LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Boxing champion Evander Holyfield is getting the attention from a group of Louisville teenagers by tackling an issue affecting the entire city—crime.
"You don't choose your community. You don't choose your parents and if you're fortunate, someone gives you a helping hand," Holyfield explained to WHAS11.
Holyfield's helping hand came at age eight when he became involved in a Boys Club which introduced to mentors that eventually lead him to boxing. "I grew up around a lot of bad talk and no schooling and all that," he said.
Holyfield's success came, he says, from his parents and teachers - the people he calls his role models. It's that message he wanted to share and the reason Louisville Central Community Centers invited him to speak. "Mr. Holyfield's visit is timely in that it will bring greater awareness to the issues and concerns that our young people are faced with in our community," LCCC Chief Executive Officer Kevin Fields said.
Of the 33 open homicides this year in Louisville, 19 of the victims are 30 years old or younger. It's a reality not lost on Logan Robinson. "It's sad to hear stuff like that happen in the community so often," Robinson said.
He's spearheading an upcoming youth summit to address ways to keep violence and police from showing up in neighborhoods. He hopes Holyfield will help be the answer the city needs. "He's a very big name so he can help draw eyes to this issue," Robinson said.
As for the champ, sharing his stories may inspire others to be proactive and not reactive in reaching out for help. "I wouldn't be who I am and my kids wouldn't be who they are if no one helped me," Holyfield said.
The youth summit is scheduled for Friday, July 21, from 9 to 12:30 pm at the LCCC location on West Muhammad Ali Blvd.