Boxing club builds better athletes, keeps kids off the streets
Cedric Johnson, a former Golden Glove champion in Indiana, wants to share his passion for boxing. His hope: Restore the sport to its former glory. Side by side, he works with kids, teens, adults and even professional athletes like Gary Brackett, Bob Sanders and Keyunta Dawson at Ced’s Boxing Academy in Indianapolis.
The membership-based boxing club offers technique training, strength and conditioning training, sparring, private training and self-defense classes. Johnson focuses on improving each person’s cardiovascular capacity, footwork, hand-eye coordination through bag work, shadow boxing, jump rope and core/abdominal work.
“I create stronger, faster athletes through a series of exercises that constantly change and evolve,” he says. Boxing helps to burn hundreds of calories, and other health benefits include reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and relieving stress.
Former Colt and current New Orleans Saint Keyunta Dawson says he grew up with a love for boxing, and Cedric helped him to develop his skills. “As an outside linebacker, and sometimes a defensive end, I have to have impeccable hand-eye coordination and fast hands,” Dawson told Angie’s List. “Cedric focused on my core and helped me to rehab my back injury. Through boxing, I was able to strengthen my smaller muscles and gain more speed.”
Johnson tries to make a difference to keep youth off the streets, too, by introducing them to boxing at his gym. “God has been good to me and I want to give back to my community that has served me so well,” he says.
One of the kids he inspired was 20-year-old Curtis Hill Jr., who’s been boxing for nine years. I feel like I’m at home,” Hill says of Ced’s Boxing Academy. When he was 17 and his father died of cancer, Hill says it was boxing that helped bring him out of a dark time. “My father is the reason that I box … the reason why I train hard.”
Through hard work and dedication, Hill hopes to be a world boxing champion, and like Johnson, he hopes to share his passion with kids one day. “I want to influence them in the positive way that I was influenced,” he says.
Ced’s Boxing Academy membership cost:
Age 8-20: $60 per month
Age 21+: $120 per month
Private lessons: $320 for 8 sessions (1 to 2 times per week)