With the popularity of boxing at a recent high and an increasing number of celebrities heading into the ring, one promoter is putting on an event that could change the boxing world forever. That event? A child fight.

According to a Facebook post from Chill Boxing, on Saturday, August 19th, two nine-year-old boys will face-off in the ring “for the first time ever.” “This bout will be at a 68lb max and both kids are 9 years old making their boxing debut,” explained the post.

And if two pre-teen fighters wasn’t enough for you, don’t worry — Chill Boxing followed up the post by revealing that they would be putting two more child boxers on the bill. Also, it’s all sanctioned by USA Boxing — truly fun for the whole family!

So who are these frighteningly young fighters? Per the Facebook posts, Mason “The Viper” Maynard will be facing Landon “Pitbull” Vandyke, and “Ragin” Cayson Clark will be going head-to-tiny-head with Ryder “The Rooster” Collins.

While some may be shocked by this, Chill Boxing founder Chase Hill said in a phone call that they really shouldn’t be. “This is a really common thing,” Hill claimed. “We’re excited about the event. It’s a great platform to finally get to introduce people to youth boxing, and also to educate the ones that don’t know what the safety and regulations are.”

No matter how common it may be, the original announcement set off a shockwave when it was posted on Facebook, being shared more than 3,000 times.

For some totally indiscernible reason, commenters under the original post seemed disturbed by the idea of two people born in 2014 facing off in what is often considered the country’s most dangerous sport. “Um, is this legal?” reads the top comment, presumably left by a member of the Fun Police.

Hill himself isn’t sure why people had such a strong reaction. “We’ve been doing this for a long time,” he explained, saying that he posted the first of such posters in 2012. He also offered some theories as to why this event — and this poster — blew up now, in 2023.

“With the topics that are being discussed in the world today, the poster has more of a shock value than it would have 10 years ago,” Hill speculated. “I also feel that, because of the area we do these, which is rural West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, the Appalachian region, I think that if this was something that was taking place in Chicago, this [attention] would have happened much sooner.”

“There’s a little bit of a shock value to the way the poster looks, but it was the same shock back to me to find out that millions of people didn’t know about youth boxing,” he argued.

As far as USA Boxing is concerned, the organization confirmed in an email that they did, in fact, sanction the event. “All our events must follow strict policies, including pre-bout and post-bout physicals and concussion testing, which is conducted by our Ringside Physicians,” wrote Brian Taylor, Communications and Digital Media Manager for USA Boxing. “These Ringside Physicians are required by USA Boxing to be ringside for all sanctioned events across the country for the health and safety of our boxers.”

“Last year we sanctioned over 1,300 events, with over 27,000 bouts contested throughout the United States, with boxers aged as young as eight-years-old,” Taylor added.

To that end, it’s true that USA Boxing does have rules about how to organize events for 9-year-old fighters. Apparently, this is considered “Pee Wee” class, and as with other classes, fighters must be matched by similarity in age and weight differentials.

Hill stressed during our call that his event will follow all safety precautions and that he takes personal care to ensure the fighters are seen after. “If something happens, it’s coming back on me,” Hill said. “I put so much into regulating. I sleep good at night knowing that this is safe and regulated.”

While much of the attention heaped onto the Facebook posts has been negative, Hill insisted the overall outcome has been good. “I’ve had more fighters and more parents reach out to us and sign their kids up for this event and future events in the last 48 hours than we’ve had in the past probably a year or two,” Hill proclaimed.  

Just so everyone is clear, although boxing under controlled conditions can be great exercise for adults and children alike, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society does “oppose boxing as a sport for children and adolescents,” per a 2011 report.

But hey, if you don’t care about that, tickets can now be purchased for both the in-person and livestreamed event.