PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Maleek Jackson spent 10 years behind bars, but that did not stop him from fulfilling his dream — owning his own boxing gym.
When he was released five years ago, and with the help of his mentor, Philadelphia boxing legend Bernard Hopkins, he started the Maleek Jackson Fitness Boxing Gym in Northern Liberties. Jackson began to train with many clients, including CEOs and Philadelphia native Meek Mill.
His inspiration for this gym came from losing three of his brothers while he was in jail. He says being behind bars changed his mindset.
“I owe it to myself to live a fulfilling life,” said Jackson.
Along with his gym, Jackson wrote a book and started the Trust the Process Sponsorship Program. In this program, he trains with children and takes them to colleges, along with providing them role models. He hopes to show them that staying on the “right track” that they can get to where he is.
Jackson is even looking to bring a dog park to the back yard of the gym, which he feels would help bring more clients to train with him.
For Jackson, seeing his clients’ names written on the walls around the gym gives him a sense of purpose.
“These people give me that reassurance that I got your back,” he said.