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Born and raised in East. St. Louis, Illinois, Ritchie “FuFu” Cherry became an amateur boxer at the age of 8 years old due to his experiences of being bullied in elementary school. Where Cherry grew up, boxing had always been the neighborhood recreational sport but there weren’t many who gravitated towards it with passion and sincerity like Ritchie grew to do. What started as a mechanism of defense, overtime became a passion that fueled the pursuit towards a professional career. 

In 2010, Cherry developed an increasing interest in pro boxing after his head coach, Frank Borders passed away.  “After Frank passed away, it pushed me towards a professional career all the more. Me pursuing a professional career became my way of furthering his boxing legacy and making him proud,” said Cherry. From the Judo AC Boxing Club to becoming a contending fighter, Cherry boxed out many competitors from 2010 to 2015. After five years of repetitive blows, bouts, and boxing matches, Cherry decided to hang up his gloves from hurting people and pursued a long-lasting career of helping people. Cherry later graduated from Langston University with his B.S. in Psychology and from Alabama A&M with his Masters in Counseling Psychology. With his great academic success, Cherry employed his education and skills as a professional school counselor. Amidst all of his years of passion and the fight to win, Cherry chose to redirect his fighting efforts to help guide young men and women towards a more promising future.

In the fall of 2018 at Wheatley Elementary, Cherry’s talents and heart of ambition quickly collided with a part of his life’s destiny. While in his office one day, a teacher found her way inside to speak with him about the frustration and stress she was experiencing between her and a student she struggled to help get on track. As he sat listening to her, he was reminded of how boxing helped him to release various emotions while growing up, so he offered her an opportunity to do the same. He extended this teacher a free pass to box-out her stress on a punching bag he had in his office and it was during that time, he stated to her, “you have to release the inner YOU.” After that session, she sought his expertise more frequently and he continued to motivate and coach her periodically towards her own personal victory. Feeling triumphant and with a more optimistic perspective, she said to him, “I need this outlet more often”. 


And so it began. 


Ritchie Cherry Sr. is the proud father to his son, RJ, to whom he attributes much of his accomplishments and success.

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