PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A bright light shines, on an otherwise dark Philadelphia neighborhood.
"You explore the neighborhood, you will see the drugs and the addicts around here. It is just run down. It is just a neighborhood that is in poverty," Manny Folly explained.
"I had Manny since he was 13 years old," Manny's trainer Buddy Osborn explained, "You might have 10 kids come to the gym and they will start out and before you know it you are down to one."
At 122 lbs. lightweight Manny Folly is the one kid, who stayed behind.
"It went from fighting in the street as a four year old kid to putting on boxing gloves with kids in the neighborhood," Manny explained.
The Rock Ministries gym has become his second home, and trainer Buddy Osborn is helping him train for his upcoming fight.
"He has strong fortitude a strong character, good work ethic and that all goes into what you need to be a champion," Osborn explained.
For Manny to become a boxing champion, he must overcome adversity. Talking him through it, was his oldest brother Erving.
"I said how far do you think I can go in boxing. He said 'man you can go as far as you allow yourself to go.' I think that will always stick with me for my career. That is the reason I go a hard as I do in the gym," Manny said.
The week before his first professional fight. Manny’s brother Erving was killed.
"You see the caution tape. You see all the police out there. I remember I could see my brother’s foot hanging out of the door. That hit me hard. I just couldn’t bear loosing someone that close to me," Manny explained.
Against the advice of others, Manny decided to go on with the fight.
"I walked out of my dressing room and I see my brothers and I see my fans but I don’t see my oldest brother there. That hit me harder that any punch ever could," Manny explained.
In memory of his brother, he now wears his Nickname “NEAK” on his boxing trunks during fights.
Manny is now giving back to the community that helped him through his darkest time, and doing so as a member of the Philadelphia Police Department.
"I just want the kids to know that just because you come from an area and you see certain things, that doesn’t mean you have to adapt to that type of lifestyle you have a choice," Manny said.