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Champions of Dignity Association (CODA) “Champion of Dignity” belts may be awarded to any individual or organization involved in the sport of boxing in a significant way. This would include amateur and professional boxers both active and retired, promoters, managers, and sponsors, and those who make a significant contribution to the career of a boxer or to the sport of boxing. Nominees must be nominated by a panel of their peers with a detailed letter of recommendation expressing their nomination and how the individual being nominated has made a difference in the sport. Nominees must have one of the following:

• The individual being nominated must represent the sport of boxing in a positive and productive way.
• The individual being nominated must represent and serve their community in a significant way such as performing a unique public service or significantly making a positive impact on individual lives in their community.
• Individuals may be nominated based on their accomplishments in the sport of boxing. This especially applies to boxers, managers, and promoters.
• Individuals may be nominated based on significant financial support to the RBF, thus serving the retired boxing community through their financial support.
• For each belt awarded a fee of $1,200 USD shall be made to CODA and a $550 belt fee for the production of the custom made championship belt. CODA then makes significant a donation to the Retired Boxer’s Foundation (RBF) in honor of the new Champion of Dignity.

Once an individual has been nominated, the nominee is presented to CODA’s honorary Executive Panel for review. Once reviewed, those submitting the nominee shall be notified as to the approval or denial of the nominee. If approved, the nominee will be awarded the honorary “Champion of Dignity” title and the new champion will be awarded their belt and placed on the official CODA list of Champions of Dignity list and can be seen on the CODA website listed as a CODA champion. To nominate an individual or organization, contact Marcel Niessen or Terri Moss.

On Friday, February 22, 2013, WIBF/GBU Intercontinental Champion Lisa Garland was awarded an honorary championship belt by the Champions of Dignity Association for outstanding service to her community and women’s boxing.

CODA director Marcel Niessen states, “Over the past two years, Lisa Garland has been a leader and an inspiration to her community. She has supported the Retired Boxers Foundation, and having been nominated by a distinguished panel of her peers and supporters, CODA is proud to present Lisa Garland with a custom made championship belt and deem her as an official “Champion of Dignity”.

CODA Chairman of Women’s Boxing and retired WIBA/WIBF world champion Terri Moss presented the nominations for Lisa Garland to CODA and states, “Lisa has done some exceptional things for boxing in her community and has developed a dedicated following of both fans and sponsors completely on her own. She founded and operates the only boxing gym in her city, Champs Gym, and then founded the Winthrop Boxing Club, which houses a collegiate boxing team she also developed at Winthrop University near Charlotte, North Carolina. She is also setting up a program through Winthrop Boxing Club that will allow students to go to school on boxing scholarships, which is unheard of today. Lisa also is rallying to make her mark in history by being the first female to box 12 three-minute rounds in a match scheduled for April 3013. For someone who has been in boxing for a short time as she has, she has done so much for herself and her community. I am very please she has been awarded this honor.”

Lisa is a single mother, a business owner, a student, and a self managed professional athlete seeking a degree in sports management.

At Champions of Dignity Association our mission is to give back to the boxers who made this sport what it is today. We have an alliance with the Retired Boxers Foundation which serves retired boxers giving financial, educational, and emotional support to those retired boxers in need who have given so much to us.