By: Jillian Wilson
Kids who fight at the Rock Island Boxing club say boxing gives them confidence and keeps out of trouble.
Twelve year old Ramsey Vesey is ranked 4th in the nation and brought home a Silver Gloves Regional Title last week.
He says he owes his success to 7 years of hard work.
"I feel good that the practice paid off," says Ramsey Vesey Jr.
But Ramsey is just one of dozens of kids who have found their passion in boxing.
It all started in 2006 when Ramsey's dad took him and his cousins boxing in East Moline.
Today, he runs and teaches at the Rock Island Boxing Club on Second Ave.
"It allows a kid to deal with whatever fears they may have when it comes to getting in the ring and taking punches," says Ramsey Vesey Sr., President/Founder, RI Boxing Club.
Vesey says getting in the ring is only half the battle.
"Just to take those blows and still walk away feeling proud, feeling confident and not feeling like oh, god, I got beat up on and I should feel down," says Vesey Sr.
And that confidence is what the club is all about. Ten year old Natalia Gabriel isn't shy when it comes to putting on her mitts.
But she says it's the people at the club that make it feel like family.
"It actually helps me become focused more to know that I'm surrounded by people that actually support me," says Natalia Gabriel, Boxer.
The sport is helping them outside of the ring too.
"Sometimes I slack at home with my chores, but sometimes I do them right and then I get rewarded. And then at school, I do good in school," says Vesey, Jr.
Kids at the club say the most important thing they've learned from boxing is to never give up.
"If you do good this year, work ten times harder the next time," says Vesey Jr.
Right now, the kids are training for their next big tournament, the Illinois State Junior Olympics.
The Rock Island Boxing Club is happy to announce, they'll be hosting it.