The London Olympics will inspire young athletes across our area to dream big. And dreaming big can have the kind of impact to change, not only a life, but an entire neighborhood. Especially inside a Cleveland boxing gym where kids are fighting for a better future.
Among the punches and the jabs thrown at the Untouchable Boxing Academy, these kids are taking a shot at greatness.
"We have at least between 12 to 15 Olympic hopefuls in this gym," says Abdul Muhaymin.
Coach Abdul can sense it. Under his watchful eye, a number of young kids carry a silver gloves title, one he says is now competing in the Junior Olympics.
"Kids in this neighborhood need kids from their neighborhood to look up to."
Role models aren't on every street corner near the Lonnie Burten Center. In fact, the more Coach Abdul can keep them fighting in here, the less they have to fight outside.
"Just to keep the kids off the streets, away from drugs. Basically keep them away from crime and try to give them something positive. Let them know that there's nothing negative about learning how to box."
"I just want to get better at it until I'm the best," says 12-year-old Khalil Osage, who wants to be as good in the boxing ring as he is at school. He's nearly a straight-A student.
"I was boxing when I was 8 years old at Lonnie Burten recreation center," says Abdus McGlothin, who is studying the London Olympics.
"I'm going to be a world champion in the making. And I'm going for the 2016 Olympics and I'm going to make it because I got a lot of faith with God."
Coach Abdul knows one of these kids could be the next Mike Tyson or Buster Douglas. He would know he sparred with them. And even though he's got a good eye for those things, its his heart that brings him back every day.
"I don't get paid for this. It's for free. I give this from my heart because it was given to me."