WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Boxing trainer Sherriedale Morgan was posthumously inducted into the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame earlier this month. Morgan used to run the City of Wilmington's boxing program. He eventually turned the reigns of the city program over to Andre Thompson, but the city dropped the boxing program in 2007 due to budget restraints.
Thompson currently trains boxers at a gym in Wrightsville Beach, but there's still a need for a self-contained boxing facility. Now there's a husband-wife combo trying to fill the gap, but their attempt is stuck in neutral. The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office donated boxing equipment and a boxing ring to Lindale Beatty and his wife two years ago.
"We're just sitting here waiting," Beatty said. "We're stagnated right now. We're stuck. Everything that's in this gym came out of me and my wife's pocket and the help of the Sheriff's Department."
Beatty and his wife are stuck because they need more money to meet ordinances required to open their House of Champions gym in New Hanover County. There's a small punch list of items that must be built, including a handicap-accessible ramp and a handicap-accessible restroom, all of which requires money or in-kind donations.
"What we really need to get the gym open is about $15,000," Beatty said. "That would cover liability insurance and everything that we would need to get our doors open."
For Lindale and April Beatty it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when the House of Champions opens.
"Hopefully we can get some kids in here to show them that boxing is not just about fighting," April Beatty said. "Boxing opens a whole new world for the youth. USA Amateur Boxing tends to give a child an identity."
Coincidentally the Port City Boxing Club will host the North Carolina Boxing State Championships this weekend at the National Guard Armory on Carolina Beach Road.