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More than just boxing, Christamore House is a safe haven in Haughville

Boxers and coaches in the program say they've built a family
Christamore House boxing.jpg
Posted at 10:18 PM, Sep 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-19 13:51:28-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Inside of Christamore House on the West side of Indianapolis, boxers are training for much more than a title.

"Train slow you fight slow gentleman, ladies," Boxing Coach Jeffrey Young told the fighters.

Young leads the community center's boxing program alongside Coach Jeffrey Jones.

"The reason why I'm here is because they really do care about the kids," Young said. "Every other gym I've been to in my lifetime... it was always about let's make a world champion."

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The Christamore House boxing program started in 2001 under different leadership, but now Young and Jones are taking the lead.

"I had mentors in my life when I was a kid," Coach Jones said. "I just felt like it's my duty to do that pretty much tenfold."

For Young, it was a chance meeting, just over a year ago, that led him to Christamore House's boxing gym.

"I met him as my uber driver," Boxer Hamdy Zokari said.

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Zokari didn't know it at the time but Young is a registered USA boxing coach.

"I told him, why don't you just come to the gym and see how it is. Then the next day, I seen him there at the gym. He was working with the pads and everything," Zokari said.

Now, just over a year later. The program is growing and seeing success.

"When I got here there were just two fighters. Now we have well over 100 kids," Young said.


Over the summer, two Christamore House boxers earned national titles.

Dejuan Mcintyre Jr. is one of the new title holders.

"I just like to fight. I was previously in the military, and I wanted to do something more," Mcintyre Jr. said.

Now, he's a part of the Christamore House boxing family. He talks to his coaches daily.

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"They're just trying to preach good things because it's a tough, tough area," Mcintyre Jr said. "The coaches really care and I like that about them. When I get older, I want to be a mentor like they are."

Young describes Christamore House and the boxing program as a safe haven for the Haughville community.

"It changed my life for the better," Young said.

The focus for Coaches Young and Jones is on the all around boxer, not just their skills in the ring.


"We're not gonna reward you for getting suspended. We're not gonna reward you for going somewhere touching something that doesn't belong to you. When you leave here -- you leave gentlemen and young ladies," Young said.

Boxers who are in school must maintain a "C" average to compete and travel with the team.

"The coaches, they emphasize on like, you can be a great boxer, but we want you to be great people," Boxer Tyra Keuchler said.

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The boxers take part in shows and tournaments throughout the year.

There is no age limit to be a part of Christamore House's program. Current boxers range in age from 7 to 28-years-old.

On Saturday September 23rd, the community will have a chance to see the Christamore House Boxers in action. They will be featured in the Glove Up Guns Down Fall Brawl. The event starts at 3 p.m. at Martin University.