TULSA (CN) – Parents say their son died from fighting in an illegal boxing match, one of a series of fights that a pastor ran in his church, without a ringside physician or a licensed referee, or liability insurance for fighters, or any state license at all. Defendant William Scheer describes himself as pastor of Guts Church on his church’s web page.
George Clinkscale III, 24, died on Sept. 21, the night he fought in the Tulsa church, his family says in Tulsa County Court. Clinkscale had been a linebacker at the University of Tulsa and coached at the city’s Central High School.
The Clinkscales say Scheer “promoted illegal and extremely dangerous underground boxing operations and held fights on the premises of Guts Church on at least six occasions.”
“The defendants, in order to promote fights, utilized individuals somewhat known in the area including, but not limited to, University of Tulsa football players,” the complaint states.
The family says the fights were not licensed by the state, were held without a ringside physician or a licensed referee, and that the defendants did not have liability coverage for fighters, all of which are illegal. Nor were there prefight weigh-ins or drug or alcohol testing, and Scheer was both the promoter and matchmaker of the fights, all of which are illegal too, the family says.
“The referee did not stop the fight after it became clear that the condition of the decedent was such that the bout should have been stopped,” the family says.
“Further, when severely injured, no medical help was available to the decedent who was in extreme pain and gravely in need of immediate medical assistance, all of which caused the decedent great pain, suffering, mental anguish, and caused or contributed to the cause of death.”
All of this “gross negligence and/or willful and wanton conduct” was “for the direct and/or indirect monetary gain of the defendants,” the complaint states.
The family seeks punitive damages for negligence and wrongful death.
They are represented by Lee Levenson with Levinson, Smith & Huffman.
The defendants are Guts Church Inc., William Scheer and Sandra Scheer.
Guts Church and Scheer continue to advertise their programs on the church website today (Friday), including an “Ultimate Hitman Awards Ceremony” scheduled for Nov. 9, which “celebrates the ‘Hit of the week’ in over 20 local high schools and 4 states around the country.”
The website says the event “attracts thousands of high school football players, coaches, cheerleaders, student bodies, parents, and the general public [and] is one of the largest high school football events in Oklahoma.”
Football players are prominently featured on the website.