}

Sunday, November 3, 2013

PUNCH DRUNK: Has Best Drug Rehabilitation CEO Per Wickstrom Already Hung Up His Gloves?

MUCH-HYPED BATTLE CREEK YOUTH BOXING PROGRAM APPEARS TO BE STALLED

THE FIRST RULE OF FIGHT CLUB: WE DON'T TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB...BUT MISS FORTUNE WILL!

Nearly a year after announcing in a press release the formation of a "boxing program to steer kids away from drugs and alcohol", it looks like Per Wickstrom's promised program might be on the ropes.

In the December 11, 2012 release, Wickstrom said he'd joined forces with boxing coach Antonio “Sugar Tony” Rosario, and a former World Boxing Organization cruiserweight champ with the Dickensian name Tyrone Booze. Wickstrom promised an "innovative new boxing instruction program that will help underprivileged young people in Battle Creek, Michigan turn away from a path of drugs and alcohol – and towards a life of self-respect, personal empowerment, community involvement and physical fitness."

Home of Elite Fighting and Fitness
Wickstrom's TIA Corporation purchased 285 Capital Avenue Southwest in Battle Creek, formerly the Zion Christian Assembly, on December 2, 2011. In the December 2012 press release, Wickstrom claimed that his leadership group was "in the process of restoring the program’s building" and promised "the program will also train amateur and professional boxers, and feature regular Friday night fights." 

In addition, Wickstrom hyped the project on YouTube with this infomercial for Best Drug Rehabilitation.

So has the program lived up to its initial promise? Looks like the answer might be a split decision. 

Miss Fortune's extensive nonprofit search turned up nothing for "Elite Fighting and Fitness, but I discovered that "Sugar Tony" Rosario's own "boxing academy" had its nonprofit status automatically revoked on May 15, 2011. 

And since the December 2012 press release, there's been no public relations effort on behalf of Wickstrom's "academy". 

So was Elite Fighting and Fitness truly a boxing instructional program designed to "help keep underprivileged young people off the streets"- or simply a path to lead people to Best Drug Rehabilitation?

Wickstrom and Tyrone Booze
And you thought Flavor Flav was the best hype man in the business...and that's not hitting below the belt!
 
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