Inspiring young men to not just be better boxers but better men, Pops Boxing celebrated 10 years in the Metro Saturday night.
Pops Boxing started in Mike Lemek's backyard and since then his boxing program has taken off. Saturday night for the coach, founder and school teacher -- in one way or another -- it was all about the kids.
There's no short way around it, these young men have a dedication and drive few their age share. From hand wrapping, to prepping the gloves and finally stepping under the ropes, it all came down to the right inside the ring. We spot Jered Burtt coming out strong during the 4th bout of the night; he's a Boxer with Pops Boxing.
Lemek credits the name in Omaha boxing with the latest push in the pull to get kids off the street. "It is a big sport in Nebraska and we've go the world champion Terrance Crawford around now," Lemek said. "We've had hundreds of boxers go through the doors; we've got a lot of champions.”
"It is excellent, it keeps everybody busy if you are busy, less trouble to be in,” Chris James, a boxer with C.W. Boxing Club said.
We catch up to other bouts.
With dueling flags on his shorts that's Alex Felix, he gave it all he had, left it all in the ring but would not win and yet that's the best part Lemek explains, facing victory and defeat, teaching these young men what the real prize is all about; a battle for their true heart.
“It's another sport for me just to like stay out of trouble and have something to do in the summer, stay out of trouble,” Burtt said.
And it helps when a victory is thrown in, too.
Lemek hoped to raise about $1000 with the event, that money will be split between his club and being donated to Marrs Magnet School. Pops Boxing is planning another event in November. Again, the plan is to donate the money to the middle school where he teaches and has been here in the Metro for 20 years.