In honor of my friend and fellow boxer (who my manager Angelo Dundee also managed), the Great Muhammed Ali, I am helping several of my fellow World Champion Boxers, Trainers, and other Sports figures launch the Worldwide Organization to Aid Youth Through Sports.
I saw the transformation that Boxing made not only in my own life, but in the lives of the dozens of drug-addicted, abused, and otherwise underprivileged kids that came through our gym in Sylmar, and in all the gyms I trained in, growing up in Boxing.
After our property was torn down for a new development, some
of the kids continue to train with me out of my new location, but many of them
keep in touch with me, and tell me that working and hanging out with us turned
their lives around. The cops used to
drop them off at the gym and warn them if they didn’t listen to me, they would end
up in jail.
Ali had a huge effect on me through training with him in the Fifth Street Gym, and also in attending his camp. I told Ali about a book my father had in which it said that blacks used to be paid more money than Italian immigrants for digging ditches. He felt that was insulting and wanted to see the book for himself. He called my father, got the name of the book, ordered a copy and had it shipped to him via overnight delivery.
The next afternoon, Ali loaded all the fighters into his RV and drove us to a college campus where he had to give a talk. On the way, he told me he’d read the part of the book I’d told him about and apologized for getting upset at me
After speaking to the students he introduced all us fighters to the audience. When he got to me, he said, “Every man is my teacher. This young fighter taught me something today about my own people and he is one hell of a fighter. I predict he will be a world champion.” He gave me my first sense of real self-worth and I vowed to help others to have that same experience at some point in my life.
NOW THAT CHANCE IS UPON ME. My girlfriend, Barbara Gold, and I were introduced by film financier Fred David to a wonderful woman in Australia who had the exact same experience with her own kids. Sophie Zammit teamed up with Five Time World Champion Lester Ellis to start Rebellious Boxing. With a heart as big as all Australia, she then took in 3 other Foster kids and turned around their lives as well.
They have officially joined forces with Team Ellis Fitness and I am enlisting help from all my world sports friends, including Freddie Roach, Russ Anber (who had 4 world boxing champions out of Canada) and his fighters, and our friends in the press as well
Barbara Gold has seemingly been preparing for such an endeavor all her working life, from living on a farm in poverty-stricken West Virginia, to working with Wayne Gretzky, to helping run Sony Pictures Worldwide Distribution arm, alongside the President of Sony Pictures International, to helping the Vice President of Strategic Planning at Warner Bros when they orchestrated the choice of the new DVD standard of recording over VHS, to assisting Ariana Huffington and even Warren Christopher at one point.
Barbara was researching the United Nations organization, “Sport for Development and Peace”, and realized that no major sports figure had put together such a worldwide organization.
We did run into Magic Johnson mysteriously 5 times in a couple of weeks, who indicated he would like to do something with us also.
The United Nations says that Sport as a universal language can be a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions.
ARTICLE BY MR. LEMKE OF THE UNITED NATIONS ABOUT SPORTS AS A PEACE BUILDING TOOL - https://www.un.org/sport/news/sport-possesses-unprecedented-capacity-mobilize-unite-and-inspire-interview-mr-lemke
Since Sophie knew that Robert De Niro had said my life story script was the best boxing script he had ever read, and he got the Academy Award for RAGING BULL, she was kind enough to engage me and my team to write the first episodes of what we know will be a worldwide reality show on starting organizations like Rebellious Boxing all over the planet.
Our parent US 501C3 Nonprofit is focused on Peace and Tolerance, so we know Muhammed Ali is smiling as I write, at the formation of such a powerful organization.
Keep your eyes on the new section which will also be hosted on this site keeping everyone up to speed with the developments; things are moving like wildfire!!
I know that Ali is watching. I pray that his indomitable spirit watches over our work and his passion for Peace empowers us.