City tourism funds boxing event, tables bid

Photo by Dillan Combs

Jerry Loughran, owner of and coach at Loughran's Boxing & Fitness, approached the London Tourism and Convention Commission to request funds for purposes of advertising an upcoming boxing event. Loughran organized a boxing event March of this year, impressing the commission with crowds drawn in from out-of-state. The commission agreed to grant Loughran's Boxing & Fitness $2,500. 

Monday evening's London Tourism and Convention Commission meeting saw city tourism agreeing to provide funds for an upcoming boxing tournament and tabling a bid for a shade structure in the Town Center.

The commission approved to grant $2,500 to Loughran's Boxing & Fitness -- a boxing gym located at 168 Shopping Center in London, for the purposes of advertising a boxing tournament scheduled for Sept. 7.

"We had our first [boxing tournament] event on March 2," said Jerry Loughran, owner of and coach at Loughran's Boxing. "We were competing against the rematch between UK and UT that day. And also we had the boys' regional in Corbin Arena. And we still had 400 chairs out and we just about had to put more chairs out. It was pretty phenomenal for us to be competing against that and have it be our first show in Laurel County."

The amateur boxing event will bring athletes of all ages, both local and from surround states, to compete in bouts at the London Community Center. Loughran said the event can boost the city's economy as it brings people from outside of London to stay in nearby hotels and dine in local restaurants.

"Like Jerry says, it did promote tourism in London," said Steve Berry, member of the tourism commission. "Fighters showed up from three states, I believe. It was crowded and it was a heck of a show. All of the people that participated said they couldn't believe the atmosphere of London, Kentucky."

Berry added that a second event has the potential to sell out through word-of-mouth and optimal scheduling.

The following order of business involved tabling a bid for a structure to provide shade in the Town Center -- a park and performance stage currently being constructed over the vacant lot on Main Street between East Ninth and East Maple Streets next to London Elementary School.

The only bid received was from USA Shade for $33,488. The vendor proposed a 32x34 fabric tarp held at least 10 feet from the ground by poles. Ultimately, the commission was concerned with the durability of the fabric, opting to table the decision until next month. The commission promised to look into other options before the next London Tourism and Convention Commission meeting.

dcombs@sentinel-echo.com

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