Credit: Knowledge Boxing Center

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. – Yasir Ruffin, a 16-year-old who attends Great Mills High School, has recently won the Washington DC Golden Glove Championship tournament.

Yasir competes in the Junior Division at 125 pounds. His bracket had six other boxers from DC and Baltimore. Yasir was able to fight his way through two very tough competitors to win his division.

“It was an awesome experience,” Yasir told “I really enjoyed the energy from the crowd, and most of all my coaches in my corner for each bout.”

Yasir has been boxing for roughly two years now, but he didn’t know boxing was his calling at first.

“I have always been into martial arts but after going to the boxing gym I discovered I felt more at home there.”

Yasir is a student at Knowledge Boxing Center, a boxing gym in Lexington Park, Maryland.

“Yasir is courageous. We continuously challenge him in the gym,” says Daryl Hinmon, one of Yasir’s coaches. “ After an initial period of consternation, he has stepped up to every challenge we have thrown his way.”

Credit: Knowledge Boxing Center

Courageous he is, as Yasir not only had the will to physically fight his way to glory, but also mentally.

On February 11, Yasir had his first of two fights in the tournament. 

“He had an excellent performance and won the bout convincingly,” said Hinmon.

The following day, his coaches called to check up on him.

“When I talked to Yasir, he said he was good physically, but not so much mentally,” explained Hinmon. “When I asked why, he told me that his Dad had passed away last night after the fight. That was devastating news.”

Knowing Yasir had a fight scheduled for the following week, Coach Hinmon and Coach John Richardson immediately recommended postponing the bout.

But Yasir insisted that he was going to fight.

“After consulting with my partner, Coach John, we both agreed everyone should sleep on it. But Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, Yasir still insisted on fighting that Saturday (Feb. 18th). So, we let him compete,” said Hinmon.

Yasir would win that fight, and win the Golden Gloves Championship.

“Everyone in the gym eventually gets a nickname. We hadn’t given Yasir a name up until that point. But now we call him Yasir ‘Lion Heart’ Ruffin for his courageous act,” Hinmon explained. “We have the utmost respect for this young man for pushing through one of life’s most daunting challenges that most adults have a very hard time managing, the loss of a parent. All respect is due to him and our condolences go out to his family.”

“Yasir is an excellent student that has a thirst for knowledge and asks a lot of questions to ensure he is performing the skills correctly. Yasir is inquisitive in nature, very attentive and loves learning new information,” said Coach Richardson. “As a person, he is polite, humble and shows the utmost respect for his elders and peers. Moreover, Yasir has the heart of a lion, thus the ‘Lion Heart’ gym name he earned during the Golden Gloves. His character is unmatched and he has shown that several times over since I’ve had the pleasure of coaching him.”

To see the amazing talent such as Yasir that Knowledge Boxing produces and trains, you can check out their local shows around the area. Their next Live Boxing show, Southern Maryland Smoke 5, will be at Willows Recreation Center on May 6th.

Credit: Knowledge Boxing Center

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