Founder of Kensington boxing ministry watches protege make debut at The Met

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Kensington man who runs a boxing ministry will be ringside this weekend, helping his young protege in his first professional fight.  Every day, nearly 75 young people, mostly boys, walk the gauntlet of addicts under the El on Kensington Avenue to get to Rock Ministries, a boxing-centric sanctuary that Buddy Osborn opened 15 years ago.   

Osborn served five years in prison for racketeering before finding God and dedicating his life to helping youths. The two-time Golden Gloves champion also became an ordained minister. 

"Boxing is the ministry," he explained. Rock Ministries offers 26 rooms, each with a different purpose for the community. "We have grappling, boxing. We have homework club, music, art, rappelling."

It's all free — with one string attached.

"What we'll do at 6 o'clock on Tuesday, we'll stop and have a prayer for five minutes. Then on Thursday, we have a Bible study," he said.

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Since Rock Ministries opened 15 years ago, Osborn said they have helped 10,000 kids.

The ministry has been a life-changer for 20-year-old Tyhler Williams, who will make his professional boxing debut Saturday night at The Met in North Philadelphia.

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Williams looks up to Osborn as "an example of what hard work can do no matter where you live. No matter where you're at, especially in this area."