“Gloves up. Guns down.’ Lexington boxing coach hopes to curb youth violence.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Boxing is known as the sweet science. One Lexington man has been using it to change lives, and in some cases save lives.

He’s been making a difference for a long time, and with the rise in youth violence his knockout punch is needed now more than ever.

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“I decided that I’m going to be a part of the problem or part of the solution,” William Farris, founder of Legends Youth Boxing said.

Farris, fondly known as ‘Sarge,’ chose the latter.

He started the gym 25 years ago because he says he saw a need. He saw kids being bullied, coping with losing parents to overdose, gun violence and even taking their lives.

“Boxing is a great avenue. It’s a great vehicle,” Farris said. “The streets do not discriminate.”

16-year-old Lee Murphy said he was headed down the wrong path, hanging with the wrong crew and abusing drugs from an early age.

“I never thought I could get off of them,” Murphy said. “I had a dream one day that I met a man like Sarge – a father, role model.”

And Murphy hasn’t looked back since that day came about 8 months ago. His grandmother, Lynn Skillman, said she sees the change in him.

“This has taught him to be more respectful. It’s helped him with anger management,” Skillman said. “It’s just amazing.”

Dani Brown, a 17-year-old, is on Team U.S.A. and is a nine-time national champion. She first showed up in Farris’ gym as a bullied nine-year old.

“I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles and, if I need to, I know I can stand up for others and stand up for myself,” Brown said.

Now, parents are calling on those wanting to make a difference to act by getting involved.

“We just need to come together as a community to help out our young children,” xxxx said.

That’s something Sarge has been doing for a long time – one saved life at a time.