This film tells its story simply and well. Three youths from New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood attempt to use boxing as a way to get out of the frustration and hopelessness of the inner city. Along the way, they must confront both themselves and forces beyond their control.
Noel is a young boy who tries to replace his life of petty crime with one of boxing, yet his commitment constantly wavers. George is a rising talent, and looks to have a promising career in the sport, if only he survives the shark-like profiteers who constantly circle just outside of the ring. Tyrene dreams of boxing success that will lift her from the ghetto, but is dragged down by a boozing, crack-smoking uncle. Their trainer, Harry, provides quiet momentum to their ambition, and is himself a man with a criminal past who has struggled to rise above his mistakes.
Their stories paint a portrait that via metaphor widens to encompass the struggles faced by everyone who dreams the dream of a better life.