Rafiullah Yari was the first pro boxer to show up on this day at the Upton Boxing Center in West Baltimore, the same place where Gervonta “Tank” Davis showed up some 21 years ago. Now Davis’ likeness as a world champion hangs throughout — a living patron saint embossed on the heavy bags stationed to take daily beatings in this marvelously austere but deliriously red-painted center that aspires all to train — to train hard, to the breaking point.
Rafi Yari turned to West Baltimore’s Upton gym to realize his dream of boxing in the US. He made good on his chance.
January 5, 2024