Boxing Gym Takes Kids From Streets to the Ring

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The Champion Boxing Club in Beckley is packing a punch when it comes to getting kids off the street and into the gym. The gym is located at 709 Terrill Street.

"Somebody pulled me off the streets and took me into a gym. I have love for it so it's my turn to try to give back," coach Stacy Watterson said.

The name of the game is throwing punches, but those that sign up are learning things that are taken from the ring to anywhere.

"It's all about speed and concentration and focus. You have to have great focus to be a good boxer," said Zhaki Anderson, a student at Crescent Elementary.

While school and boxing don't necessarily go hand-in-hand, \Watterson knows what's still the top priority.

"If you have a bad day at school there is no gym for you. Gym is a luxury. There is no arguing, no fussing. Once you come in the door, we are one family," he said.

The young fighters are taking a liking to the hobby, even enjoying the tough stuff.

"I just get to work out and have fun," Crescent student Sean Lilly said.

"It's hard trying to jump those ropes when they slap you if you mess up," Beckley Elementary student Courtney Acord said.

And when their turn comes to fight in the ring, they'll be ready.

"'Do you think you'll be getting in the ring soon?' Yes, and I will win and I will dominate," Beckley Elementary student Kwame Avery said.

A membership costs $20 a month and all members are asked to participate in five hours of community service.


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