WBU Boxing Champion Yahu “Rock” Blackwell puts his fans in the boxing ring with his new gaming app ‘The People’s Champ’ set to release in August.
“You have so many people that’s fascinated with the sport, but never got a chance to actually do it,” Blackwell said. “They can play the People’s Champ and actually have a taste of what it is to be a fighter.”
The boxing game will place users against other users with chances to win tournaments and earn cash prizes, according to his co-manager Andrew Gilliam.
“I like the fact that during the multi-player mode, that fighters from all over the world will be able to compete with each other,” Blackwell said. “I think a lot of people is gonna have a lot of fun with it.”
Fans can play on either amateur mode or professional mode and Blackwell makes a cameo appearance in the game. He is also featured in the artwork for “The People’s Champ.”
The game begins after the user’s character saves the son of the boxing sanction commissioner. As a reward, the protagonist is given the chance to become the people’s champ.
“Yahu is also the champion on the amateur mode, which allows people to be able to receive their licensing to go ahead and go into the professional mode of the game,” said Gilliam.
He and Gilliam saw the app as a way to connect a younger audience with boxing and give fans a glimpse of the lifestyle of pro boxers.
“For the past few decades, there’s been great boxing matches and as time went on and things got more modernized and changed, there’s been less and less of those types of matches now,” Gilliam said. “That’s what we’re trying to bring back as far as this mobile application and will bring in the new generation as well as the generation that were already around all of those great fights.”
While creating the app, Blackwell also hosted an essay contest, asking young children who were the heroes in their own lives. He announced the essay contest at the Webster Kendrick Boys and Girls Club in his native Baltimore, MD.
“We’ve been going to the schools and just doing some motivational speaking and just teaching people and children what it means to be a people’s champion,” Blackwell said.
Blackwell came up with an idea of creating a video game while planning his year with Gilliam.
“We were just kind of laying out the blueprint and it just struck,” Blackwell said. “We kinda prayed on it, sat on it, a day or two and we both felt confident about it and we should make a move on it.”
The People’s Champ app will be available in several app stores including for Google Play, Amazon and Apple.
Blackwell competed and excelled in the International Boxing League (IBL). He also trained with the likes of Freddy Roach and Floyd Mayweather Sr..