Ernie Haines Jr. is one of the hardest working athletes his father has ever coached. For the past six years, the two have spent hours in the ring practicing every day, and Haines Jr., is a premiere fighter.
Haines decided to teach his son how to box because he was a victim of bullying.
“It kind of angered me, and you have mixed emotions when your children come home hurt, crying,” Haines said.
Haines and his friends at Certified Ryder Motorcycle Club decided to form a self-defense class for their children to protect them from bullying. “We wanted to do something to help the community,” Haines said. “So we figured, why not teach the children how to defend themselves?”
The youth enjoyed Haines’ coaching and the sport of boxing so much that he turned the class into a full-fledged boxing organization, Team Certified Sports, located at 1531 W. Vliet St.
“Children, they grow up so fast,” Haines said. “They started out as amateur boxers, but as they became young adults they turned professional; and I just went right along with them.”
Haines still teaches youth boxers but he mostly works with the professionals. His partner, Thomas Moreland, coaches the youth. Moreland compared Team Certified to a baseball organization. “The youth have to work their way up to the big leagues just as a baseball player does in the minor leagues,” he said. “Once Ernie and I determine that a kid is ready to turn pro and they’ve been through enough amateur fights, they can make the leap to professional status.”
Akeem Black, 22, has been boxing since he was 16, and credits Haines for getting him out of a rut in his life. “I ended up hanging with the wrong crowd and I found myself in a juvenile detention center for about four months,” Black said. “Once I got out, they got me a mentor and asked me what I liked to do; I told [Haines] I want to box and ever since then I’ve been putting in the hardest work of my life.”
Haines and his team have one goal in mind: to win championships.
Team Certified currently has two undefeated fighters (Akeem Black and Jose Rodriguez) and is bringing nationally televised boxing to Wisconsin for the first time in May, according to Haines.
“It’s going to be a four-fight deal and the event is going to be held in Green Bay,” Haines said. “I’m pretty happy about it and I see our guys doing really well come competition day.”