Ringside, previously The Punch, tells the story of a fateful relationship of a father and his son and their shared fragile dream. It is a tale of failure and hope – and what it means to live with dignity.
Coach Sims sacrifices everything for one goal: to make his 17 year old son Kenny a boxing champion and thus break the vicious circle of poverty and violence that has held his family back for generations. With Kenny’s first big fight lying ahead, their lives are at a crossroads. It‘s a fight against the odds. But regardless of whether Kenny wins or loses, every hour spent at the boxing gym is one less on the murderous streets of Chicago‘s black ghetto.
Fuller Park, South Chicago, is a black ghetto its own inhabitants call “Murdertown”. Living there means living below the poverty line. Boxing is one of the few opportunities to survive in this misery. Fuller Park Box Gym is an island of safety, where Kenneth Sims is head coach. His son Kenny Jr. is the club‘s biggest hope and about to prepare himself for his biggest fight yet: the Olympic Boxing Trials in Mobile, Alabama. If Kenny wins here, his dream will be within reach: the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Father and son are still at the bottom of a steep mountain. It will be a grinding road full of privations. Kenny subordinates everything else to boxing. It‘s an almost monastic existence. And they are fighting for something bigger: to survive brutal everyday life in the black ghetto, for a life in dignity. They share the same dream – still. But Kenny is still young, half boy, half man.
What will happen if the dream doesn’t come true? What if they will have to realize that a career in professional boxing will never come within reach? Will Kenny continue to submit to the draconic regiment of his father and sacrifice his life to a career in boxing? And will he be strong enough to resist the street?