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Letters From The Editor: This fight for charity is above the belt

It’s no secret that the Daily Pilot competes with the Orange County Register — at least in the Newport-Mesa neck of the woods.

So you might think I take great joy in the fact that two Register columnists plan to beat each other up — with fists, not words — next week in Costa Mesa.

I do like the sound of it. But not for the reasons you may think.

These men are putting their reputations — and jaws — on the line to help disabled athletes and people living with HIV and AIDS. This is one of the more unique ways to raise money for charity that I can recall, and that’s saying something in Newport-Mesa, home of the extravagant fundraiser.


Frank “Kid” Mickadeit and “Dukin’” David Whiting are the contenders in the Clash of the Columnists Charity Boxing Event at South Coast Martial Arts in Costa Mesa.

The main event is being organized by Register columnist Barbara Venezia, a friend of mine who got her journalistic start at the Daily Pilot.

Venezia, a Newport Beach resident, knows a thing or two about organizing, given her tireless work on our Feet to the Fire Forum political debates. She tells me Kid and Dukin’ David are training hard with professionals, watching what they eat and mentally preparing for the sweet science.

Precautions are being taken. Whiting and Mickadeit will fight in speed rounds wearing protective head gear. But they’re still going to get hit. And it’s going to hurt. Most people would prefer to write a check.


Venezia can put on a show. She says the boxers will sport flashy robes and trunks; she’s also got some ringside theatrics planned.

Spectacle aside, what matters is why these two men are willing to take a beating from someone other than an online commenter.

Whiting plans to fight for Challenged Athletes Foundation, an international organization that helps the disabled, including wounded veterans, compete at levels up to and including the Paralympics.

Mickadeit plans to box for the Friends of Dorothy Guild, which helps fund AIDS Services Foundation OC, provider of everything from care and counseling to transportation and meals.

Good causes, both.

Donations to either fighter’s charity will get you a seat at the event. Donations start at $25.

The event takes place from 8 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at South Coast Martial Arts, 2990 Grace Lane, Costa Mesa. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

To learn more, visit


JOHN CANALIS is editor of the Daily Pilot, Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot and Huntington Beach Independent. He can be reached at (714) 966-4607 and