MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The Middle Georgia Boxing Club is getting kicked out of its home, but the nonprofit organization could be saved by Bibb County leaders.
Bishop Frank Ray founded the boxing club in 1999. He says the owner of the building where they practice and hold matches did not give him a reason why the club has to leave by the end of the year.
When Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation Director Doc Dougherty heard about Ray's problem, he stepped in and suggested starting a boxing program at the Freedom Park Community Center.
During Tuesday morning's committee meetings, commissioners listened to the proposal by Doguherty and Ray. Dougherty says if passed, the county would take over the program.
"We can take the ball now and enhance it, not start the program, not compete with him but actively enhance what he's been doing all these years," Dougherty said.
Ray added it doesn't matter who is in charge, as long as they focus on the kids and help keep them out of trouble.
"What we're trying to do, we're trying to find a way to keep the kids off the street, give them something to do," Ray said.
Doughtery says the new boxing facility would cost $35,000. He adds a boxing program falls into his vision of creating specialty centers that focus on a wide variety of activities.
Commissioner Lonzy Edwards brought up liability and safety concerns, but Doughtery says anyone using the facility would have to get permission from their doctor first, like students have to fill out forms before participating in school-related sports. He adds the program will follow national amateur boxing safety guidelines, which require boxers to wear protective gear.
The proposal would also include conditioning equipment.
The full board is expected to vote on the new program during Tuesday night's commissioner's meeting.