JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- ESPN's Friday Night Fights is returning to Jacksonville Friday night at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
There are six fights on the card, including Jacksonville's own Curtis "Curt the Hurt" Harper.
Harper grew up on the Eastside of Jacksonville in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city.
Harper's troubles as a youth caused him to be kicked out Raines High School, sent to alternative school and ordered to do 160 hours of community service for fighting.
While doing community service, an elder at Harper's church introduced him to the sport of boxing.
At first, Harper said he got his butt kicked, but he liked the sport because he always left the ring not feeling angry.
Harper said boxing helped him get motivated about doing his school and kept him off the streets.
Harper, who is now 24 years old, said if it weren't for boxing, he'd either be in prison or dead.
Now in his third year as a professional boxer, Harper has an 8-2 record and is preparing to fight Donovan Dennis in one of the six fights on the card.
Harper also is teaming up with a company to build a gym for inner city kids in Jacksonville.
First Coast News