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Boxer Jami Webb and Leroy Williams aim to create champions of life

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Wine, its pairings and all that goes with it were not the only attractions at the Zevenwacht Wine Estate outside of Cape Town at the weekend.

This past Saturday saw the launch of the Fight Hub Foundation, a community project aimed at uplifting the lives of underprivileged children.

The project was founded by local boxing champion Jami Webb and his boxing manager, Leroy Williams.

The launch in Kuilsriver featured a live training session with the kids involved in the program, and Mzoli Tempi, provincial manager of Boxing South Africa, was also present.

With no shortage of issues affecting these children – such as exposure to parental alcohol addiction, abuse, drug use, school drop-outs and teenage pregnancies – these two founders have found a way to better the lives of children, while also paving the way for future boxing elites.

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“I feel like it’s our duty, our responsibility… the next generation looks up to us. It’s an oath that we took when we signed up for this sport, when we decided to be greater,” said Webb on their mission behind starting the project.

“So, we need to lead the next generation, especially when you look at how the world is heading. We need to guide them in the right way,” said the Western Cape Junior Middleweight champion.

Webb, who will be stepping into the ring against rising star Darrin Rossouw on November 25 at the Emperors Palace Casino for a six-round bout for the South African Junior Middleweight title in one of the most anticipated brawls of the year, underlined the importance of their new project.

“I feel that this project ranks higher than being a world champion… if it’s not on par with it, it’s much higher. I feel like I’m making a change in the world; it’s not just for me, it’s not just about me. They (the kids) give me a sense of being a world champion because I’m making a difference in the world [by doing this project]. These are the presidents, teachers and next champions of tomorrow.

“My biggest wish for the kids is just to be better individuals for the future and for the next person. My biggest wish is just to see them succeed and go on from this project and just do great things in life and be better humans.”

Williams added that they aren’t putting digits on their goal – instead, they are wired towards the bigger picture.

“We want to turn the model that we currently have into a success first. We want to get enough funding so that we can build a full-on gym,” he said.

“This is something that we have been dreaming about for a long time. One day we were driving and we just decided to drive up to Zevenwacht, we didn’t even know who to speak to. We just went to reception and pitched our idea to the receptionist. After that we pitched our idea to the owner of Zevenwacht Wine Farm – we did not know it at the time – and she immediately said yes.”

“We would also like full-time trainers to assist us with training the kids. And then, in future, once this project is a success, we want to roll this out to different communities and farms.

“There is no set number…we have about 10 kids that we are training, and that number fluctuates. I think with the media’s help we can reach more lives. Even if we can just change the lives of two kids, that will mean the most to us.”


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