DBE Stars Help Out In Community; Malignaggi to Throw Out First Pitch

(July 23, 2009) World Boxing Council Welterweight Champion Andre Berto has always relied on his heart to give him an extra edge over opponents inside the boxing ring. Now he’s using his heart to make a difference outside the ring. On Friday, July 24th, Berto (25-0, 19 KOs) will appear at the Citrus Center Boys & Girls Club in his hometown of Winter Haven, Florida with a check for $10,000 and a special message for the youngsters who use the club as a way to keep themselves off the streets, much the way he did growing up..

Berto will give what is known as a Pride Talk, the same kind of motivational speech he listened to during his days at the Boys & Girl Club. It’s his hope that his words have the same impact on the kids at the Club that the speeches he listened to had on him.

"The Boys and Girls Club was like a second home for me as a kid. I want these kids to see that if they work hard enough, they can make their own dreams come true, just like I have," said Berto. "I have been blessed through boxing and I want to share some of my blessings with the Boys and Girls Club and Polk County."

Berto’s speech, along with the presentation of his donation, will begin at 1pm. The Citrus Center Boys & Girls Club is located at 2400 Havendale Blvd., NW in Winter Haven.

For just one night Paulie Malignaggi will take some time off from boxing to try his hand at another sport. Malignaggi will celebrate Italian Heritage Night at Keyspan Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, on Monday, July 27, by throwing out the game’s ceremonial first pitch.

That night the Cyclones, single A affiliate of the New York Mets, will be taking on the Aberdeen IronBirds (Orioles). The game starts at 7pm and tickets are priced from $8 to $15.

It will be a brief respite from training for Malignaggi (26-2, 5 KOs) who is preparing vigorously for his August 22nd bout with Juan Diaz in Houston. Malignaggi vs. Diaz will headline a special three fight edition of HBO’s Boxing After Dark.

As Yusaf Mack awaits his next move in boxing, he took time out last week to spend time with some very special people in the place he calls home, Philadelphia.

For Mack (28-2-2, 17 KOs), the day began by visiting the West Philadelphia branch of Education Works, a facility that uses the power of learning to help children and families in low income neighborhoods. While there, Yusaf has the opportunity to speak with a group of kids, and show them a real life example of someone who can find success with the proper determination and focus.

“It’s great to talk to these kids and they know after seeing me with my belts that if they put their mind to anything they can achieve any goal they set for themselves”, said Mack. “This stop was extra special because these are kids in my own backyard and I hope that I can be an influence for these youngsters. Education Works is a terrific program and over the coming months, I want to visit all seventeen locations.”

Despite the positive influence of his first stop, Yusaf’s day was not yet over. After leaving Education Works, he was off to the Magee Rehabilitation Center, to spend time brightening the days of special needs patients who had caught a bad break.

For Mack, the experience was as significant to him as anyone he met, and it made for an inspirational end to an already rewarding day.

“These people are such an inspiration to me. They are the real fighters,” said Mack. “To see what they have to go through really humbles me and it meant so much to me to be able to visit them and to see how receptive they were to me makes me want to train harder than ever because I want to be a bigger presence to these incredible men and woman and bring back the world Light Heavyweight championship.”

Article posted on 23.07.2009

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