing $360,000 benefiting the Marconi Foundation for Kids and the Starkey Hearing Foundation. The event was a gathering of the well-heeled and the high-heeled.

It drew a young and cool crowd spending $600 and more for admission to the Orange County version of Christians versus the Lions. And I'm referring to the guests in the crowd, not the fighters in the ring.

This was one hot competitive night on the town. Christian Louboutin was the shoe designer of choice — the higher the heel, the shorter the skirt, and they all looked drop-dead gorgeous.

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Local entrepreneurs Dick and Bo Marconi have produced this event for the past 13 years and, in addition to monies raised at Fight Night, the philanthropic couple contributes some $1 million annually to assist so-called "at risk" children through their foundation.

Among the dedicated local citizens who support the Marconi mission are Newport Beach jeweler Lula Halfacre, Mark Bogh, Navin Narang, Torin Pavia, George Peterson, Ivo Tjan and Stuart Wallach.

Fight Night XIII, sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission, featured multiple rounds of professional boxing interspersed between rounds with six dudes break-dancing to the pulse of the music.

The Marconis welcomed a bevy of celebs, including actor Holt McCallany, who appeared in "Fight Club," four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Sr., along with Johnny Rutherford, ranked fifth on the all-time Indianapolis 500 win list.

Also front and center was heavyweight boxing contender Joe Hanks. The ladies in the crowd reverted to giddy 15-year-old chatter when introduced to Hanks, as the men were off smoking a cigar, only slightly jealous of his female attention.

From the movie "The Dark Knight," actor Tommy Lister pressed the flesh with the O.C. beautiful people along with Benji Russell Radach, martial arts expert and boxer who has been named the corporate director of instruction for LA Boxing.

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