Former world title challenger Martin Murray is backing 'Sting Like a Bee' to change young people's lives in Greater Manchester.
Aimed at tackling anti-social behavior and the knife-crime epidemic, the initiative has set in motion a series of boxing and leadership programme's rolled out at boxing clubs throughout the ten boroughs.
Murray, a British and Commonwealth middleweight champion, is back in training for his next challenge in the ring, but took time out to lend his support for the Maverick Stars initiative.
"Boxing saved my life without a shadow of a doubt," he said. "It's well documented I've been in a lot of trouble in the past and when I've looked back at those episodes in my life, the only time I was in trouble was when I wasn't boxing; when I was out of the gym.
"A boxing gym demands respect and I think boxing is a good way for kids to control aggression."
Along with his role model status as a champion fighter, Martin qualified as a youth worker ten years ago in order to help troubled young people in St Helen's.
"A few years ago I was working a lot with the council but I had to put it to one side to focus on my [boxing] career. It's something I've always hoped I'd go back to and catch up with. I'm looking to help out in any way I can with this charity and in boxing gyms in the future."
After a professional boxing career lasting 12 years, Martin is due to fight again on November 15 with a view to having one last 'big' fight sometime next year.