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Faith in the ring: Boxers tell their story

“Ring of Faith” is a new documentary that explores the possibility for one to practice their faith while still participating in a tough sport such as boxing. 

Among those featured in the film are former professional boxer, Paulie Malignaggi, and two-time welterweight world champion boxer, Shawn Porter.

According to Craig Tubiolo, the film's producer, exploring the relation between faith and boxing came after observing the amount of boxers who would praise God after a fight. 

Production Director at DeSales Media

“I noticed that after each match they would glorify God and say 'I want to thank God, my Lord, my Savior' right after this brutal match. So I really wanted to explore that and I said, 'You know, how could somebody get into the ring, and get into a fight with somebody and then the first thing to do is thank God?' So I wanted to explore that. I said 'Wait, do they believe this gift they have came from God? If so, is boxing a sin? When does it become a sin?'”

During the making of the documentary, they found many of the boxers they interviewed had faith in God. 

Production Director at DeSales Media

“I would say every boxer I encountered had faith whether it was in Catholicism, Judaism, some were Muslims and Protestant Christians.” “Many of them started off with nothing and they had that sort of 'Dark Night of the Soul,' where they asked for help, or guidance and relied on God. They never forgot that all the way through.”

They also found that despite the roughness in the ring there is a family environment within the boxing gym and fraternity among the fighters. 

Production Director at DeSales Media

“They see past all those differences and they just see their brothers and sisters. So I learned a lot from them. In these gyms coaches are like their father figures.” “When they move on from boxing, whether they apply for a job, become a civil servant, or work for the government, whatever it is the values they learned at such a young age, within that gym, is something that they take for the rest of their lives.”

“Ring of Faith” was produced by DeSales Media Group, a Catholic communications company for the diocese of Brooklyn. They hope the message of this film will reach across religion and culture.