Julian Bowman, 13, concentrates as he practices jabbing and punching with a dozen other children in a youth boxing class hosted by the city of Henderson.
Instructor Brandon Harris walks around the room correcting posture and technique before he calls for a water break.
“It helps the kids learn discipline and keeps them from getting into trouble or doing mischievous things,” Harris said. “It teaches them self-confidence and gives them something positive to do all year round.”
Harris is set to teach youth boxing classes from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays Oct. 29 through Dec. 3 for youths ages 10 to 16; 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays Oct. 29 through Dec. 3 for children ages 5 to 9; and 10:15 to 11 a.m. Saturdays Nov. 1 through Dec. 6 for youths ages 10 to 16 at the Henderson Multigenerational Center, 250 S. Green Valley Parkway.
“I teach the children how to protect themselves, but I tell them they should never go out using boxing,” Harris said. “I tell them it’s OK to defend themselves if someone hits them, but they shouldn’t go around looking for fights. That’s not what boxing is for.”
Nicknamed “The Havoc,” the 35-year-old Harris is an undefeated professional boxer.
“I came up with the name myself because I destroy everything that gets in front of me when I’m fighting,” Harris said. “If you haven’t ever seen me fight, you think I’m the nicest guy because I’m always laughing and cracking jokes. But when I fight, it’s a whole different story.”
Born and raised in east Detroit, Harris grew up in the foster care system. He bounced around 13 foster homes before being adopted by a family that “wanted (him) to fail.”