Recovering addicts take their fight to the boxing ring

The latest incarnation of Drake’s Downtown Gym’s popular knockout boxing events will feature local people overcoming addiction.

The Fighting Chance Boxing event will be held Nov. 10 and benefit Joshua Recovery Ministries, a faith-based group that sponsors sober living homes.

Not all the fighters have had problems with addiction, but many have, including some who have lived in one of the Joshua Recovery Ministries homes.

RELATED: Joshua Recovery Ministries house opens in Troy

The fighters have been training at Drake’s for weeks; the event, they say, gives them a chance to give something back to the recovery community.

“Where I was at five years ago to where I’m at today is a truly miraculous thing,” said Mike Asher, who spent years living in homeless shelters and under a bridge before getting into recovery in July 2013. “It just blows my mind” to compete in the event. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity.”

Another fighter, Parker Wanless from Waynesville, said his journey into addiction began with alcohol and marijuana when he was about 18. Eventually he was introduced to opiate pain pills and landed in the MonDay Community Correctional Institution following a criminal conviction.

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He credits Joshua Recovery Ministries, where he went to live after his release from the MonDay program, for the 20 months he’s been in recovery.

“You get motivated in jail, when you’re locked up, to stay sober,” he said. “But when you get out, a month goes by and then you eventually somehow slip back to your old ways.”

A clinician at MonDay told him about Joshua Recovery Ministries. Now exercise is his “new drug,” he said, and he’s been training at Drake’s for four months.

“I’m very proud,” Wanless said. “I made my family proud.”

RELATED: New challenge for recovering addicts: Finding a job

Fighting Chance Boxing event is being held at the Corpus Christi Gymnasium, 527 Forest Ave. in Dayton, starting at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $16 and are available online by searching for Fighting Chance Boxing on Facebook. They can also be purchased at Drake's Downtown Gym, 111 E. 5th St. in Dayton.

Hear more from the boxers:


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The Dayton Daily News has assembled a team to seek solutions to some of the region’s most pressing problems, including the addiction crisis. For past stories from the team, go to

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