Local boxing club taps into sport's discipline to keep youth off streets
It's the biggest fight of this generation: Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao in a title bout on Saturday night.
The long-anticipated match-up puts the sport back in the national spotlight and builds excitement for local clubs in Milwaukee, who use boxing as positive motivation for young people.
At Ace Boxing Club the motto is, \"it's better to sweat in the gym than to bleed in the streets.\" It's a powerful statement the young athletes can't say enough as they train to survive inside the ropes and the bout of life.
\"It taught me how to focus better and have respect for everybody,\" said Ethan Phongsavath.
Evan Phongsavath has been throwing punches at the boxing club for six months now, putting in work to compete in the junior olympics.
\"Mr. porter always tells us to get better at our defense, so we can have more fun in the ring because if you get hit, it's not going to be fun for you,\" he said.
The discipline and skill of amateur boxing has been the one, two punch for success at the south side non-profit.
\"I always here compliments how they come home and they're totally different, how they respect their parents and teacher,\" said Frank Porter, operations manager.
Porter's dad started the club 55 years ago. Since then, its served as a free, positive outlet for at risk and underprivileged youth to build confidence and compete.
\"It lets out a lot of inside issues every human being deals with and you can let it out on the bag,\" he added.
A bag that holds the future of greatness and hope that they too can be champions, in and out of the ring.
The athletes and Porter will watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao main event together on Saturday night. They wouldn't tell me who they want to win, but say the better boxer will take the title.