CLEAR SPRING, Md. – Great Mills High School sophomore Yasir Ruffin, age 16, just won the Washington, DC, Golden Glove Championship.
Yasir is a Junior competitor in the 125-pound weight class. There were six other boxers from the DC/Baltimore area in his bracket. Yasir beat out two formidable opponents to claim victory in his division.
I had a great time,” Yasir told TheBayNet.com. The crowd’s enthusiasm was incredible, and having my coaches by my side during each match was invaluable. Almost two years ago, Yasir didn’t realize that boxing would become his life’s work.
I’ve always been interested in martial arts, but after trying out a local boxing facility, I found a better fit there. In Lexington Park, Maryland, there is a boxing gym called Knowledge Boxing Center, where Yasir trains.
Yasir, you are really brave. One of Yasir’s trainers, Daryl Hinmon, explains that the athlete is constantly tested in the gym. After some early worry, he has proven to be up to every challenge we have presented him with.
Yasir is courageous because he has the determination to fight his way to glory, both physically and emotionally.
Yasir had the first of two fights in the event on February 11. “He produced a great performance and won the fight handily,” stated Hinmon.
His trainers called the next day to see how he was doing.
According to what Hinmon learned through speaking with Yasir, “he was good physically, but not so great mentally.” I inquired as to the cause, and he explained that his father had gone away the night before, following the argument. The news was utterly heartbreaking.
When Coach Hinmon and Coach John Richardson found out that Yasir had a fight booked for the following week, they strongly suggested moving it.
Yet Yasir was adamant that he would fight anyhow.
My business partner, Coach John, and I have decided that everyone needs to sleep on it. Yasir insisted on fighting that Saturday even on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of that week (Feb. 18th). Therefore,” replied Hinmon. “we let him compete.
After that victory, Yasir would claim the Golden Gloves title.
Everyone in the gym is dubbed something at some point. Up until that point, we had not named Yasir. Because of his bravery, though, Yasir Ruffin is now known as “Lion Heart” according to Hinmon.
The loss of a parent is one of life’s greatest challenges, and most adults have a hard time coping with it. This young man has our biggest respect for overcoming this obstacle. He deserves our respect, and our sympathies go out to his loved ones.
“Yasir is a fantastic student who has a genuine interest in learning and who frequently checks in with his instructors to make sure he is mastering the material.
“Yasir is naturally curious, pays close attention, and relishes opportunities to expand his knowledge,” said Coach Richardson. He treats others with the highest respect, and he treats his elders and peers with the utmost deference.
In addition, Yasir possesses the bravery of a lion, which is how he came to be known as the “Lion Heart” in the gym during the Golden Gloves tournament. Since I’ve had the privilege of tutoring him, he has repeatedly demonstrated his impeccable character.
Check out one of Knowledge Boxing’s local performances to witness more incredible talent like Yasir, who they produce and teach. On May 6th, the Willows Recreation Center will host Southern Maryland Smoke 5, a live boxing event.