Local rapper urges community to use 'fists not guns'

Local rapper urges "fists not guns"

For years, the battle cry from Memphis community leader Frank Gotti has been "put the guns down and fight like a man."

Tuesday, a group of people did just that gathering to settle their issues, one on one, with boxing gloves.

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The group's leader told us it is a way for some to settle scores in a non- lethal way.

FOX13 found out the city is ready to "KO" the idea before someone gets hurt.

On first sight, it looks like a street fight seconds away from escalating, but the video shot Tuesday night in Memphis, is of people boxing each other.

No guns, no bullets. Just gloves. It was the brainchild of local rapper YP Hoodrich.

"I tell him like we're going to be a gentleman today. It's a gentleman’s game. You lose some, you win some. If you lose today, you still going to be brothers. We're going to love each other. It's just a friendly hand thing," said Hoodrich.

YP Hoodrich has held several of these events around the city with the sole purpose of keeping the kids off of the streets, and settling their "beefs" one on one by boxing.

Community leader Frank Gotti is also involved.

"The police been bothering us steady trying to break us up. And we're just trying to come together save some lives that's all we're doing," said Gotti.

FOX13 reached out to the city for a comment. Ursula Madden, the city's Chief Communications Officer told us via email: "Neither the Memphis Police Department nor the City of Memphis has sanctioned our parks to be used as a staging area for rival gangs to fight." 

She also mentioned the Memphis Police Boxing Gym as an excellent alternative for those interested in learning how to box competitively.

"Then tell them to pick us up then. They act like everyone can make it all the way out there to wherever they're saying it is. Why can't they put in a neighborhood where stuff is going on then," said Gotti.

The group said they have seen gang members who have once tried to kill each other with guns and settle their differences in this very format.

They said a loss while boxing definitely outweighs a loss in the streets.

"If you take a loss, you're still going to be right here tomorrow. No matter how bad your eye might look or whatever. And you're still going to be right here tomorrow,” said Hoodrich.

Over 110,000 people watched Tuesday's matches on Facebook Live.

The group told us, they have received messages from people in California and Japan.

They also said the only thing that has been hurt during these boxing matches are just a few egos.