BOXING AND COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS-A COMMENTARY
In the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, I taught boxing and kickboxing at the old Finley’s Boxing Club in
Washington, DC. I noticed a lot of the young men and women squeezed boxing and kickboxing in their schedule and had employment
along with trying to complete a college education. They mainly came from Georgetown University, Howard University, George
Washington University and nearby Gallaudet University.
Some were in the gym just to stay in shape but others were pursuing an amateur or professional career in boxing while attending
college. They admitted it was a very difficult task but they loved the pursuit of a college education along with establishing
a boxing career.
In most cases, the college education won over the boxing career. It really came down to a choice of deciding which career
was worth the struggle.
Boxing has for years been a sport whose professional opportunities has been given to those who wanted to own a boxing gym
business, individuals who are in pursuit of a professional fighting career, managers, trainers and promoters.
Unlike the young men and women who are talented in such sports as basketball, football and wrestling, there are no college
scholarships for the gifted boxer. Boxers have to make the choice of obtaining a higher education, delaying it for a pro career
or struggling in obtaining both.
We as fight professionals do not have to align ourselves with organizations such as the National Collegian Athletic Association
(NCAA) to help the struggling young men and women of our sport. Most boxing promoters and fighters have donated to colleges
and scholarship organizations, which helped needy students.
I believe this is a great time for organizations such as USA Boxing, The World Boxing Council (WBC), The Amateur Athletic
Association (AAU) and others to raise funds for boxers who show outstanding academic achievement in the classroom and give
directly to those students who are pursuing a pro or amateur career. Scholarships should be granted to those boxers who had
a great amateur career as youths and are pursuing an academic or vocational occupation of their choice while ending their
Not only should the gym owners and promoters of the sport band together in this endeavor but the equipment manufacturers,
fight sponsors and television networks also.
Boxing is no doubt the most popular fighting sport on the planet. Television ratings and merchandise sales reflect that
fact. Now it is time to help our most academically gifted in our sport. The fighters help us everyday with determination and
example, along with their display of desire, blood, sweat and tears in quest of a championship and the betterment of their
Banding together to fundraise for the young men and women will not only help them, but generate more interest in a sport
that critics say use up the combats who receive little from boxing in return.
Scholarships will give our young fighters an alternative. It could be another tool in improving young lives.
GOOD LUCK AND KEEP ON PUNCHING!