The trouble with success is that once you’ve reached great heights, you’re under the impression that you’re untouchable, that your life is going to stay that way forever. However, one source of income is never guaranteed to last a lifetime. This awareness inspired professional boxer, Yahu Blackwell, to delve into other ventures and create Rita’s Italian Ice.
Yahu Blackwell is a Ghanian professional boxer born in Baltimore who competes in the cruiserweight division. He started boxing when he was seven years old and compiled an amateur record of 156 – 28 as a cruiserweight. Blackwell would ultimately win the South Atlantic Championship. In 2009, he made his professional debut but suffered a loss. Blackwell broke his hand after cutting too much weight and reached dangerous dehydration levels after losing thirty pounds in one day.
While it was unfortunate that his debut ended in a loss, Blackwell would later be named the number one contender by the World Boxing Union for the WBU America and WBU Intercontinental title. He would train harder and push himself to improve as a boxer, later earning the WBU novice world champion and a top ten ranking within the organization. He would undergo training with several big-name trainers like Floyd Mayweather Sr., Freddie Roach, Roger Mayweather, and Roberta Jalnaiz.
Since then, Yahu Blackwell became the WBU champion of the world, the WBU champion of America, and the number one contender for the WBC regional championship in the heavyweight division. Over the years, he would earn a net worth of $5 million. The sky was the limit for Blackwell, but Blackwell knew that the money wouldn’t see him throughout retirement. So he pledged that he wouldn’t become another athlete who threw his money away.
Blackwell focused on investing his earnings and evading peer pressure on living life for the moment. He would conduct research and follow the footsteps of other athletes who delved into entrepreneurism. In October 2017, Blackwell would close a franchise deal with world-renowned Rita’s Italian Ice, an American restaurant chain that mainly sold Italian ice, frozen custard, and specialty creations. It is also the leading franchise in the frozen treat industry.
“I don’t only want to become the richest athlete from Baltimore, but also become known for my entrepreneurship and savvy business portfolio,” says Blackwell, “My goal is to earn more outside of the boxing ring than in it.”
With that being said, Blackwell has been involved in the development of a mobile gaming app and is heavily invested in the stock market. However, he is most excited about his ventures with Rita’s Italian Ice as he has a new franchising strategy in mind.
More than anything, Black cares about securing his future so he can continue providing for his family. However, he is also heavily investing in urban communities and creating businesses in areas other boxers refuse to go to. Yahu Blackwell hopes to become the wealthiest athlete from Baltimore and become an icon to the Ehvre people, his tribe.