Ernest “Big E” Smith has strongly supported his belief that “boxing beats the streets” and now that his organization, Rock Solid Boxing Team, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, he has hopes of expanding the program.

Expansions would include the purchase of a boxing ring inside of Flip Factory, hopefully leading the way for competitions to take place in Waxahachie.

“Our goal is to have a Golden Gloves boxing competition here in Waxahachie for the kids,” Smith said. “We are trying to do something that would keep kids busy and keep them going, especially since school is out for the summer. We’re also wanting to provide something for those kids who do not have father figures in their lives.”

Smith said he and trainer Tony Lopez have been approached by U.S.A Boxing to have a live fight take place in Ellis County.

“To make this happen, we will need a lot of support and help from the community,” Smith said. “We will need supporters, volunteers and donations to help us pay for the ring and other expenses. We’re also going to need volunteers for the fund-raisers we’re planning to have to help raise funds toward safety boxing equipment, renovation of the area where the ring would be, and to help those kids who can’t afford insurance.”

Smith extends his heartfelt thanks to Flip Factory owners Keith and Amber Baker for their generosity and support.

“They gave us such an extended invitation,” Smith said. “And in a way, we would be helping them out and they would be helping us out because we all love to work with kids. This would be like a family ordeal.”

There are about 300 participants in the Golden Gloves organization, with about 20 fighters on the Rock Solid Boxing Team.

“We have quite a few fighters who are ready to fight,” Smith said. “And with this unselfish effort, we’re hoping for more teams from all around to join in. We’re just trying to bring something to the city to help support local fighters and I just know that Waxahachie would be very proud of these young fighters.”

The Rock Solid Boxing Team, which started nine months ago, already has three Golden Gloves Championships, a first-place Fort Worth district champ and two runners-up from the Dallas Tournament of Champions.

Amanda “Goldie” Wofford-Hill holds the 2007 Female Golden Glove Champ and 2007 Female Golden Gloves MVP titles, and Josh Chapman won first place in the Fort Worth Division Tournament in 2006 and the Fort Worth District title in 2007.

“We have a lot of kids who want to become professional boxers and wrestlers and I’m going to give them all that I have to make it possible,” Smith said. “Our aim is to build, not only their bodies, but their minds.

“We need any boys and girls who would like to represent Ellis County to come by and visit me or either give me a call so they could be a part of Rock Solid’s growing team,” he said.

This program is focused on physical fitness, academic achievement and goal setting, with the team looking to create champions in life as well as the amateur boxing ring.

The Rock Solid Boxing Team is sanctioned under U.S. Amateur Boxing Inc., which is the national governing body for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

For more information, contact Smith at (214) 724-2041.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@waxahachiedailylight.com