Hundreds of tuxedoed men (and a few brave ladies) gathered at the Washington Hilton Thursday night for boxing and booze in the name of charity. Fight Night, the annual black-tie gala to benefit Fight for Children, drew a list of local power brokers and raised $2.2 million for education programs in D.C.
Under a haze of cigar smoke -- the Hilton makes a rare smoking allowance for Fight Night -- guests devoured giant steaks and enjoyed performances by the Redskins cheerleaders and MC Hammer. Hammer, 50, took to the ring in a white tracksuit and performed a rousing live set (with no apparent lip-synching). The mostly white-haired attendees bobbed their heads unironically to "Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit." Continuing the '90s throwback entertainment, Hammer was followed by a laser show.
Fox's Bret Baier took the stage to pay tribute to the charity's late-founder, Joe Robert, and announced a personal donation of $5,000 to Fight for Children. He was followed onstage by a series of boxing greats, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Buster Douglas, Aaron Pryor and Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, who was awarded the Fight Night Hall of Fame belt.
Among the attendees: Mayor Vincent Gray, who was seen yukking it up with D.C. Councilmembers Michael Brown and Jack Evans, and former mayors Adrian Fenty and Tony Williams. Williams was spotted indulging in a cigar, surrounded by well-wishers, before the festivities began.
After Fight Night wrapped, the gentleman hopped across town to the annual Knock Out Abuse gala at the Washington Ritz-Carlton, where their female counterparts were enjoying a Moulin Rouge-themed party complete with windmills and shirtless men. Model Carre Otis, who penned a memoir on her experience with domestic abuse, delivered a set of off-the-cuff remarks.
"I come to these events with a piece of paper and I say [screw] the piece of paper because it's so much more about connecting with everybody," she announced.