Boxing To Stop Street Violence
Step inside Street Beefs — the fight club you're allowed to talk about. 🥊
Safe space for those without a community
Fighting may not always be solving problems — but for the men and women of Street Beefs, it's become an outlet. The amateur fight club features competitors fighting in unlicensed matches at The Yard — a backyard venue in Harrisburg, VA. Chris Wallace launched the program in 2007 as part of the “Guns Down, Gloves Up,” campaign to end street violence. Wallace considers it a safe space for recovering addicts, formerly incarcerated people, those without a community.
I love this for boxing. I've studied it my whole life. And because I'm different brain wise[…] People won't give me an opportunity, but Street Beefs gave me opportunity. They were like, “Yo, you can box?” like, yeah, let's do it. It's like, OK, then they put me in the cage and I can have fun. Street Beefs is a place where people with disputes can come if talking and everything else not solve it. They can put on gloves and solve it with an MMA match or a boxing match. I've experienced street violence over petty disputes. I've almost died from street violence, but I've known multiple people who have died from not even just street violence. Does violence from disputes. And I think everybody needs an outlet. And this is one more outlet. You know, you can come here and settle it and talk it out. You don't have to fight. You know, it keeps the peace,” Chris Wallace, Founder - Street Beefs tells Brut.
Violent crime has fallen steadily in the U.S. since the 1990s, but has seen upward spikes since 2016 as reported by Pew Research Center. Wallace focuses on a grassroots approach to conflict resolution and promotes boxing as a healthy alternative to street violence. Street Beefs' YouTube channel now has over 1 million followers.