Downtown Boxing Gym Gives Youth New Opportunities   

In a city where youth can get lost in the shuffle, one organization is serving as a beacon of hope and light. The Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG) uses athletics to help push the real agenda — education. With a strong foundation and clear vision, DBG is changing lives one student at a time.  

The brainchild of founder and CEO Khali Sweeney, Downtown Boxing Gym is a homage to his former self while simultaneously being a rebirth, the Phoenix. Unable to read and write throughout his childhood, Sweeney decided to forge a path for inner-city children to learn the skills to not only succeed in education but in life.  

“I grew up in the city, went to school here; grew up here on the east side. I didn’t have a good experience in school. I was always told I would be dead or in jail before I was 21. I was always told you’re not even going to be able to get a job at McDonald’s, you’re not going to even be able to work as a garbage man. Nobody took the time out or even tried to give me another alternative to that,” said Sweeney.