This Is Why Boxing Is Vital For Youth

Top Rank Boxing

I have always been in the corner of advocating why the sport of boxing is instrumental to youth and their development to become outstanding leaders in society. A youngster, male or female walks in a local gym and magic occurs. There is that immediate bond with a coach, many who became a second father.

And with dedication and motivation, a quest begins. Boxing has seen so many great and illustrious champions over the years with a success story of walking in the gym. The troubled neighborhood youngster has evolved into this success story and is free from the distractions of trouble that need not to be told.

The quest began for Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington at the age of 12, off the streets of Brownsville, Brooklyn and deciding the gym was a better option. A free boxing program Cops & Kids has guided him now to be a top and undefeated featherweight prospect. Inside a ring at the Madison Square Garden Theatre Friday night, Carrington (10-0, 6 KO’s) will continue his quest on the undercard of an ESPN/ Top Rank card of boxing.

It’s sort of a homecoming for the Top Rank prospect opposing Bernard Angelo Torres, another step to possibly getting a title opportunity but still maybe a year or so away from that. He fought five times last year and won three by knockout, obvious making noise in the 126-pound division,

Though Wednesday afternoon at the Garden and after the final press conference during fight week, Carrington was on a different mission. He quickly exited the Garden and returned to Brooklyn, a visit to Cops & Kids where it all began.

Used to see killings and robbing every day and things like that,” he said after meeting and greeting dozens of youngsters in the gym that look to be like him. “Boxing gave me the patience, character and decisions.”

He donated over 80 tickets to the youngsters who will be at the Theatre providing him more hometown support. To Carrington, though, the memories and giving back to his community was his mission. A kid walks in the gym and dedication will get to this point fighting at the Garden in his hometown.

It has been a journey to get here. Carrington is tough and fights often with Top Rank as his promoter providing that assist. He has knockout power and quick. Some fighters move up the ladder slowly and many with the proper guidance get there quicker than expected, but it all begins with commitment and consistency as Carrington fights often in quest for a championship opportunity.

He is mellow and with no ego, He listens and follows a plan that Top Rank brings to the table. Top Rank has always been patient with their homegrown stable of talented of fighters which is usually called milking a fighter to the top. Carrington is no different, and perhaps this year even with a minimum number of fights an opportunity could come.

A win against Torres is another step in a division that feeds off three different young champions among the alphabet soup organizations. But Carrington believes his 10-rounder and first nationally televised fight on ESPN will get him one step further.

I love these opportunities to fight at home,” he said Wednesday. “Bernard Torres (18-1) is a southpaw. It’s always interesting to fight against a southpaw. But with my experience, confidence and work ethic, I know that I’ve got a plan A through Z and even more to take care of Bernard Torres.”

Yes, it all starts in the gym and believing in the dream. And giving back to where it all started is why boxing is so instrumental to youngsters.

The Main Event and More: WBC junior lightweight champion O’Shaquie Foster (21-2, 12 KO’s) opposes Abraham Nova (23-1, 16 KO’s) on the ESPN televised triple header. This is the second title defense for Foster, a native of Orange, Texas, who got a come from behind 12th round knockout over Rocky Hernandez last October.

The journey has been everything,” Foster said. “The ups and downs, Growing as a person. I’ve matured now mentally and physically. It was crazy against (Hernandez). We shocked the world. And I’m here to do it again. We’re going to keep doing it.”

In the 10-round junior lightweight co-feature, Andres Cortes (20-0, 11 KOs) opposes Puerto Rican contender Bryan Chevalier (20-1-1, 15 K0s).

Rich Mancuso: X (Formerly Twitter) @Ring786 Rich Mancuso. Tune in weekly Keep It in the Ring with Rich Mancuso and Richard Pierson, YouTube and Facebook for boxing insights and more. Subscribe, Like, and comment Rich Mancuso YouTube.

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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