It was billed a boxing event for charity, with the main bout featuring two former college football players. But the event, hosted by Guts Church in Tulsa, Okla., was unsanctioned with no licensed referee or judges, and no ringside doctor. When Fight Night VI was over, former University of Tulsa linebacker George Clinkscale – who had sickle cell trait – lost his life, leaving behind his pregnant fiancée and a young daughter. Now, for the first time, Clinkscale’s family members speak about their loss. In an Outside the Lines investigation, Tom Farrey examines the circumstances that led up to Clinkscale’s death, and the unconventional mega-church behind Fight Night, including its pastor who preaches the gospel of toughness and sports.
“It’s hard to grasp him not being here. What makes it harder to grasp is the circumstances around it — I don’t really understand ‘em. I just don’t understand, myself, what boxing, fighting, has to do with church. I don’t get that.” – George Clinkscale II, George’s father