MMA promoter works to bring boxing programs to Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphian who promotes MMA fighting is hoping to be the key that unlocks the best in Mid-South children.

World Boxing promoter Sam Watson was honored by the city, county, and state Thursday, which is now recognized as Sam Watson Day in Memphis.

Between promoting the Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor fight coming up Aug. 26, he received a key to the city from Mayor Jim Strickland.

Watson also announced he's entering into a partnership with local law enforcement to help open more doors in Memphis.

With the Police Athletic League (PAL) boxing program, Watson said he's going to work with the children of Memphis to save lives through boxing, giving them an outlet for energy that otherwise could turn into negative outcomes and life choices.

"Start helping people out, helping kids out, helping people that want to do something with their frustration go in the gym," Watson said. "They get busted up a little bit they'll slow down."

For these current PAL participants, it's boxing they look forward to. It shows them how to bring out the best in themselves.

"My favorite thing about boxing is the competition because you really try to push yourself forward," PAL boxer Larry Lanton said.

They're telling friends to join them in training towards the big ring.

"They should watch boxing maybe they'll be inspired by it," PAL boxer Lamicah Lanton said.

Watson said he's ready to make a lasting difference.

He also talked with the mayor about bringing more boxing to Memphis in FedExForum.

"I can't wait to get started doing stuff in the community and for the city of Memphis," Watson said.

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