“Gloves in the air. Weapons at the bottom. The Lexington boxing coach hopes to tackle youth violence.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Boxing is known as soft science. A man from Lexington used it to change lives and in some cases save lives.

He has been making a difference for a long time, and with the increase in youth violence, his coup de grace is needed more than ever.

“I decided that I would be part of the problem or part of the solution,” said William Farris, founder of Legends Youth Boxing.

Farris, affectionately known as “Sarge,” chose the latter.

He started the gym 25 years ago because he says he saw a need. He has seen children being bullied, dealing with the loss of parents through drug overdoses, gun violence and even suicide.

“Boxing is a great avenue. It’s a great vehicle, ”said Farris. “The streets do not discriminate.

Lee Murphy, 16, said he was heading down the wrong path, hanging out with the wrong team and abusing drugs from an early age.

“I never thought I could get rid of it,” Murphy said. “I once dreamed that I met a man like Sarge – a father, a role model.”

And Murphy hasn’t looked back since that day about 8 months ago. His grandmother, Lynn Skillman, said she sees the change in him.

“It taught him to be more respectful. It helped him manage his anger, ”Skillman said. “It’s just amazing.”

Dani Brown, 17, is part of the United States team and is a nine-time national champion. She first showed up at Farris’ gym as a nine-year-old bullied child.

“I’ve learned to choose my battles and, if I need to, I know I can stand up for others and stand up for myself,” Brown said.

Now parents are calling on those who want to make a difference to take action by getting involved.

“We just need to come together as a community to help our young children,” said xxxx.

This is something Sarge has been doing for a long time – one life saved at a time.

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