GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Boxing is called the sweet science. But for Vincent Jennings, boxing was the way he made sure he didn't take to the streets. And he found a reluctant mentor who then found his own voice.
Growing up in Grand Rapids on Eastern Avenue wasn't easy for Jennings. Faced with family illness and mounting bills, he was headed toward the streets.
" I felt like I had to support in some kind of way so that's when I got more involved in the streets," he said.
With three kids of his own, he decided it was time to get his feet off the streets and on the canvas.
Shannon Sawyer saw Jennings had a natural gift for boxing but he lacked a role model. But being a mentor was not what he had in mind.
"From the begining, I saw a kid who loves boxing but still had trouble outside of boxing," Sawyer told 24 Hour News 8.
Countless hours of practice, drills and workouts helped Jennings develop the skill that allowed him to turn pro. Sawyer found his footing in the form of rewards he had not anticipated.
In this corner -- Vincent Jennings aspiring champ and running wild no more. In this corner -- Shannon Sawyer, a reluctant mentor who now believes those duties are the responsibility of all.
"You owe it to your community," Sawyer said. "I mean that's where you came from. Just like you have been fed, you have to feed."
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
Police say snow made roads "treacherous" Sunday and urged people to stay home if possible.