Photos: Lucy Laney hosts its first boxing tournament

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Nine-year-old Steve Amos Jr. fights 9-year-old Stanley Torres.
Nine-year-old Steve Amos Jr. fights 9-year-old Stanley Torres on Saturday at Lucy Laney Elementary in Minneapolis. All of the Junior Olympic and amateur boxers are required to wear protective headgear.
Evan Frost | MPR News

Fighting is not encouraged at Lucy Laney Elementary School in Minneapolis, but for one day this weekend it was allowed. Morgan McDonald, the school's dean of behavior, organized and hosted a Junior Olympics boxing tournament Saturday in the gymnasium.

He started the Lucy Laney Boxing Academy as an after-school program to help kids get exercise, learn discipline and to share his passion for the sport.

The academy grew out of a punching bag in McDonald's office as a way to resolve conflicts and give students an outlet to blow off steam.

On Saturday, the academy had four fighters enter the ring, facing off with other junior boxers from around Minnesota and Wisconsin. McDonald's son, Morgan McDonald Jr., closed out the day with a win for the team.

Friends, family, school staff and students all came out to watch the bouts. Principal Mauri Friestleben couldn't bring herself to watch the fights but she supports McDonald and the academy. At the end of the day, McDonald called her into the ring and gave her a special award — the "Our Michelle Obama" award.

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