Heavyweight boxer builds strong ties with kids

Roy Jones Jr. with Yathomas Riley at Riley's Boxing Gym. / Jon Benson

Saturday at Riley's Boxing Gym, a boxing legend came by to sign autographs and take pictures with all the fans here in Albany as Roy Jones Jr. was in town to help inspire young kids to get off the streets and into the gym.

"Having Riley's Gym here gives kids something to do and gives them a positive outlook on life" said Jones.

Before turning pro, Jones was a two-time golden glove winner, junior Olympic gold medalist, and received an Olympic medal in the 1988 games. The fighter turned pro in May 1989 and became the first boxer in over a hundred years to start out as a middleweight champion before bumping up to WBA heavyweight and winning that title in his career.

Outside of boxing, he has created music albums, acted in blockbuster movies, and became an HBO boxing analyst.

Today, this renaissance man is not in Albany as a fighter, but someone who is giving back to the community and help grow the popular sport here.

Jones says this " gives the kids inspiration, makes them believe that one day they can be that, (a champion) if they believe it then you have a chance of saving one of them."

Jones adds that he was grateful to be here and glad that Yathomas Riley called him up about the opportunity.