Reality show takes fights from the street into the ring

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A new reality television series based on real people settling real settling grudges inside the ring may be coming to a national audience, and will begin filming in West Warwick soon.

“It’s like putting American Idol, American Ninja Warrior, and [The] People’s Court in a boxing ring,” said former undefeated pro boxer, New England Boxing Hall of Fame inductee and co-creator of Brawl for it All Jarrod Tillinghast.

“Brawl for it All,” started by Tillinghast and Richard Cappiello, is a USA boxing sanctioned concept that takes street grudges and disputes off the street, and puts them in the ring for resolution. The fights try to instill “old school” values: humility, discipline and courage of mind and body. Rather than relying on destructive implementations such as knives or guns, contestants on the show come together in a boxing ring to “settle the score,” before shaking hands and ending the dispute.

Being held at the West Warwick Civic Center, the event will occur on Friday, July 13, and will be “Jason” themed in homage to the Friday the 13th movie franchise. The doors will open at 5 p.m., and the fight begins at 7 p.m. For tickets contact Tillinghast at 263-6600 or Cappiello, co-creator of Brawl for it All, at (508) 509-4600. General admission is $40, ringside is $75, and VIP tables are $750. 

The two main events for the second annual Brawl for it All is Dino “The Ghost” Guilmette, against Billy “The Snake” Lapierre and Michael “The Ranger” Darrah against Chad “The Lion” Leoncello; along with other fighters who will take the ring to end their disputes.

“It’s nice to finally plan the punches, and not actually take them,” said Tillinghast. 

Frank Licari, of the New Jersey-based KVibe Productions, will produce the upcoming reality television show, and the first filming will be during the Brawl for it All event next Friday.

The show seeks to go behind the scenes of real life grudges between people. Every boxer must make a “call out” video to challenge somebody, and the recipient must make a video accepting or declining the challenge. If accepted, they must be medically approved and complete the required two-week training program before the fight. The show will explain the fighters’ backgrounds and why they have grudges, progressing to show how they train for their fight, as well as the fight itself.

At the end of every fight, the opponents must shake hands and end the dispute, no matter the outcome. Advocates for the show say that the concept could easily be enjoyed by a nationwide audience, and that it could have a positive influence on preventing street violence.

Sone of the proceeds of next Friday’s event will go to Fighting for a Chance, a charity created by Tillinghast to help people in the community. One event raised $40,000 from an annual fight and enabled the charity to provide Samantha, a young girl with cancer, with wider doors in her house, a handicap van and other resources she needed to make life a little easier. 

Hoping to have more stories like this in the future, Tillinghast wants to continue this mission, since they are not only helping that family, but helping the community of people who help put it all together. Tillinghast also mentioned that he likes to hire people recently released from the ACI that want to change their lives, and helps make them a part of something great. 

“I do all of this for my sons, 6-year-old Sebastian and 3-year-old Julian,” said Tillinghast, of his motivations.

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