Friday, August 09, 2013

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Luke Dowdney, the founder of Fight for Peace and Luta Sportswear .

Originally from the UK where he was an amateur boxer, Luke Dowdney now lives in a favela in the Rio de Janeiro area in Brazil. In 2000, he founded Fight for Peace, a non-profit organization which supports young people in communities affected by gun crime, violence, and drugs. The organization set up academies in Rio, and later London, to provide youth with training in boxing and many styles of martial arts, as well as education.

Fight for Peace is now an independent NGO, and receives funding from many sources, including Luta Sportswear, also founded by him, which gives half of their profits to Fight for Peace.

The programs supported by Luta Sportswear are expanding to New York, and he was in town this week to start this process and promote the Luta brand. We spoke with him by phone Thursday afternoon.

Why boxing?

"Boxing is something that is so important to teach us about discipline, to teach us about what you put in is what you get out, that whole notion of never quitting," he said.

We also discussed the expansion of the program to include many disciplines in the martial arts including MMA, their working together with local organizations and gyms, their working with boxers including 2012 Olympic super heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, the recent mass protests in Brazil against the massive government spending for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics while the needs of the people are not being met, and much more.

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