With his bible on the ledge beside him, Siyakudumisa Vapi, a licensed boxer hoping to make it as a professional, relaxes on his bed in a curtained-off space in the basement of the Hillbrow Boxing Club in Johannesburg. Vapi is training for a fight against the third-ranked fighter in the national featherweight division; if he wins it wil bring him closer to his objective of challenging for the national title, and being able to make a decent living from boxing. Vapi believes boxing pulled him away from the streets and bad company, and gave him discipline. Hillbrow, in downtown Johannesburg, is the city's most notorious neighbourhood. It is overcrowded, ridden with illegal squats and suffers from high levels of crime much of which is related the thriving illicit drug trade. Against this backdrop, George Khosi's story is not atypical. A childhood spent on the streets, where he survived by committing petty crime and hustling, led to imprisonment at the age of 16. Because he was big and looked older than his age this incarceration was in an adult institution. Here he began to fight since, as he says 'they wanted to make me a woman and I didn't want to be a woman.' When he got out, he took up boxing in earnest. His prospects as a professional boxer looked bright until he was shot and left for dead during a burglary. He lost his right eye and now walks with a limp. His boxing career seemed over but George picked up his gloves again, this time to teach Hillbrow's youngsters. His gym became a place of hope and discipline for local youth, keeping them of the streets and even producing some national champions.