MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami leaders are hoping the sweet science of boxing may be able to keep local kids away from criminal activity.

The gym offers kids a safe place to interact with police officers in a positive environment.   The gym first opened in the West Grove in the 1980’s but closed seven years ago.  The building at3686 Grand Avenuestood vacant until now.

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Miami City leaders promise the center will be more than just a place for kids to play. “They can come here,  they can practice boxing they can practice their homework,  they can exercise they stay out of trouble” said police Chief Manuel Orosa.

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Cornelious Drane, a former boxer and former police officer, says kids like his will benefit from the center, just like they did in back in the 80’s and 90’s.  “There are people that have become good citizens that were on a negative track before getting involved in the boxing program and then they turned around,” he said, adding, “They turned their life around they started becoming more productive and I think we can do the same for this generation coming up.”

World champion “El Ciclon” Gamboa, who became a champion at this gym will help train a new generation of kids and help raise money for the center. The goal is for the boxing center to pay for itself itself through events and fundraisers.

South Florida has a rich and storied history in boxing. From Angelo Dundee and his most famous boxer Muhammad Ali to many other current fighters, many have spent time in South Florida.

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