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Black-owned businesses leave a lasting impact on the Doraville community

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Marty Hill was honored by the City of Doraville in recognition of his business’ staying power during the pandemic.

DORAVILLE, GA — After growing up in a family that frequently followed sports greats like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, Marty P. Hill decided to take up boxing in his late twenties. He started getting involved in the sport in his mid-30s and eventually took the leap to open his own boxing gym in 2009. He called his Sweet Science Boxing Club at Venture.

“Sweet science is probably a term that was dubbed around the 1800s,” Hill said. “There’s science behind the sport of boxing: where to punch, how to punch, fitness and mechanics. .People don’t understand that one cause has one effect and one effect has another effect, that’s why we call it sweet science.

As an owner, operator, head trainer and coach, Hill started his business during the Great Recession of 2009 and focused on working with white-collar professionals to deliver a ‘rocky’ experience. Over time, Hill turned to fitness offering his boxing and training kids, amateurs and professionals on the competitive arena. Hill is also a professional boxing promoter.

“I love the sport of boxing. It affects the mind as well as the body,” Hill said. “I think it’s the ultimate chess game. I teach my clients, kids and professionals that what happens in the boxing ring translates into real life.”

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During the pandemic when lockdowns began, Hill had to reorient its business strategy. More than 40% of his black-owned businesses closed early in the 2020 pandemic, according to U.S. Census data. Mr. Hill was determined to do whatever was necessary to keep the business open. He said that as the owner of a minority business he needed conviction, tough skins and mentors to get through the tough times.

“I still go into business alone every day, shoot virtual workout videos, and create videos for social media to keep my clients at home active, healthy, and doing something. ,” said Hill. I went after other customers probably harder than before to make sure I keep, verify and keep my current customers.

The city of Doraville issued a proclamation last month honoring Hill’s business continuity during National Black Business Month.

RELATED: Atlanta’s State Farm Arena hosts top teen boxing prospects at ESPN fights.

Joan Servin will one day turn pro. The 13-year-old has become faster and more confident since he started boxing, he said.

“Waycoach [Hill] Making us work hard, he teaches us a lot.

Evelyn Servin uses Sweet Science to vent her anger. The 16-year-old was able to expedite her graduation thanks to her boxing class, which she believes is personally supporting her family during difficult times.

“It’s like family, so I’ve improved myself a lot,” Evelyn said.

Tanaesja Milligan recently won the USA Boxing Elite National Championship. Three years ago, Milligan launched his career with Sweet Science. She continues to teach aspiring boxers how to stay balanced, dedicated, and passionate.

“A coach is real. For me, I needed someone who was going to be real with me. I knew he would push me,” Milligan said. As you set your mind on it, you keep trying and working on it. You will be able to do things you never thought possible. ”

Hill said he keeps his business open because of his passion and love for what he does, as well as seeing people change and achieve their goals.

“We watch them gain personality and become tougher and more confident,” Hill said. Are they already rocks, or are they granite like Stone Mountain? And you’re carving out a particular piece of that granite and turning it into a beautiful statue.”

Hill said boxing is like an artform in itself.

“It’s like Jackson Pollack or Leonardo da Vinci,” he said. There is none.”