MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - This weekend, a former boxing professional will host a charity golf tournament as a fundraiser to bring a Boxing Legend Hall of Fame to Myrtle Beach.
James "Bonecrusher" Smith, the former heavyweight champion from 1986 to 1987, may have retired his gloves but he's taking on a new fight and trying to make a difference in the lives of troubled youth along the Grand Strand.
In 2004, Smith started his non-profit organization, Champions for Kids. Now, he's expanding the program that once focused on providing scholarships to youth to now serve as a mentoring program. The help of dozens of professionals athletes like himself will make it possible.
"I have a passion for kids," Smith said. "A need that I see is a lot of kids are trying to grow up without their parents - without one or two of their parents - and it's hard, and when I see a kid that's trying to do that, I can see a void in them. They're mad because of that. They go out, they're mad and they go out and make bad decisions,"
This is the second year of the Boxing Legends Hall of Fame. During its inaugural celebration, Smith was inducted himself, along with other professionals from North Carolina.
Saturday, June 17 will kick off a host of activities geared toward celebrating boxing legends.
"We'll have our 2017 Hall of Fame induction; it's going to be two of my trainers," Smith said. "I will recognize three of them that have passed, but my trainers Mike Bivens and Herb Ruffin will be honored."
Smith said he also plans to bring other professional athletes to the Grand Strand.
"Periodically, every so often, we'll have different sport legends come in to Myrtle Beach, and while that person is here, he'll be a mentor to the kids and share his story too," Smith said. "We're getting boxing sport legends to come together to mentor to these kids, because not all the kids are interested in boxing. Some of them are interested in football, baseball, basketball, golf, and we are going to people that have gotten to a level of professional, a star, a champion to be mentors with me in Myrtle Beach."
The weekend-long fundraiser includes a charity golf tournament at River Oaks Golf Plantation, on Sunday, June 18, at 8 a.m. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reception will be held at the Country Inn and Suites in Myrtle Beach at 4 p.m. It will feature an autograph session with the former champ.
The public is welcomed to attend.
For more information on this weekend's activities and how to get involved or donate, click here.