A local boxer fights alcoholism and wins

Posted at 5:06 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-28 23:24:53-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - For Reggie Barnett, Jr., it's a constant fight. Inside the ropes, he's dodging opponents. Outside, he's fighting his past. He battled alcoholism, an issue that eventually landed him behind bars.

"I struggled with alcoholism for years, I just was so down and out that I decided that before I got locked up, that I needed to do something," Reggie Jr. said,

But just like a boxers mentality, he got knocked down, and got back up.

"I did do some time, which took away from this and what I loved to do. I took those tools when I got out and made myself better."

Him and his father Reggie Barnett, Sr. weren't always on the same accord, but Reggie Sr. built this gym to save him.

"If you throw my spiraling out of control as a person into it, we weren't really really close," Reggie Jr. said.

His father has always been old school. "On the opposite side of the ropes it was a tough journey...getting him to understand and listen that these are things you have to go by," Reggie Sr. said.

He trains with his father everyday, and after years of taking beatings and giving them, his life is better because of it.

"We still bump heads now and then, but what I don't see, my father sees."

Reggie Jr.'s main focus is helping young boxers avoid the path he went down.