How a father of 12 grew a boxing community out of his garage

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Saturday, January 21, 2023
How a father of 12 grew a boxing community out of his garage
Maliq Harris recently expanded to become a father figure to even more kids in his Montgomery County community.

COLMAR, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "I'm the kind of child that needed a father. I needed that guidance," said Maliq Harris. "My mother tried very, very hard. But I was just one of them kids that just wanted what everyone else had, which was a dad."

Harris' dad was largely absent from his life. But Harris' kids can't say the same about him. He and his wife have a combined total of 12 children, seven of which were adopted out of the foster system.

"But I have a whole community of children," said Harris "I train a bunch of children."

Harris founded King's Corner Boxing out of his own house. It started in the driveway and moved into the garage, where he was accustomed to inviting dozens of children per week.

But it grew to a point where he couldn't accept any more students.

That's why, a few weeks ago, Harris participated in the grand opening of a much larger space to grow his mission.

The new gym is part of Level 40 Performance Center, which opened an additional facility in the back of 252 North Bethlehem Pike, Colmar, Pennsylvania. In addition to housing King's Corner Boxing, the multi-purpose space will be home to sport and exercise programs.

"Here, the magnitude of the people we can reach is unbelievable," said Harris.

One of those people is 13-year-old Ava Conley, who has been managing an immune-deficiency disease since she was 8 years old.

"Before boxing, I always, like, buried my feelings because I didn't want them to like, overflow on top of someone," she said. "Boxing gets rid of, like, my anxiety, like, stress and all. This is like my form of therapy."

Another student is 18-year-old Ben Dawson, who joined just about half-a-year ago.

"A while back, I was very weak. I couldn't compare myself with the rest of the kids. And I decided to give it a shot," he said. "And now, I feel very proud of myself for doing something I was unfamiliar with."

With roughly 39 classes to choose from, King's Corner Boxing is positioned to grow into the next phase of Maliq Harris' ever-expanding mission to build confidence.

"I have a vision. And I've had this vision for the last 10 years," said Harris. "And just seeing that it's impacting people is no better feeling."

To learn more about King's Corner Boxing and Level 40 Performance Center, visit their websites.

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