Nightly News   |  January 03, 2014

Fighting to Stay Off Detroit’s Streets

Thanks to generous donations, the Downtown Boxing Gym is expanding, giving more kids an outlet to learn -- and become stronger. NBC’s Chelsea Clinton reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> to a making a difference report we brought you early last year. when we first told you about the downtown boxing gym in the city of detroit where young people are are learning to succeed both as athletes and students. since then the program has received a good deal of additional support. they are hoping to expand their good work as chelsea clinton found when she made a return visit there.

>> reporter: on a cold december afternoon, the ring of the downtown boxing gym on detroit 's east side quickly comes to life. dozens of boxers skipping their feet as they work on jabs and jump roping.

>> jump higher.

>> reporter: i have to jump higher. oh! i did it! i did it again! it becomes the place to be. for more than 60 kids looking to stay off the street and on the right track. like david davis , a champion boxer at just 16 years old.

>> i could just call and they will be there.

>> reporter: just like a family.

>> our making a difference report is from detroit --

>> reporter: "nightly news" profiled the gym in march as the gym reached capacity and then some. since then, donations have poured in. more than $170,000.

>> we reached out to the community and the community reached back. it was very positive.

>> reporter: coach kelly sweeney picks up his pugilists in donated cars. kids receive new desks and computers to do homework and more tutors to help.

>> you have to cross multiply .

>> reporter: new punching bags to train with. so hook -- and then what?

>> jab.

>> reporter: jab, jab. right hand?

>> mm-hmm.

>> reporter: even a new ring. it's already gotten a good workout. for coach kelly, plenty needs to be done.

>> we have over 150 kids on the waiting list . that's one thing we can't afford to do -- keep kids waiting around.

>> reporter: plans are under way to build a new gym that can accommodate everyone. one thing won't change. the gym's golden rule . school books before boxing.

>> it's a habit for everybody now. everybody gets to homework first. then we come and train.

>> reporter: train and study to help these kids go the distance. chelsea clinton , nbc news, detroit ,