A dozen artists and politicians put on boxing gloves Thursday night for a friendly face-off in the ring. It was the second edition of 12 Rounds of Hope.
The star attraction was former Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who has been training for the fight for months.
The star-studded fighters were raising money for Ali et les Princes/esses de la Rue — a community organization that supports at-risk youth through martial arts and boxing.
The founder of the organization is former boxer Ali Nestor.
Singers Ariane Moffat and Dramatik entertained the cheering crowd between the rounds.
For each round, a different competitor challenged Nestor, a former boxing champion, in the ring while judges determined the winners.
Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre took on the challenge, with Pierrefonds Mayor Jim Beis in his corner.
“This organization literally saves lives — taking kids out of their challenges and bring back their self-esteem,” Coderre told Global News.
The Saint-Michel-based organization has been helping marginalized youth stay in school through various martial arts programs since 2001 — these include a specialized sports concentration program for teens and adults with academic, social or personal difficulties.
In 2017, they were officially recognized by the education minister as an establishment that fights against high-school dropouts and promotes socio-professional integration.