'Jab not stab': Boxing champ Tyson Fury lends his weight to a new drive to keep kids away from gangs

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

Boxing has offered a way to deal with, and move on from, tough starts in life for generations.

In a time when knife crime and gang violence are so common, two of its biggest names, Tyson Fury and Chris Eubank Junior have been lending their support to a scheme to help youngsters stay away from gang life.

Former world champ Fury has spoken of how boxing has instilled discipline and respect and has encouraged youngsters of how to use boxing as a way to channel their feelings.

He said: "I've seen the toughest gangsters and that going to the gym and when they get punched in the face, they turn into children and, boxing doesn't teach you to fight, it teaches you respect, manners."

Fury added: "It teaches you to be a man, to be a woman... it's very important in today's culture as not only are we going to learn how to protect ourselves but it teaches us how to conduct ourselves."

The 'Gypsy King' is looking for a rematch against US WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder following an extraordinary draw in their fight last December.

He continued: "Life's an experience and if we can make it better by helping each other and not getting involved in crime and spending your life in prison, who wants to go to prison and spend their life in prison?"

Allis Luxford, who's 15-years-old, trains at the centre on a weekly basis and says boxing has "changed his life".

"The coaches are your friends, the whole gym just has that, I can't explain it, it's so amazing," he said.

Fifteen-year-old Allis Luxford said boxing has transformed his life. Credit: ITV News

He continued: "They just want us to change our lives around and be better people.

"Before I started boxing, I used to have a really bad temper, I used to say a lot of rubbish and since I've started here I've learnt to manage my anger and it's just taught me so much being here and now I feel so blessed...and you can get along with bare people."

WBC Cares was set up by the World Boxing Council (WBC) to enable boxing to give back to the society.

They've set up a 12-week programme which teaches the core values of respect, courage, integrity and happiness in the face of diversity.

The boxing gyms offers youngsters a safe place to go and are offered support with anger management, self-confidence and self-esteem.