For decades, Muskegon has quietly developed a long line of some incredibly talented boxers that have risen in the ranks of amateur boxing and up into the pro ranks. Boxing is an artform that involves SO much more than what's readily apparent in the ring when you see a fight. The level of discipline, drive, training and control it takes far outweighs almost any other sport. To focus all of your attention on what needs to be done to compete while someone else is trying to hit you and vice versa.....it's an amazing level of focus. That focus too is what some need to pull themselves out of a bad situation and change their lives forever.
With just as much determination as it takes to get in the ring, The Muskegon Boxing Club is ready to establish an annual event for a couple of purposes. One, to give their dedicated athletes a chance to show off their skills and work and two, to help the sport grow a little and eventually raise a few bucks to help the club along in their efforts to provide a learning environment that's away from the streets...away from the idea of high pressure team sports.... and to also help develop the kind of mentor relationship that comes with the dedication and devotion to boxing.
Boxing is an avenue. It's also an escape for some. Growing up having to fight for everything is a mindset that some face. Having to fight with no direction is a slippery slope and to see the path to an easy life out there looking for someone willing to fight...well, that path tends to snag a lot of young people who might not see the long term. Tony Stone and his crew at The Muskegon Boxing Club are remarkable in their ways of bring in someone who might have otherwise been at risk, or maybe has lived through a hiccup or two, and show them a different way. What's more? Those who do try things "Tony's way" in short order see themselves a little less self focused. How? They see others coming along in the sport, struggling where they once struggled, and the bonding begins. All of the sudden, that "fighting alone" seems a little less of the reality and some of the pressures of life let up.
The Muskegon Boxing club does this with little or no fanfare. We've been supporters when asked, but it's not the glory they are after. Guys like Tony, Eddie Tice and Bill Schaefer know the value that the spot has brought to their life and through their effort they pass along the wisdom it takes to control, sustain and remain disciplined not only in the ring, but outside of it too. The show itself on the 23rd is free, but there will be ample opportunity to donate toward the cause and they will have a selection of concession items for sale that will go to help fund the club as well. Smith-Reyerson Park setting is absolutely stunning and if you've not been there, let me tell you. When we filmed, I pulled up to an empty lot. Half an hour later, the entire place was filled with boxers, cheerleaders, football practice and more. It was an explosion of young, happy people and it was just amazing to see.
Do yourself the favor, FOLLOW THE MUSKEGON BOXING CLUB ON FACEBOOK and watch their activities and progress. Save the date too. September 23rd at 5p. It's going to be a great night of sports fun and an awesome way to compliment the work of the club and the young men who have found their way to a better life through dedication and mentorship.