J.D. Partain is on a mission to help kids fight for their futures, literally.

Partain is founder of the Missoula Boxing Club, located at 1633 South Avenue West behind the Flying Squirrel.

Partain described the model upon which the Missoula Boxing Club was designed during his appearance on Tuesday’s Talk Back show.

“It’s based on a model out of Detroit called the Downtown Boxing Gym where the coach there decided to start a boxing club and he had one requirement,” said Partain. “It was an inner city boxing club and he said it's free and you can come but you’ve got to bring your books, and you’ve got to do your homework.”

Partain is proud of his boxing coach, Duran Caferro who comes to the club with quite literally a world of experience.

“Right now we have what I would consider probably the best coach in Montana, just to be honest with you,” he said. Duran Caferro, or Junior as he's known in the different clubs, he boxed for two years on the Olympic team. It was a non-compete year in terms of the Olympics, and so he was on Team USA and he fought all over the world. He’s got 200 fights under his belt as an amateur and he's 16-1 as a pro, so when kids come they're getting the best.”

One of the callers on Tuesday’s Talk Back show was Mia, a mother of two boys who are avid members of the boxing club, who shared her story.

“My little boys are nine and seven,” said Mia. “They are fighting their little hearts out in this club. We lost our three year old in October to cancer, and my little boys needed somewhere to fight out their grief and work out their grief and J.D.’s community club is where it's at. And it's becoming this amazing community. And all these kids, they have a story that's just as big and just as important.”

Partain said the boxing club is a great way for kids to get a good start in life, especially since so many kids have been housebound staring at screens for over a year.

“If we create a champion in the ring but then they fall off the wagon in terms of adulthood, we're not successful,” he said. “You know, we want to make sure kids are starting well in life; breaking any kind of cycle of poverty or brokenness that has caused them some type of trauma, or that type of thing. We want to get rid of that, and we're using boxing as the carrot.”

Partain said the club is always looking for volunteer tutors, people to donate food (boxing is hungry work) and funds.

Click this link to find out more about the Missoula Boxing Club.


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