NewsCovering Kentucky


Lexington boxing gym holds 'Gloves Up, Guns Down' event to combat youth gun violence

Gloves Up, Guns Down
Posted at 7:49 AM, Apr 17, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — At an event Saturday evening in Lexington, organizers hoped to show young people in the city why it’s time to put “gloves up, guns down.”

A series of boxing fights were held at the Lexington Legends Boxing gym. Many of the fighters have been impacted in some way by gun violence.

“For me, I grew up fighting my whole life,” said boxer Patrick Jones. So I feel like if you're gonna fight somebody you don't need a gun, there's no point.”

Jones said his uncle is in prison for murder, his father died by suicide before Jones was born.

“The thing is a gun doesn't prove you're a man or anything, it proves you're a coward,” Jones said.

“I’m a firm believer, there’s no bad kids, just bad influences,” said event organizer William “Sarge” Farris, who founded the Lexington Legends Boxing Academy. He said he wanted Saturday to be different, and called for a gun violence cease-fire. Boxers ranged in age from eight to 30, with most participants being teenagers.

“If they’re here at this event, they’re not out on the street,” Farris said.

By participating, they were showing their support for the cause, he added. The attendance at the event, and the number of participants, exceeded his expectations.

When looking at all the people who came, Farris said the support they’ve been given brings them hope.

The “gloves up, guns down" events are held multiple times a year. 12 of the 32 victims shot in shootings this year were 21 and younger.