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First of its Kind in the U.S. Pilot Program Will Provide Educational, Mentorship and Career Opportunities

New York, NY (November 21, 2014) – The City University of New York (CUNY), in conjunction with the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC), USA Boxing Metropolitan Association (“Metro”) and Daily News Charities, Inc.,have announced the launch of a pilot program that will provide professional and amateur boxers in New York State educational opportunities in order to help them compete in today’s economic environment. The program, titled “Fight for Your Future,” aims to provide career options outside the squared circle. 

The initiative will allow participants the opportunity to continue their education by either obtaining a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), enrolling in a CUNY undergraduate or graduate program and to be awarded scholarships based on academic merit to help them graduate from a CUNY school. CUNY will administer the program, while NYSAC, USA Boxing Metro and the Daily News will assist in recruiting applicants from the State’s boxing community and help promote the program to their respective communities. Through this exciting new program, which is the first of its kind in the country, boxers will now have educational opportunities available to them that are much like those afforded to athletes in other sports.

“For generations ambitious young people have sought to make a place in the world for themselves through boxing, but too often, without an education, it led to a limited future,” said Allan Dobrin, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer of The City University of New York. “The City University of New York is proud to provide the opportunity for an education that can lead to options for these young people. Fight for Your Future is an innovative partnership of organizations that care about these boxers’ futures and we are delighted to be part of it.”

“The New York Athletic Commission is proud to be part of the ‘Fight for Your Future’ initiative,” said Melvina Lathan, Chairwoman of the New York State Athletic Commission. “This fabulous program will allow our boxers the opportunity to pursue other options while perfecting their craft.   We believe it is vital that we offer this community of athlete’s additional alternatives for success and financial freedom.”

“We are excited about partnering in this bold, new initiative,” said Yvonne Williams, President, USA Boxing Metro.  “Maintaining good grades while pursuing boxing dreams is a winning ‘1-2 combination’ for our athletes and a good education is part of the foundation we wish for all our members. The Fight for Your Future initiative is a huge step in making that foundation a solid one.  The program will open many doors that our members may have otherwise believed were closed to them and we want to thank CUNY and the NYSAC for this amazing opportunity.”

“The New York Daily News Charities Division’s mission is to assist and give hope to those who can possibly benefit,” said Brian Adams, Promotions & Community Affairs Manager, New York Daily News. “Encouraging boxers to pursue a higher education in order to solidify a future is a journey the company is excited to take. Too often, boxers are viewed as merely aggressive people, but now, with a college background, the world can finally start to view them as the intelligent individuals they are.”

“The ‘Fight For Your Future’ program will be very important to boxers seeking opportunities and to be engaged outside of the ring,” said Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson, a light middleweight contender who hails from White Plains, New York.  “Life is a fight, every aspect, every component…we as boxers spend every day training our bodies and must not neglect our minds.”

To qualify for consideration for enrollment, boxers would have to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a resident of New York State
  • Professional boxers must have a valid boxing license or Federal ID issued by the New York State Athletic Commission
  • Must be active in the sport of boxing
  • Amateur boxers must have a valid USA Boxing Passbook registered with Metro Boxing

For more information on CUNY’s “Fight for Your Future” initiative, please contact CUNY Liaison Ed Rhodes at Ed.Rhodes@cunyedu or by phone at 212-417-6373.




Michael Arena (City University of New York) – 646-664-9300

Lazaro Benitez/Edison Alban (New York State Athletic Commission) – 212-417-5803