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Stateside Podcast: Backyard boxing in the U.P.

Backyard Boxing
Courtesy of John Carlisle
Fight Club 2K21 founder Tyler Mays throws a punch at opponent Ceej Joseph during a match on July 30, 2022 in Menominee, Mich.

A backyard boxing club in Menominee — a small town in the Upper Peninsula — is drawing local crowds.

"It started with two guys who had a drunken beef one night, and then they ordered boxing gloves," said Detroit Free Press reporter John Carlisle. "People got so excited by that one fight that they thought, let's keep doing this."

What started as some local entertainment, has evolved into a community support network. In an area where drug use is rampant and there are few jobs, the boxing club provides an alternative.

"They could have just made it this drunken fistfight fest.," said Carlisle. "And instead they encourage each other and say, let's go work out. Let's both quit smoking together. Let's all quit drinking. It's become very self aware that it's a good deed."

Hear the story on the Stateside Podcast.


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Music in this episode by Blue Dot Sessions.

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Rachel Ishikawa joined Michigan Radio in 2020 as a podcast producer. She produced Kids These Days, a limited-run series that launched in the Summer of 2020.