Boxing club offers opportunity for kids to gain confidence

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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

On any given afternoon, you are likely to find a gaggle of kids at Broadway Boxing Club in Mesa.

"Broadway Boxing is primarily for amateur boxers, and it's a place for kids after school, get off the streets, change peer groups," said Boxing Coach Harvey Prezant.

For years they have offered professional training by longtime boxing coaches like Prezant and former boxers, all at no cost to the kids who come through their doors near downtown Mesa.

"They need a license for USA Boxing," Prezant said. "It costs $73 a year to be a member but if they can't do it then we'll find a way to help them out."

The membership Prezant says is necessary for insurance purposes, but he says it also allows them to learn, participate and compete down the road if they want.

"I think it's a great opportunity for everyone, a lot of people don't really have enough money to afford and it just keeps them busy, and no out there doing bad stuff," said Evelyn Anaya.

The 17-year-old has been boxing for nine years. She trains at Broadway Boxing, competing at a higher level outside the gym.

"I actually see myself as an Olympic Boxer in 2020," she said. 

Jesus Ibarra is another competitor who trains at Broadway Boxing Club. Ibarra won his first pro fight earlier this year.

His presence in the gym is inspiring for the other kids.

"Them looking up to me motivates me to do better so they can, so they can do better themselves," the 18-year-old said.

For many of the kids, just showing up is a step in the right direction, from there the conditioning and guidance they get can be life-changing.

"Once they've gained confidence in here it goes right into their school work and everything else," said Prezant.

The gym runs on donations and fundraisers; all the coaches are volunteers.

To find out more information about the gym, or to sign a child up, visit their Facebook Page here: 

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