TwitterFacebook

Faith Fighters International – Teaching youth to overcome personal obstacles

Press Release

The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

KO Boxing Forum

It was tough to tell who was having more fun: WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs), or the two dozen teens who met with him and watched him train at the Legendz Gym on Tuesday, February 20.

When Bivol learned about the partnership between gym owner Roger Ruiz and the Anaheim, California based “Faith Fighters International” youth organization, which teaches kids to use faith and sports to overcome personal obstacles, it reminded him of his own youth, and his own young children.

“When I heard about this, I thought about what I’ve been through, and how I got to where I am today … Roger and Legendz Boxing told us about this organization, and the fact there are these kids coming in to train. We talked about it … part of giving back is supporting a lot of these kids and giving them the opportunity.”

See Also

Many of the teens live in foster care or group homes, and others have mental or physical challenges. Each received an invitation to watch Bivol train, and then meet and talk with him personally. Bivol presented every single participant with a set of signed boxing gloves provided by Everlast, and posed for numerous photos.

Even more valuable was the time Bivol spent with each teen, fitting the gloves and encouraging them to throw some punches at the formidable world champion. The smiles and laughter flew as fast as the fists.

Faith Fighters International Executive Director Kenya Lawson said Bivol’s own personal story fits in perfectly with their mission. “Sports has really helped him, not only him but his entire family, create a whole different type of legacy. And that’s what sports does.

“We want people to understand that these kids are really fighting for something greater than themselves. Through sports applications we can help these kids understand just what is possible if they stay grounded and believe in something greater than themselves,” said Lawson.

Bivol understands. “I know a lot of people, a lot of friends actually, that have changed their lives due to sport, and due to boxing specifically. It has affected their life in a very positive way. That’s why I like to tell people outside the sport, if they have the time, if they have the opportunity to spend time in boxing or other sports, it will definitely affect them and leave something useful for them in their entire life,” Bivol explained.

Bivol’s open nature and genuine encouragement transcended any language barriers. Despite their troubled backgrounds, the teens naturally gravitated to the warmth of the fearsome Russian champion who let them know he understood their struggles.

“I’m very happy that everybody who has taken part in organizing this event took the time to give some of the kids here the opportunity to take a look at the training, and see how I train. Maybe they will find the motivation to come here again and train, or do whatever they like in sports … Boxing could be one of them,” said Bivol.

Turning to the kids, Bivol told them in translated Russian, “Because I think that it will affect you guys, and it’s a good way to find something for yourself that, really, you can relate to and be loyal, and maybe find a new outlet from it.

“It’s important to consider that sometimes at the gym, you could meet the most loyal and closest people that you have. It builds a connection and a network … You don’t have to be a professional, you know, to become a champion.”

Lawson of Faith Fighters says it’s not enough to be a gifted athlete without good character. “You have to do what he’s (Bivol) doing, you have to give back. That’s super, super important to us. So to partner up with him, and Main Events, and all these wonderful organizations, that not only believe in winning, but believe in giving back. It’s just a really big thing for us.”

Bivol intends to continue his relationship with Faith Fighters International, providing his time and support on an ongoing basis. Bivol issued a standing invitation to the program participants to join him on sparring days when training for a fight, a rare privilege in boxing. “I don’t like a crowd when I’m training,” said Bivol with a smile. “But if people are around me to come here on training day and watch (from your group), that will be a pleasure for me.”

Read more articles about:

FITE – BOXING TV FIXTURES

TOP STORIES

Ruben Villa ready for world title shot against Emanuel Navarrete

Ruben Villa ready for world title shot against Emanuel Navarrete

WBO number two ranked featherweight Ruben Villa 18-0 (5) is confident he has the measure of former WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete 32-1 (28) ahead of the clash for the vacant WBO 126-pound title at ‘The Bubble’ at the MM Grand in La…

Sergiy Derevyanchenko plans to force the action against Jermall Charlo

Sergiy Derevyanchenko plans to force the action against Jermall Charlo

WBC number one contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko 13-2 (10) has promised to make it an inside fight when he faces WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo 30-0 (22) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday night. “I’ll definit…

Tyson Fury advises Anthony Joshua to ditch the WBO belt

Tyson Fury advises Anthony Joshua to ditch the WBO belt

WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 30-0-1 (21) has challenged unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) to ditch his WBO strap rather than face former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 17-0 (13) in a mandatory title defenc…

Erickson Lubin calls for Jermell Charlo rematch after Terrell Gausha…

Erickson Lubin calls for Jermell Charlo rematch after Terrell Gausha victory

Junior middleweight contender Erickson ‘Hammer’ Lubin 23-1 (16) scored a 12-round unanimous decision win over Terrell Gausha 21-2-1 (10) in a WBC world title eliminator at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday night. Lubin …

Jose Pedraza calls out Josh Taylor and Jose Carlos Ramirez

Jose Pedraza calls out Josh Taylor and Jose Carlos Ramirez

Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza 28-3 (18) is aiming for a world title in a third weight class following his 10-round unanimous decision win over 2008 US Olympian Javier ‘El Intocable’ Molina 22-3 (9) at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sat…

What can Deontay Wilder do differently in third fight with…

What can Deontay Wilder do differently in third fight with Tyson Fury?

It’s been a crazy year for everyone and that includes promoters in the sport of boxing. Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn is undoubtedly one of the most outspoken figures in all of boxing and for good reason. So it hasn’t been surprising to see He…

Welcome

Welcome to Ringnews24; read the latest boxing news from around the world.

The site is run by boxing fans James Tonks and Lee Daley.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free toEmail Us

Write for Ringnews24

KO BOXING FORUM

CONNECT WITH US