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The inaugural Gateway Celebrity Fight Night (CFN)—the newly rebranded charity event that resulted from the 2021 merger of the Celebrity Fight Night Foundation and Gateway for Cancer Research—recently announced that multi-platinum international superstar Pitbull will serve as headlining performer for the illustrious event on March 12 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, 5250 E. Marriott Drive.

Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Reba McEntire will return to her longtime role as the event’s emcee, where she will oversee the presentation of awards and honors to Celebrity Fight Night founder Jimmy Walker, among others. Event organizers have confirmed additional appearances and performances from Katharine McPhee, The Tenors, The London Essentials, and musical director David Foster, as well as some yet-to-be-revealed surprise guests. The black-tie event will feature a cocktail reception, elegant dinner, and a live auction with one-of-a-kind luxury items. All proceeds directly fund clinical research cancer trials.

Founded by Walker in 1994, Celebrity Fight Night quickly became a must-attend annual event, securing support and endorsements from celebrities like David Foster, Reba McEntire, Andrea Bocelli, Billy Crystal, Josh Groban, and more. The legendary Muhammad Ali served as the gala’s guest of honor for two decades until his passing in 2016. This year, Jimmy has passed the torch to Gateway’s Founding Chairman and Vice Chair, Richard J. Stephenson and Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson, respectively, who are no strangers to organizing glamorous charitable events, having raised more than $95 million for cancer research over Gateway’s 30-year history. Celebrity Fight Night, whose work has supported a range of worthwhile causes, will now focus its firepower on defeating cancer, aiming to shape a world in which a cancer diagnosis is no longer feared.

“At Gateway for Cancer Research, it is always and only about the patient,” says Richard J. Stephenson. “We’ve long believed that when you put the patient first, success in the form of new and life-changing cancer therapies is sure to follow.”

“The key to changing the face of cancer care is to be intentional in advancing innovative research and to push boundaries with the most passionate, results-driven clinician-scientists in the world,” adds Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson. “We do that every day at Gateway for Cancer Research. Together, the Gateway and Celebrity Fight Night organizations have raised over $185 million for patients in need and bringing the CFN team into the Gateway family gives me incredible hope for the future of cancer research and care.”

Celebrity Fight Night Foundation—an internationally recognized philanthropic organization that generated more than $90 million in charitable funding since its founding—announced the merger with Gateway for Cancer Research last year, after the COVID-19 epidemic resulted in a cancellation of the mainstay event for the second year in a row. Gateway for Cancer Research is a global sponsor of innovative, patient-centric, clinical cancer research, and 99 cents of every dollar Gateway raises directly funds early phase cancer clinical trials at leading research institutions across the country and abroad.

For more information on the gala, and to buy tickets, visit