EUGENE, Ore. -- Springfield High School graduate Jake Wilson grew up to become a professional boxer, but when he’s not training for a fight he’s volunteering his time teaching kids the value of hard work and dedication.
The program does not cost the kids money, but they are required to pay it forward to participate.
"Work hard when they're here,” said Wilson in between training with a 5-year-old from Eugene, “and when they go out into the community, be good people. That's what we're trying to send to them. That's our message."
Before the workshop convenes, each child is expected to share with the group a good work they performed in their community that week.
On this particular Saturday Wilson and his sparring partner showed all the kids the kind of fighting that is expected to stay in the gym.
“We’re not going hard,” said Wilson, strapping on his gloves, “this is going to be a light round.”
The fight, his second professional bout, will be held at Little Creek Casino in Shelton, Washington.