Ring 10

Helping Retired Boxers Through The Toughest Fight of Their Lives

Giving Back to ex-Fighters in Need: It’s Not That Difficult Ted Sares Featured Articles Giving Back to ex-Fighters in Need: It’s Not That Difficult Ted Sares Published 4 days ago on May 13, 2019 By Ted Sares Gerald and Lisa McClellan Basketball legend LeBron James has opened up a new elementary school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and has established the LeBron James Family Foundation, among other charitable endeavors. LeBron puts his money where his mouth is. Serena Williams has received numerous awards for her charity work, including the “Celebrity Role Model” award from the Avon Foundation for her work fighting breast cancer, and the “Young Heroes” award for her support of Big Brothers Big Sisters. And most recently, the World’s Number One male tennis player, Roger Federer, spent $13.5 million to open 81 schools to educate poor African children. Eli Manning, Derek Jeter, Jeff Gordon, David Beckham and many other high-profile athletes (both past and present) are also giving back in a big and meaningful way. Boxing In boxing, the late Vernon Forrest embraced the value of giving back. A fine boxer who possessed great core values, he was also known for his humanitarian work for the non-profit and still thriving organization Destiny’s Child. Former U.S. Olympic boxing team head coach Al Mitchell once said, “I really believe he’s not going to be known for his boxing skills…I think he’ll be known for the way he gave outside his sport. He was just an unbelievable person.” Vernon was special in many ways, but most importantly he inspired people. Tyson Fury’s donation to charities was recently confirmed when a fan asked him about the financial pledge during a Q&A segment of a charity auction. “I did give away my last purse, but I don’t do charity work for a pat on the back…I do it to help people, but I do not want praise for it, I don’t want to be called a do-gooder.” The purse for the fight was about $3.5 million. However, the pay-per-view income brought the payout to almost $9 million. According to British reports, Fury’s entire purse was donated to several UK charities that specialize in providing housing for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Manny Pacquiao is known to give away almost half of his prize money each time he fights and much of this is done anonymously. Anthony Joshua gives back in different but meaningful ways and he does it quietly as well. These days, trainer and former title contender “Iceman” John Scully, The Retired Boxing Foundation, and Ring 10 (New York City) to name just a few are among those who try to inspire others to help those in need. Lisa McClellan This brings us to Lisa McClellan, lovely sister of the badly disabled Gerald McClellan, who lives on the disability stipend of $1,920 a month her brother receives, plus the occasional generosity of strangers. Now then, if that “occasional generosity of strangers” became more regular and less occasional in the form of tax-deductible donations, the good that would come from it would be enormously disproportionate to the donation. Among other things, Gerald is badly brain damaged, totally blind, and 80 percent deaf. These maladies resulted from his savage bout against Nigel Benn on February 25, 1995. Entering the bout, McClellan was the WBC world middleweight champion, owned a 31-2 record, and had scored 20 of his 29 knockouts in the very first round. Lisa has put her own life on hold to act as her brother’s caretaker, assuming the responsibility with great grace and dignity. There have been many obstacles along the way but she has persevered. Older sister Sandra was Lisa’s 50-50 partner in Gerald’s care until two years ago when Sandra’s own serious health issues caused her to step back. “It’s been hard,” says Lisa, “but my mom raised us to look after each other, and I guess I’m just doing what’s expected. And now I’m so far in it, and he relies on me so much that I could never walk away and live a peaceful life not knowing what would happen to him.” That’s breathtaking stuff. In an Aug. 24, 2017 story in the Chicago Tribune titled, “Boxing totally turned its back on battered Gerald McClellan,” author Dan McGrath noted that Ring 10, a New York based non-profit established in 2011, has been the McClellans lifeline. Medical supplies salesman Matt Farrago, a former pro boxer who compiled a 25-2-1 record while competing mostly as a middleweight, is the charity’s founder and chief fundraiser and, says McGrath, a tireless spokesman. “We’re fighters helping fighters in the only sport that doesn’t do anything for its athletes once it’s through with them,” Farrago told McGrath. “Ninety-eight cents of every dollar we raise goes to the fighters. Nobody gets turned down.” “(Matt) won’t discuss specific contributions,” noted McGrath, “but Ring 10 maintains an account at the grocery store where Lisa buys the family’s food, and there was help with an electric bill when she fell behind several months ago.” Images on social media of Floyd Mayweather Jr. counting his stacks of money suggest that just a tiny donation could do wonders for Gerald and Lisa. Or for Wilfred Benitez, who also requires constant care for the devastating medical issues he now faces as a result of punishment he absorbed during his Hall of Fame career. Due to the devastating hurricane that hit Puerto Rico, Wilfred has been moved to Chicago where he too is looked after by his sister, Yvonne, and by some personal friends. Wilfred, like Gerald, gave us chills and thrills and now he needs our help. As Lisa in her typically unselfish way states, “I wish there were a way that some of that money could be set aside to help all the boxers who need help. Not just us.” In this connection, how difficult would it be to send a donation to the Gerald McClellan Trust at 839 E. Wyandotte. Freeport, IL 61032 or to Ring 10 Veterans Boxing Foundation, Attn: Matt Farrago, 14123 85th Rd, Apt 1F, Briarwood, NY 11435? Or to Wilfred Benitez in care of Yvonne Benitez, 1009 N. Francisco Ave. Apt. 1-f. Chicago, IL 60622. If Lisa McClellan and Yvonne Benitez are not heroes, then who is? But they sure could use our help. Ted Sares is a lifetime member of Ring 10, and a member of Ring 4 and its Boxing Hall of Fame. He also is an Auxiliary Member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). He is an active power lifter and Strongman competitor in the Grand Master class and is competing in 2019.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Giving Back to ex-Fighters in Need: It’s Not That Difficult Ted Sares Featured Articles Giving Back to ex-Fighters in Need: It’s Not That Difficult Ted Sares Published 4 days ago on May 13, 2019 By Ted Sares Gerald and Lisa McClellan Basketball legend LeBron James has opened up a new elementary school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and has established the LeBron James Family Foundation, among other charitable endeavors. LeBron puts his money where his mouth is. Serena Williams has received numerous awards for her charity work, including the “Celebrity Role Model” award from the Avon Foundation for her work fighting breast cancer, and the “Young Heroes” award for her support of Big Brothers Big Sisters. And most recently, the World’s Number One male tennis player, Roger Federer, spent $13.5 million to open 81 schools to educate poor African children. Eli Manning, Derek Jeter, Jeff Gordon, David Beckham and many other high-profile athletes (both past and present) are also giving back in a big and meaningful way. Boxing In boxing, the late Vernon Forrest embraced the value of giving back. A fine boxer who possessed great core values, he was also known for his humanitarian work for the non-profit and still thriving organization Destiny’s Child. Former U.S. Olympic boxing team head coach Al Mitchell once said, “I really believe he’s not going to be known for his boxing skills…I think he’ll be known for the way he gave outside his sport. He was just an unbelievable person.” Vernon was special in many ways, but most importantly he inspired people. Tyson Fury’s donation to charities was recently confirmed when a fan asked him about the financial pledge during a Q&A segment of a charity auction. “I did give away my last purse, but I don’t do charity work for a pat on the back…I do it to help people, but I do not want praise for it, I don’t want to be called a do-gooder.” The purse for the fight was about $3.5 million. However, the pay-per-view income brought the payout to almost $9 million. According to British reports, Fury’s entire purse was donated to several UK charities that specialize in providing housing for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Manny Pacquiao is known to give away almost half of his prize money each time he fights and much of this is done anonymously. Anthony Joshua gives back in different but meaningful ways and he does it quietly as well. These days, trainer and former title contender “Iceman” John Scully, The Retired Boxing Foundation, and Ring 10 (New York City) to name just a few are among those who try to inspire others to help those in need. Lisa McClellan This brings us to Lisa McClellan, lovely sister of the badly disabled Gerald McClellan, who lives on the disability stipend of $1,920 a month her brother receives, plus the occasional generosity of strangers. Now then, if that “occasional generosity of strangers” became more regular and less occasional in the form of tax-deductible donations, the good that would come from it would be enormously disproportionate to the donation. Among other things, Gerald is badly brain damaged, totally blind, and 80 percent deaf. These maladies resulted from his savage bout against Nigel Benn on February 25, 1995. Entering the bout, McClellan was the WBC world middleweight champion, owned a 31-2 record, and had scored 20 of his 29 knockouts in the very first round. Lisa has put her own life on hold to act as her brother’s caretaker, assuming the responsibility with great grace and dignity. There have been many obstacles along the way but she has persevered. Older sister Sandra was Lisa’s 50-50 partner in Gerald’s care until two years ago when Sandra’s own serious health issues caused her to step back. “It’s been hard,” says Lisa, “but my mom raised us to look after each other, and I guess I’m just doing what’s expected. And now I’m so far in it, and he relies on me so much that I could never walk away and live a peaceful life not knowing what would happen to him.” That’s breathtaking stuff. In an Aug. 24, 2017 story in the Chicago Tribune titled, “Boxing totally turned its back on battered Gerald McClellan,” author Dan McGrath noted that Ring 10, a New York based non-profit established in 2011, has been the McClellans lifeline. Medical supplies salesman Matt Farrago, a former pro boxer who compiled a 25-2-1 record while competing mostly as a middleweight, is the charity’s founder and chief fundraiser and, says McGrath, a tireless spokesman. “We’re fighters helping fighters in the only sport that doesn’t do anything for its athletes once it’s through with them,” Farrago told McGrath. “Ninety-eight cents of every dollar we raise goes to the fighters. Nobody gets turned down.” “(Matt) won’t discuss specific contributions,” noted McGrath, “but Ring 10 maintains an account at the grocery store where Lisa buys the family’s food, and there was help with an electric bill when she fell behind several months ago.” Images on social media of Floyd Mayweather Jr. counting his stacks of money suggest that just a tiny donation could do wonders for Gerald and Lisa. Or for Wilfred Benitez, who also requires constant care for the devastating medical issues he now faces as a result of punishment he absorbed during his Hall of Fame career. Due to the devastating hurricane that hit Puerto Rico, Wilfred has been moved to Chicago where he too is looked after by his sister, Yvonne, and by some personal friends. Wilfred, like Gerald, gave us chills and thrills and now he needs our help. As Lisa in her typically unselfish way states, “I wish there were a way that some of that money could be set aside to help all the boxers who need help. Not just us.” In this connection, how difficult would it be to send a donation to the Gerald McClellan Trust at 839 E. Wyandotte. Freeport, IL 61032 or to Ring 10 Veterans Boxing Foundation, Attn: Matt Farrago, 14123 85th Rd, Apt 1F, Briarwood, NY 11435? Or to Wilfred Benitez in care of Yvonne Benitez, 1009 N. Francisco Ave. Apt. 1-f. Chicago, IL 60622. If Lisa McClellan and Yvonne Benitez are not heroes, then who is? But they sure could use our help. Ted Sares is a lifetime member of Ring 10, and a member of Ring 4 and its Boxing Hall of Fame. He also is an Auxiliary Member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). He is an active power lifter and Strongman competitor in the Grand Master class and is competing in 2019.

Gerald McClellan and Ring 10: Always connected!!!

Dan McGrath, of the Chicago Tribune, wrote an excellent article on Gerald McLellan and how the money behind boxing turned its back on him. Dan was nice enough to include Ring 10 in his article.  Here is a link to the article – ‘Boxing totally turned its back’ on battered Gerald McClellan.

Here is the intro to his article…

If enough people are willing to shell out $100 for the pay-per-view telecast, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor could earn nine figures each for the “spectacle” they’re staging in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Lisa McClellan, meanwhile, lives on a disability stipend of $1,920 a month her brother receives, plus the occasional kindness of strangers.

She might watch the contrived showdown between the boxer and the brawler “if my boyfriend buys it,” Lisa says, “but I’m not buying it. I refuse to support a sport that doesn’t take care of its own.”

Gerald McClellan, older by a year at 49, is the brother with whom Lisa shares a small, well-kept home on a dead-end street in the well-worn town where they grew up. Gerald was once in Mayweather’s line of work and did well at it, rising to the the top of the middleweight division with ferocious punching power.

Here is a mention of Ring 10…

 

 

Ring 10, a New York-based nonprofit established in 2011 to assist boxers in need, has been the McClellans’ lifeline. Matt Farrago, now a medical supplies salesman who had 28 pro fights as a super-welterweight in the ’80s, is the founder, chief fundraiser and tireless spokesman for the charity.

“We’re fighters helping fighters in the only sport that doesn’t do anything for its athletes once it’s through with them,” Farrago says. “Ninety-eight cents of every dollar we raise goes to the fighters. Nobody gets turned down.”

He won’t discuss specific contributions, but Ring 10 maintains an account at the grocery store where Lisa buys the family’s food, and there was help with an electric bill when she fell behind several months ago.

“I’ve never experienced anything like Ring 10,” Lisa says. “Some organizations will help you out one time and then we’re moving on to the next person. But Ring 10 is a consistent thing — ‘We’re family and we’re here for you.’ They provide us with help every month.”

It’s Lisa’s selflessness that keeps Ring 10 coming back to Gerald, Farrago says.

“Boxing totally turned its back on Gerald, walked away from him, but Lisa is so devoted to him,” he said. “It’s more of a human interest story than a boxing story.”

 

 

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Ring 10 Good Stories #9

To the President, Board of Directors and Members of Ring 10,

Amazing this organization is to have come into our lives and helped us in ways and words we cannot say. On November 28, 2014, the day after Thanksgiving, I was standing too close to my propane heater and my pant legs caught fire. Tragically, I received some second and third degree burns to the backside of my body. I am blessed to be alive today.

To this day, my wife, Mary, and I never knew or had any thought of a miracle/blessing (Ring 10) to step in and offer to help us in such a way that we are still in awe. We thank you, Matt, for calling and keeping in touch with me to see how things are going. Each day I’m fighting another round. I’m currently in the rehabilitation unit stretching, bending and learning to walk the stairs and all that’s needed to get me back to where I need to be. Fighting another round.

Again, thank you, Ring 10, for all that you do. You have helped us in such a BIG way by providing help with our utility bills. Another stepping stone for not having to worry. I will never forget this as long as I live.

During my fighting career, I often used this phrase, “I may get knocked down, but I won’t get knocked out.”

I’m thanking God every day for allowing me another chance and thanking him also for you, Ring 10, for making another chance easier as I begin the healing process.

Grateful,
Horace Hal “TNT” Carroll

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Ring 10 Good Stories #8

Ring 10: Providing a Safety Net for the Ex-Boxer

By Mike Silver on March 30, 2015

Matt’s integrity has won him many fans, including HBO’s Harold Lederman (on the left).

Aside from the financial woes experienced by many ex-boxers, Matt Farrago is also well aware of the inherent physical danger connected to his sport…

At 7 p.m., on the second Tuesday of every month, several dozen boxing enthusiasts, including such former ring stars as Mark Breland, Iran Barkley, Aaron Davis, Dennis Milton, Tyrone Jackson, Junior Jones and HBO’s Harold Lederman meet in a private room of Rino’s Ristorante in the Throgs Neck neighborhood of the Bronx to discuss their latest efforts and plans to help former professional boxers who have fallen on hard times. The organization is the Veterans Boxing Foundation of New York, Ring #10.

From the early 1950s to the 1980s there were scores of veteran boxers’ associations located in various cities throughout the U.S.A. The very first VBA originated in Philadelphia (Ring #1). Most were primarily fraternal organizations where retired boxers who fought from the 1910s to the 1950s would get together and schmooze over coffee and doughnuts while reliving memories of old times and old battles. Over the past several decades, as the old-timers died off, so did the VBAs. Only a handful remain.

Five years ago a former professional boxer named Matt Farrago decided that the few VBA chapters still in existence were not doing nearly enough to help former pro boxers in need. He decided to form his own organization for just that purpose. Even though Matt, a college graduate, had a full-time job as a medical device representative he devoted all his spare time to organize and establish Ring 10 with the same bulldog enthusiasm and tenacity that was the hallmark of his professional boxing career. Matt, a light-middleweight, fought from 1983 to 1991 and compiled an enviable 25-2-1 record (11 KOs).

It was Matt’s vision to create an organization that would be far more proactive than any other group claiming to help impoverished and physically ailing former boxers. In just a few short years he has accomplished that goal. Under Matt’s leadership Ring 10 has made a huge difference in the lives of dozens of ex-pros, including several former world champions. In the late 1980s Iran Barkley was one of the sport’s biggest stars, having won the middleweight title with a spectacular third round KO of Thomas Hearns. Subsequent bouts with Hearns, Roberto Duran, James Toney, Michael Nunn and Nigel Benn grossed several million dollars. Yet, in a scenario repeated far too often, 10 years after Barkley retired he was broke and homeless. Ring 10 found him and took him in.

“The board and members helped to get him an apartment, basic furniture, TV, and we made sure he was able to acquire social services,” says Matt. “He regularly attends our monthly meetings and has great input in all our decisions and conversations. Due to his knowledge and experience with the sport of boxing, we brought him onto the Board of Directors where he participates in all aspects of Ring 10. I’d also like to congratulate Iran for getting back on his feet and now he’s busy planning his wedding to Pamela Graham in November of this year.”

Ring 10 sends financial assistance to former ring great Wilfred Benitez who suffers from dementia and can no longer care for himself. The organization also made arrangements to have a credit at a local grocery chain so that ex-champion Gerald McClellan’s sister can purchase food for herself and Gerald. McClellan was forced to retire from boxing after suffering a severe brain injury in his final fight.

Many other lesser known boxers benefit from the organization’s largesse. Each month Ring 10 sends out food gift cards all over the country to various fighters and their families so they can shop at their local grocery store to purchase food. All of these fighters know that they have support from their “Brothers” in New York.

“Our sole purpose is to help boxers get back on their feet and to give them a fighting chance to become self-supporting,” explains Matt. “I feel we are successful in what we do because of our core group. They are all connected deeply to the boxing community in some way and they truly care. We meet once a month for a nice night of productive conversation and great food. Fifteen dollars gives you an Italian style dinner and a great opportunity to mingle with some of the greatest professional fighters from around our area.”

Aside from the financial woes experienced by many ex-boxers, Matt is also well aware of the inherent physical danger connected to his sport. He is very interested in the research conducted by Dr. Ann McKee, M.D., a leading authority on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that is most commonly found in athletes participating in boxing, football, ice hockey and other contact sports. Dr. McKee is co-director of the Center for the Study of CTE at Boston University. “Ring 10 has been involved with their research,” says Matt. “Our organization provides boxers for frequent mental testing and they track each fighter’s status. Many of the former boxers in our organization, including myself, have decided to donate our brains which will be harvested and studied after death. Ring 10 wants to be a part of the ongoing research that is needed to identify, treat, and maybe reverse the symptoms of head trauma.”

Trying to reverse the downward spiral that afflicts so many former boxers once their careers are over is a daunting task. Matt believes that fundamental changes within the structure of the sport might help: “Ideally I would like to see the sport somehow unionized. This would give more control to the fighters and less control to promoters and managers who don’t always have the fighter’s best interest at heart. Professional boxing has no health benefits, no financial security, nothing that educates them regarding their finances, and no protection from some of the unscrupulous handlers. Unfortunately, this is a sport that has no use for you when it is over, and no one prepares these fighters for the aftermath. That is why so many end up broke, homeless, and hopeless.

“Ring 10 has two fund raising events each year. Our next one is on May 31st when we will host our Second Annual ‘Run With The Champs Walk/Jog-A-Thon.’ It takes place at the Villa Maria Academy in the Bronx. This is a beautiful school on 10 acres of waterfront property. It will be a fun and fit activity for all. We will also have music, BBQ, Ring 10 original merchandise for sale, and raffle baskets. The champs sign gloves and everyone has a wonderful time.

“The second event is our Fifth Annual Ring 10 Gala on September 13, 2015, at the beautiful Marina Del Rey catering facility in Throgs Neck. This is our main source of fundraising. World champions, both retired and active, contenders, actors and comedians come together to support the organization and its mission. There are raffles and live and silent auctions. People seem to enjoy bidding on the great boxing memorabilia we have to offer. Over 200 people attended last year’s gala. Some of our past guests included Carlos Ortiz, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Jake LaMotta, ‘Buddy’ McGirt, Tony DeMarco, Marlon Starling, Earnie Shavers, Tim Witherspoon, Riddick Bowe, comedian Pat Cooper, and actors Danny Aiello and Holt McCallany.”

Matt’s integrity, dedication and sincerity have won him many fans in the boxing community. He understands the problems facing many former professional boxers and feels compelled to make a difference. “The biggest battles facing some of our former world champions and the brave fighters who entertained us over the years often take place well after their careers are over. With no union, health benefits or governmental assistance, their ability to pursue a normal life outside of the only one they know within the ring is extremely challenging and difficult. These men deserve a fighting chance. Ring 10 has no intention of throwing in the towel on these brave athletes who dedicated themselves to the sport and deserve our help.”

Ring 10 is a tax-exempt 501(c) charity. Membership is open to all who want to help. Dues are $ 25 dollars a year. Matt proudly states that “one hundred percent of all membership fees and donations go towards helping fighters. No funds go to any members or directors of Ring 10. Their service is voluntary.”

Membership applications, donation instructions and news about upcoming events can be accessed via the web site: www.Ring10ny.com. Like and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ring10ny.

Boxing historian Mike Silver is the author of the The Arc of Boxing: The Rise and Decline of the Sweet Science (McFarland Publishers, 2008).

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Good Stories on Ring 10. #1

To Fight Off Hard Times, Former Boxers Enter A ‘Ring’ Of Support

Former professional boxer, Iran Barkley, poses in front of his Bronx apartment complex. Barkley, a former WBC middleweight champion, became homeless after facing financial troubles in the later years of his life. He currently is a board member of Ring 10 Veterans Boxing Foundation of New York, an organization that works with boxers who are down on their luck.

Cameron Robert/NPR

Boxers are some of the most vulnerable athletes in sports. In the ring, they endure jabs, hooks and sometimes knockouts. Then, many have to deal with the aftermath, both the physical and the financial.

In New York City, a group of veteran fighters have formed a group to support each other through the hard times. They call themselves Ring 10. Some have left the game by choice. Others were abandoned years ago by their trainers.

“The sport is very unforgiving. When you produce, we love you. And when you don’t, I don’t remember your name,” says former boxer Matt Farrago, who started the group in 2010.

Over the years, they’ve raised money to help members pay for groceries, checked in with fighters who are now debilitated and homebound and attended each other’s funerals. Farrago says they’re keeping an eye on would-be contenders no longer in the spotlight.

Matt Farrago, the founder of Ring 10 Veterans Boxing Foundation of New York, listens as respects are given to a recently deceased boxer. Ring 10 is an organization that helps boxers who struggle with life after leaving the ring.

Cameron Robert/NPR

“Somebody’s got to win. That means somebody’s got to lose,” he says. “Why do people only care about the guys who won?”

Some of those guys are part of their ranks too, including the World Boxing Council middleweight champion of 1988, Iran “The Blade” Barkley.

In his breakout fight that year, Barkley defeated the reigning champ, Thomas Hearns, after a surprise turnaround in the third round. The match ended with blood streaming from Barkley’s eyes as his supporters lifted him into the air with his hands raised in triumph. That win was Barkley’s ticket out of the Patterson Houses, the public housing development in the Bronx where he grew up.

“I got to see most of the world free. The only thing that took me there was my two hands and people that I met along the way,” he says. “And that’s the greatest thing in history.”

A painting of Gerald McClellan, a former WBC and WBO middleweight champion who is currently suffering from brain damage. In an effort to cover hospital expenses Ring 10 is helping raise money through the auctioning of these pieces.

Cameron Robert/NPR

More than two decades later, though, he was back in the neighborhood at what he calls the “lowest part” of his life. He was homeless, sleeping in a subway station while carrying a bag of clothes and the championship belt he won from Hearns.

Barkley says he didn’t manage his money well. “That’s how you end up taking care of everybody else but yourself,” he says. He also puts some of the blame on the advisers around him at the time. He says many boxers — even the ones who win — end up having to fight financial troubles in the later years of their lives.

“After you lost the boxing, what you do then? You say, ‘Where I go? What I do?’ You don’t have all that rah, rah, rah around you,” he explains.

Members of Ring 10 got him off the streets and eventually helped him find a studio apartment. After two divorces, he got married again last year. He says he’s looking for a job and wants to write a book about his life. And on the second Tuesday of most months, you can find him having dinner his family from Ring 10 in a back room of an Italian restaurant in the Bronx.

Former featherweight boxer, Tyrone ‘The Harlem Butcher’ Jackson (center), is one of several retired professionals that are helping support the Ring 10 Veterans Boxing Foundation of New York.

Cameron Robert/NPR

Support groups for former fighters are filling a need that’s always been part of boxing, according to Gerald Gems, a sports historian at North Central College in Illinois.

“It’s a very corrupt business,” says Gems, author of Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science. “There’s a lot of payoffs that take place. And boxers often trust their managers, trust promoters, which is not the best thing to do. They’re simply used.”

Now that boxing’s not as popular as it once was, Gems says there’s even less public concern about how it’s run.

“Football has the NFL, and the MLB for baseball,” says Farrago, Ring 10’s founder. “Boxers have nothing. They come from the streets, and that’s where they go back to.”

Farrago says he wants to form a union for boxers. Until then, he’s on the lookout for more lost fighters.

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