My Best Shots

There was a time in my life when I thought the world revolved around me. You couldn’t tell me nothing. I didn’t want to hear nothing. Not until one day came that made all the difference in my life. I had a son, and I didn’t want him to grow up like I had. I had been an alcoholic, drug addict and convict. At an early age, I brought my son to the Faith and Hope Community Center. Unfortunately, it did not work out for him as well as it is for some of the young men I intend to introduce you to.

  • Fady has been coming to the Faith and Hope Center for seven years. “This place has kept my mind off the bull**** of the street. If not for the center, I would still work out on the street. But it would be nothing like executing my skills in a constructive manner, as I do here at the gym. I love these instructors and fellow boxers like I love my blood family.” I have been to Fady’s boxing matches and he is both bull and matador. He works hard at what he does with great dedication. He follows instructions and executes his skills like a natural. I look forward to seeing Fady some day as a Pro Boxer and a Champion.
  • Prince is a youngster who loves what he is doing. He has been boxing for two years. He said: “I am getting into shape, and I am becoming a better fighter. This is making me a better man instead of a street punk. Without this place, I am sure to get into trouble.” He fights with all his heart. He is only 13 years old. I watched him box a guy who was older and bigger. At the end of his bout, he had tears in his eyes. But what he didn’t see was the guy he had been boxing was bent over the ropes, out of breath and physically not ready for another round.
  • Shamar is young man is destined to one day be a Champion Boxer. He has charisma; he’s sharp and dedicated. He says: “I have learned self control. It has kept me out of trouble, and pure pressure of everyday living. I have been working out for two years. If I didn’t have this center to come to, I would probably be headed for trouble.” Shamar is a great 16-year-old whose demeanor shines like a star. I see a hard working young man who believes in making his dream come true.
  • The only thing this young man is missing is Phone Booths. Because to look at him and then see him in the ring, he has definitely changed from Clark Kent to Superman. Elijah is one of the mildest mannered persons I have ever encountered. But in that square circle we call a boxing ring, he is tough as nails. Very respectful and quiet spoken. But like I always say, silence is the loudest noise. In the ring, he is heard Loud and Clear. He is surely to also some day be a World Champion. Since I have been doing this story, Elijah was targeted as an intruder on Syracuse University, at a party that he was invited to. He was beaten, dragged, kicked and stomped. Then he was charged with inciting a riot. This is something I would believe only if I was seeing these allegations. I have lived the life of the street, and this kid is not any of that. My point is it’s incidents such as this that cause a good child to go bad. Fortunately this young man has a dream, a good father (pictured here) and The Faith and Hope Youth Center to keep him strong.
  • Kirk has been boxing for three years. His views on Faith and Hope: “I like this center. I like the way they work. They work hard. If this center was not here, I would probably be at the ‘Y’. This gym keeps me off the street. It’s a place to come and vent my frustrations.” Kirk had a Boxing Match in Buffalo. He lost to a slim margin, but he took the loss like a man. He said to me, “I just got to take it back to the drawing board and work out the kinks.” I see a fighter in Kirk. He listens and executes the kind of strength that makes Champion Boxers.
  • Vamouyam is from Liberia. He is 13 years old and a manchild. His ferocity in the ring has earned him the nickname Pit Bull. He says that the trainers keep him in line too see right from wrong. “It keeps me busy when I get out of school.” I also see this young man as one day ranking with Champions.