4:31 PM EST, February 3, 2012
The sport is called the sweet science. And there's no doubt, every boxer would want this particular scientist, on their sideline.
You could say boxing, is in Victor Banks' blood. His uncles were well known in the ring in the 70's. One helped start what's known today around Roanoke as Champs Gym. But Banks has taken a bit of a different role. He is more of the brains behind the gym, focusing beyond the trophies, beyond the titles.
"The kids of the community just need somewhere to go, especially in this Melrose community," says Victor Banks.
For him, it's all about giving kids a fighting chance. It's why he volunteers his time and in many cases he gives his money.
"Oh yea, he's got a big heart like a grapefruit," says James Cabbler, a volunteer trainer at the gym and Banks' uncle.
Monte Dunnaville started boxing seven years ago. It's Banks who's helped show him the sport, is a lot like life.
"Just like in life, you're going to be down sometimes. Just try to keep your head up and keep going on," says Dunnaville.
Zach Casey is two weeks into his training but he's already seen a difference.
"I think mentally it has all around helped me focus in classes. It sort of gives you a pathway to paying attention," says Casey.
Getting kids to pay attention and to realize they have options, is what led Banks to co-found the Melrose Athletic Club. It's an extension of the gym, but with greater appeal and longevity.
"By making it a non-profit, hopefully that'll give us more revenue to keep this going," says Banks.
So far this scientist seems to have found a formula that works. The proof, speaks for itself.
"He's a good man. He gave me a chance," says Dunnaville.
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