B&B Boxing Academy is a community-based athletic center that builds body, mind and character.
Expert, caring coaches help members reach goals inside and outside of the ring. Positive, structured activities teach confidence, discipline and healthy habits for a lifetime.
Boxing brothers Terence “Bud” Crawford and Brian “BoMac” McIntyre have shared the same dream for years. Growing up in North Omaha’s hard knock streets, they were determined to make it in the sport they love in order to give back to their community.
After a solid amateur ring career, BoMac turned pro but found his real calling as coach and manager. His prize pupil, Bud, fulfilled the early promise he showed as a youngster. Under the tutelage of BoMac and Midge Minor, Bud became one of America’s best amateur fighters and now has carried his hard work and talent all the way to multiple world professional championships.
Omaha entered the spotlight of the sport after his two rousing WBO lightweight title defenses at the CenturyLink Center. Since then, he has earned multiple titles such as 2014 Fighter of the Year, ESPY “2018 Fighter of the Year”, WBO welterweight world champion, Former WBC super lightweight world champion, Former WBO junior welterweight world champion, Former WBA super lightweight world champion, Former IBF junior welterweight world champion, Former WBO lightweight world champion, Boxing Writers Association of America “2014 Fighter of the Year” and Former NABO lightweight champion.
Reaching the top was never the end of their goal. Their vision has always included opening a gym to serve the youth located in their childhood neighborhood.
B&B Boxing Academy, opened in October of 2013, is a nonprofit dedicated to building the body, mind and character of young people, including at-risk youth in need of positive, structured activities. Team Crawford has expended blood, sweat and tears turning the former garage and storage space into a working gym.
Since the doors first opened, it has been a magnet for young people. Some are there for competitive boxing, others just to get fit. Many kids who come reside in the neighborhood. They walk or ride their bikes. Gang violence is a real threat on what can be mean streets. It reminds Bud and BoMac of when they were young and flocked to the neighborhood CW Boxing Club. It was their refuge from the dangers of those same inner city streets. They want the Academy to serve the same sanctuary role for today’s youth.
“It’s not just all about boxing. We’re trying to teach the kids how to be young women and young men. We’re teaching them to have respect and dignity. We’re teaching life skills. You’ve got to be able to control yourself in the ring as well as outside the ring and boxing is a great way for kids to learn discipline.”
Team Crawford’s coaches and trainers are mentors who care. They teach lessons for life. Having a caring adult to provide direction means the world to young people who may not have that support at home or even if they do still need another guiding hand.
“If they feel like nobody cares than they’re not going to care, but if they feel one person cares then they tend to listen to that person.”
Bud knows from personal experience the difference a gym can make for a young person working out anger issues.
Kids who compete under the B&B banner train as a team, vying for titles and trophies against fighters from other gyms. But you do not have to fight to be a B&B member. Every member receives instruction and mentoring from top-flight coaches and trainers with decades of experience. Every member is exposed to winners and champions.
As B&B expands it will offer tutoring and academic support programs through community and corporate partnerships. A commercial kitchen serving fresh, hot meals for members of the gym and the community is envisioned. The renovated-expanded gym will add showers, a dedicated fitness-weight training room, meeting spaces, a second ring, more punching bags and new workout equipment.
Even as Bud’s career grows ever larger, he pledges to make B&B an ongoing part of his unfolding legacy.
“This is my community, B&B is my gym, so I am in it for the long haul. I’m not in it for the fame or anything like that. I could be anywhere but my heart is with Omaha. We just want to help as many kids as we can. Everything is for the kids.”
His fondest wish is that some young people training at B&B now or in the future will one day take over the Academy. Then they, too, will pay forward what they received to help a new generation of young people. Each one, to teach one…