Packing a punch for unity in boxing

Boxing organisations unite to inspire a positive mindset in amateur boxers from Cape townships

Young boxers from Khayelitsha, Philippi and surrounding areas were in a jolly mood, spoiled by some talented boxing, during an exhibition event hosted by Future Champs and Boxing is Love, in Site C, a fortnight ago.

In a bold move, Boxing is Love and Future Champs have joined forces to take their mission global, scaling their social impact programmes with plans afoot to launch a flagship facility in Cape Town, this August.

Boxing is Love, a BOXRAW Foundation initiative, has been operating as a US-based foundation with operations in Liberia.

The organisation uses boxing training and mentorship programmes as key psycho-social tools in working with youth at risk in Monrovia.

BOXRAW’s founder and CEO, Ben Amanna, set up the foundation after being inspired by what boxing did in his own life and how boxing training provided the discipline and resilience needed to succeed both inside and outside of the ring. “Boxing is Love was built off the belief that boxing has the ability to change the world. By partnering with Future Champs, we have aligned efforts to amplify our collective global mission,” said Amanna.

Future Champs was founded by Jeremy Bean in 2009 as a boxing programme run at the Pollsmoor Prison, working with youth offenders and parolees.

The project then expanded beyond the prison walls into a network of grassroot boxing gyms, delivering boxing training and youth mentorship programmes. This then grew into a programme of gym construction using repurposed shipping containers, pairing facilities with community coaches, setting them up as social enterprises.

“For us this was an easy decision, this is a strategic partnership that will allow both initiatives to pool networks and resources, through the power of collaboration so much more is possible as a global social enterprise, we cannot wait to get moving on this exciting journey,” said Bean.

The partnership’s first major project is the construction of the new Boxing is Love headquarters in Philippi, built using a steel frame structure and innovative (upcycled) shipping container architecture, the new double volume flagship building will function as a training facility, office and youth hub, including a micro arena functionality for staging tournaments and events. Container construction experts Wolf Pack Modular have officially been appointed as the build team, with oversight from London-based architecture firm Leonard Architects.

“This is an exciting project that will impact the lives of youth in the Philippi area. We are thrilled to be on board,” said Wolf Pack Modular’s Justin Anley.

With the clock counting down to the proposed launch date of August 20, both organisations have been working hard to get construction under way.

The partnership will see the Boxing is Love name being the lead brand of the merger, with the Future Champs brand becoming a dedicated talent identification programme within the broader programme.