The promoter of a controversial youth boxing mentoring event has released a letter that he addressed to City Manager Troy Schulte, urging Schulte to let the event go forward.
The city issued a $15,000 check back in October to Ossco Bolton and his POSSE youth enrichment organization, to bring Las Vegas boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. to Kansas City for a mentoring event on Dec. 8. But the event never happened, and the city has demanded that the money be returned. Bolton has not returned the money, and now police fraud detectives are investigating.
Bolton's letter to Schulte is dated Jan. 10 and today he emailed a copy of it to The Star. In the letter, he says that he originally planned to bring Mayweather Jr. to Kansas City "to promote youth living healthy and drug free and local boxing programs." But he explains that he heard from various women's groups that Mayweather Jr's domestic violence background "would mar the purpose of the event." He said he was also told "there would be a boycott by local women's groups if Mayweather Jr. was to come to Kansas City using taxpayer's dollars."
Bolton said he then spoke with Mayweather's father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., who agreed to come in his son's place. "He is well known for his efforts in promoting youth living a healthy lifestyle and drug free via his boxing program and profession. This change, however, required us to adjust the date of the event."
In the letter, Bolton urges that he should still be allowed to hold an event, now in April. He says he has been a youth advocate for 17 years and "firmly believe I have conducted myself in a manner appropriate to fulfill what I feel is my obligation to this community."
He says he now plans an event April 5-6, to be hosted by Mayweather Sr. and boxer Ladell Rose. "There will be one community event each day with one located in the 3rd district and the other in the 5th district of the city. "In addition, there will also be speaking engagements at a local high school, visits to local businesses, and a luncheon hosted for Kansas City youth." He asks for an opportunity to speak to Schulte "before we commence with the event."
Schulte is out of town today. He has said repeatedly that the city is no longer interested in sponsoring such an event and wants its money back. His assistant Kimiko Gilmore said today that she was not aware the city manager had ever received Bolton's letter. She also said that any suggestion that an event using city money would now be held in April is a "no go."
This whole incident has turned into an embarrassment for the city, as it tries to recover funds for an event that wasn't vetted well from the start. City council members say they are continuing to draft and refine policies and procedures to ensure this type of predicament doesn't happen again.