Boxing gym teaches Tyler kids life lessons through sport

Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 7:41 AM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Legion of Boom Boxing Gym takes pride in not only teaching the youth in Tyler how to throw a punch but also the lessons of life from round one through 12.

The “Boom” in their name stands for building opportunities, opening minds. This boxing gym exists to train kids in the Tyler community the arts of combat sports but according to owners John and Dawn Johnson, its also a place to help their community.

“This gym came as a thought my wife and I had of being kids from the North Tyler community, but willing to do something that would benefit all of East Texas. To think, you know, from the perspective of what could we do on our own in our way that can impact, our community help kids not just kids but help families,” says John Johnson.

The Johnson’s own the gym off of 364, and along with Coach Keith Dixon, share space where those who show up leave with a new perspective.

“You know overall it’s a great program for the kids, for grown-ups for people trying to get in shape for people who want to learn how to box. You know it it’s a great program,” says pro boxer Kenneth Taylor, who also helps teach newcomers.

“At first, I was like I don’t know about this cause I was just in there, and they had me thrown at some random stuff. I didn’t know what it was. But after I kind of got used to it, I felt more comfortable, and I got more comfortable with actually getting hit,” says 6th grader Allysa Jones.

Keith Dixon was a boxer in a military veteran, and it wasn’t until his daughter picked up interest in the sport that he got back into the ring only this time as a coach.

“One is 16 one is 14. Once they started expressing interest in it, I said hey, you can pass on a little bit of an alley that you gained in this process and I mean you have another way to bond with them. So it was just for me to give or spend more time with them. Have something that we both we all like to do.”

At the Legion Boom Boxing Gym it is all about bonding. There’s a conference room to let athletes come and talk with each other without the fear of being judged.

“Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, they provide, just the resources they are providing for these, these young personnel’s they come in here, nothing unmatched.”