Larry Bright has made it his mission to give back to North Alabama.
The military veteran moved to Huntsville years ago, but has already turned around dozens of his students lives. Bright works full-time on Redstone Arsenal and ends his day at his boxing gym, Rocket City Rocks. His gym, which can be found off Governor’s Drive, has been pumping out national champion boxers for almost 14 years.
“We’ve had about 8 National Champions, and we have two more going again this year,” he said.
But before Rocket City Rocks Boxing, it was just Bright in search of something more. That’s when he stumbled upon Cain Graves in a fitness gym in Harvest, Ala.
“He came in inquiring about who was running practice and when I told him it was me, he realized he had the green light to step in since he had a lot of boxing experience and coaching experience,” Graves said.
From there, Bright and Graves went on to train together as an athlete and a coach. The two were joined by another young boxer, Allen “Snoop” Martin. Both athletes would go on to win Golden Glove titles. The path to that success didn’t come easy though. Bright says his initial boxing program never took off.
“I broke down in the middle of the gym on my knees and I cried and prayed, but I found a new strength and here we are. It’s a good thing we didn’t give up.”
Bright spent several years boxing during his time in the military. That passion grew into his desire to coach the sport himself, and that he did.
“Anyone who knows me or has known me, knows I love boxing,” he said.
After Bright’s boxing flop, the three men would come together to open their own gym, Rocket City Rocks. The group of three later expanded to a group of six, all with the same motive: To give back to the community.
“This is what really got my attention and kept me here. Because of what he and this organization stands for,” said assistant coach Milton Jackson.
The gym does more than take in troubled teens though. Group classes are taught every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday free of charge. Bright says he doesn’t believe in charging those who also give back to the community, like veterans, first responders and educators.
Rocket City Rocks relies on donations to stay running. It’s all in accordance with Bright’s motto of giving back. The club accepts all donations at their facility on Governor’s Drive, however they do have plans of moving to a new facility in the future.
For more information on Rocket City Rocks Boxing call (256) 874-3365 or visit their facebook page.