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Aug. 3—LONDON — At least 75 kids attended a meet-and-greet held Saturday with two-time boxing champion Darrin Van Horn at Loughran's Boxing and Jiu Jitsu in the London Shopping Center.
Van Horn, a Lexington resident since 1986, is a two-time champion and boxed for over 15 years. Van Horn gladly smiled with kids while old footage of his fights played on a television behind him.
Van Horn began boxing at 15 years old, earning the nickname "Schoolboy." He held the IBF Junior Middleweight Champion title at 154 pounds in 1989-90 and later the IBF Super Middle Weight Champion at 168 pounds, starting in 1991.
Kids got free backpacks from Pearl Apparel, a local shop in London from Kendra Smallwood and then got to go take pictures with Van Horn. and after they got to meet Van Horn, kids got to play on a large inflatable out in the parking lot in front of the gym.
Jerry Loughran, who owns the gym and is known as the only Olympic-certified boxing coach in Kentucky, met Van Horn in Lexington 30 years ago while training in the gym at the YMCA but he said it's only in the past 10 years that they have become true friends. In fact, Van Horn came to the opening of Loughran's Boxing in 2018 when he did not have near as much equipment as what is now in the gym.