A billboard just off of Alcoa Highway advertised for a “Gun Show” on March 10 and 11 at the Knoxville Expo Center during the day.

At night, the Expo Center displayed a different kind of gun show: Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s (SAE) Boxing Tournament.

The tournament, a fundraiser for SAE’s philanthropy work with Golden Gloves, has gained national recognition from

Sports Illustrated and My College Road Trip as one of the “102 Things You Gotta Do Before You Graduate” and “The Biggest Party Weekend in the South,” respectively.

The 32nd annual installment of the tournament lived up to the hype, attracting over 3,000 fans. Blake Jeter, sophomore in finance and director of boxing operations for SAE, said the event’s profits have not been completely totaled yet, but he ventured an estimate

“It looks like it’s going to be over $100,000,” Jeter said.

This philanthropic haul is not the only benefit of the boxing tournament; the boxers themselves enjoy the experience.

“Getting up in front of all those people and showing them what I’ve been training for (over) the past two months was definitely worth it,” Brian Shin, freshman in chemical engineering and welterweight contender for Pi Kappa Phi, said. “I wanted to box because I had never done any kind of physical contact sport before and just wanted to give it a shot.”

According to saeboxing.com, boxers like Shin trained for up to six months, often dropping 30 or more pounds in order to fight smaller opponents.

 For the fans, much of the thrill lies in knowing the men in gloves outside of the ring.

“I enjoyed watching the competition between the fighters and seeing their hard work pay off,” said Olivia Bagatelas, sophomore in nursing. “It’s even more exciting when you (know) a few boxers and can help cheer them on.”

This year’s tournament featured 10 weight classes and almost 60 boxers contending for the title. Winners were as follows: Featherweight — Bener Oguz, SAE; Lightweight — Drew Schefano, Kappa Sig; Jr. Welterweight — Eli Watson, SAE; Welterweight — Trent Elsten, DTD and Daniel Kail, Lambda Chi; Jr. Middleweight — Justin West, Phi Sig, and Trey Greenwell, SAE; Middleweight — Buck Sheesley, Phi Sig; Jr. Light Heavyweight — David Alecio, Lambda Chi; Light Heavyweight — Brad Butkowski, Lambda Chi; Heavyweight — Danny Pritchett, Pi Kappa Alpha; Sr. Heavyweight — Steven Hill, AGR.

SAE and Phi Sig tied in points (8 each) for the Tournament (SAE — 4 boxers and 3 champions; Phi Sig — 8 boxers and 2 champions). Phi Sig won the coin toss to hold the trophy until next year.

“I would encourage people from across the state to come and watch it,” Jeter said. “It’s a great event and a great philanthropy, and it’s going to be a memory of a great man.”

The man of whom he speaks, Ace Miller, was the owner of Golden Gloves of Knoxville and organizer of the tournament for the past 32 years. Unfortunately, Miller died Thursday afternoon of a heart attack. He was 73.

“He was a very outgoing guy,” Jeter said. “He loved the boxers and loved the tournament. Most importantly, he loved getting kids off the street and into the gym, and being a father figure for them.”