July 18, 2003
Thomas County- 13-year-old Marty Barber wants to box.
"It's a good way to work out and boxing can get people out of trouble, you know," Barber said.
So he found his way to Joseph Sierra's Phantom Boxing Club.
"I always felt that the kids needed something more than just a YMCA or Boys Club or the typical, let's play pool," Sierra said.
The Phantom Boxing Club is a non-profit organization that gives kids a place to train, a place to box, and when they're ready, a chance to step into the ring.
Tonight, is Marty's chance. All 105 pounds of him. His competition is 100 pound Chris Bennett from Moultrie.
So with the crowd watching, they punch and jab their way through three short rounds. All under the close eye of an experienced ex-boxer.
"They need a way to channel that anger that they have, they need to build that character, they need to learn how and when to use that anger to their advantage," Sierra said.
Marty puts up a good fight. But in the end, his competition takes the gold. And they part as friends.
"You get in there, you box, you win, you lose, it's just a game," Barber said.
Marty, though, he'll be back.
"It's a good way to workout and build that chest up," he said as a grin spreads across his face.
But what he's already building is character.
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The Festival of Christmas Trees began Friday in Sycamore. Their goal is to spread holiday cheer by giving back to the community.
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With the holiday season upon us, it's important to think about your furry friends too.
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