By Jose E. Santiago
Former two-time cruiserweight titleholder turned boxing promoter Yahya McClain (23-7-2 16KO) returns to the ring on November 13, 2009. McClain, 42-year-old owner of Absoloot Boxing and Fitness Gym in Atlanta, twice held the WBU cruiserweight championship over a decade ago. Since then McClain has gone on to be a successful boxing trainer and promoter. Known recently for his work in leading his ex-wife Laila Ali to boxing stardom as her manager and trainer, McClain now feels he can make a dent in the cruiserweight division and recapture a title. Although he hasn’t had a fight in over 10 years, McClain feels that he still has the strength and skills to be a champion.
McClain stated, “Ten years later I feel ten years greater.” McClain has been preparing for this match up and officially started training on October 1st.
Along with Georgia politician Vernon Jones, McClain has announced his support and dedication to the “Gloves not Guns” campaign.; a cause launched after the untimely death of boxing champion and long time friend, Vernon Forrest,. The cause is dear to McClain who also lost his father at a young age to gun violence. “Gloves Not Guns” campaign is a national effort by the USA Boxing Association in collaboration with local police and recreation departments in various cities. The objective of the “Gloves Not Guns” program is to attract and involve more young people in the sport of Amateur Boxing and provide positive choices for youth, which will then have a positive effect on the community. The program seeks to change the lives of participants and youth for the better.