Boxing – Jovan Young’s back home and boxing in Camden
Getting into the ring may just give them a fighting chance to change their lives. As those young athletes improve, they begin to apply the discipline theyre learning to other areas of their lives. The trainers and coaches have seen it happen, and theyre striving to help foster that sense of esteem, of self-worth. Those trying to revive the citys reputation attempt to show kids the superiority of a planned bout with regulations and a referee over a random intersection of rivals on a street corner.
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Built in what used to be a gas station, the gym has been a haven for many youngsters in this densely populated part of Johannesburg, known for its high poverty and crime rates. After school, local boys flock to the gym to learn the basics of boxing — how to move, jab and defend. No fee is required as the goal is to keep the young ones off the streets and out of trouble. “The Hillbrow Boxing Club has done a lot for the community,” says Mrwebi, whose wins inside the boxing ropes have made her a local star. “It has saved the community, it has saved Hillbrow,” she adds.
Most of Europe loves boxing. Mares and Santa Cruz Two Southern California prizefighters, Mares and Santa Cruz, seem to be on a collision course. But, not quite yet. WBC featherweight champion Mares (26-0-1, 14 KOs) makes his first defense against former champion Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KOs), of Mexico City, at the StubHub Center (Home Depot) in Carson on Aug. 24. I used to spar with Jhonny Gonzalez and were good friends, said Mares, 27, who took the title by knockout over Daniel Ponce De Leon on May 4. Ive known Jhonny for a long time. Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KOs) is abdicating his IBF bantamweight title to move up to the junior featherweight division and challenge WBC champ Victor Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KOs). Winning that title has been a longtime goal for the lanky happy-go-lucky boxer.
Fight club: Boxing gives teenagers hope in crime hotspot
He decided to pursue a professional career in the US after the death of Fitzroy Lodge coach Mick Carney in 2011. “It hit me hard,” said Young. “Mick wasn’t just my coach, he was my mentor and was always there for me. I was very emotional and decided I had to get out of England.” Young’s record was dented by a six-round draw with Yuwshua Zadok in October last year, but he’s convinced he deserved the decision after ending the fight needing six stitches from a headbutt. That left him angry, and he decided to come home. “All the travelling has made me grow up so much.