Ignorance of the sweet science leads some to believe that boxing encourages youth violence due to the sport's physical nature.
Calls in the past from politicians, lobbyists, and other prominent figures to ban martial arts events have come to pass.
Regardless if they have been successful or not, there is a contingent of people who would have the teaching and competition of boxing and other martial arts exiled from polite society due to the potential "incitement of violence".
The truth is far from what these people believe: boxing serves as an absolute deterrent to youth violence, and this piece aims to demonstrate that fact.
At-risk youth will oftentimes engage in juvenile delinquency as a result of many extenuating factors such as growing up in broken family households or not having direct access to companionship and proper guidance.
Young men have been driven away from the straight path towards a self-destructive life of street crime by their desire to fill the void caused by an absence of stability and purpose.
What they really need is an outlet to release their pent-up trauma in addition to mentors that will show them a different trajectory that does not involve crime and violence, for many that outlet is boxing.
Boxing serves as an avenue to guide at-risk youth in the proper direction by teaching them the importance of discipline, fitness, camaraderie, and authoritative mentors to look up to in the form of head trainers or elder training partners.
An exemplary model is one of boxing's brightest prospects, Matchroom super-lightweight contender Richardson Hitchins.
The 25-year-old New York native was born and raised in a rough part of Flatbush, Brooklyn. Hitchins was among the at-risk youth we speak of and could have just as easily found himself in a jail cell rather than a boxing ring during his formative years.
His lack of direction often led him into trouble but his fortunes would change when he found his first love. Hitchins discovered a local boxing gym on East 34th and Newkirk called "NYCops And Kids".
He was drawn to boxing initially as a way to improve his performance in street fights, but his passion for the sport prevented him from further getting involved in hooliganism. Eventually, he discovered boxing as his true calling and went on to find his way in the squared circle.
New York Cops And Kids
What makes this gym so special is the opportunity it continues to afford Brooklyn's at-risk youth in a similar position to Richardson Hitchins.
Originally designed as a crime prevention program, NYCops and Kids Gym grants free participation to anyone aged 12-21.
Classes are taught and subsidized by local NYPD officers to help steer youth away from criminal activity. On top of boxing class, local staff helps kids with homework assignments, finding employment through civil services, and extracurricular skills such as chess to keep their minds sharp.
NYCops And Kids has fostered many of New York's finest boxers in both the amateur and pro ranks in addition to taking many crime-prone kids off the streets.
Gyms like this one serve as a beacon of hope for children raised in inner-city areas, where at-risk youth often stray off the right path.
Let this story be an example for anyone who does not believe boxing is a force for good in our communities, particularly those who are underprivileged and ridden with crime.
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