Professional Boxer Yahu Blackwell Is Pegged to Become the Next WBC Regional Champion while Successfully Growing Franchises of Rita’s Italian Ice
Every athlete experiences moments where they feel invincible and on top of the world, but those highs never last, and they gradually lose their peak form. Because it is the only kind of life they know, some continue to push past their prime. Yahu Blackwell, a professional boxing champion, understands that while he is still a professional pugilist, that he must also invest. He decided to pursue an entrepreneurial career, franchising with Rita’s Italian Ice, among other ventures.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Yahu Blackwell grew up without a father figure, navigating through life under the guidance of his mother, Sandra Blackwell. By seven years old, he took up boxing, where he found solace and an outlet to vent his frustrations. Blackwell would eventually start competing, and he amassed an amateur record of 156-28, winning the south Atlantic championship.
In 2009, Blackwell made his professional debut, but due to cutting too much weight and reaching critical levels of dehydration (154 pounds), he broke his hand and lost the fight. Yahu would later bulk up and compete across the pond as a light heavyweight (175 lbs) in the IBL, winning 15 straight, with 12 by KO. He went on to win a WBU and IBU light heavyweight championship.
With the hardworking ethics he learned throughout his training, Yahu Blackwell struck a franchise deal in 2017 with the restaurant chain Rita’s Italian Ice. Known for selling Italian frozen treats and leading in the frozen treat industry, Rita’s Italian Ice outlets started to spring up throughout Baltimore city, giving Blackwell the reputation of the first boxer in history to own Rita’s Ice franchise. In addition, he received the support of Baltimore’s princess of comedy, Jess Hilarious, who gave him a massive shout-out.
Blackwell opened the first location at 727 W. 40th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211, revealing that he set up the franchise to honor his mother, who passed away six years ago. “Rita’s was the very last thing she asked for,” he explained. Blackwell settled for the first branch opening in Baltimore’s Rotunda, helping Rita’s become the pillar of the community.
Since then, the boxer has been pegged as a candidate for one of Baltimore’s wealthiest athletes, featuring in the June magazine for Fortune 500. With an estimated net worth of $10 million, Blackwell divides his time between his entrepreneurial pursuits and his boxing career. Apart from Rita’s Ice, he also owns a handful of gas stations and is in the talks with the chairman of Jamba Juice, Auntie Anne’s, and Cinnabon.
Now competing as a heavyweight, Blackwell has knocked out all 3 heavyweight competitors and is currently in negotiations to fight for the WBC regional championship.
Initially, he was set for a fight on April 24 at the Don Haskins Arena. Blackwell was on the Jamie Munguia undercard promoted by Goldenboy promotions and DAZN. However, the fight was canceled due to the main event suffering an injury. Upon his victory, Blackwell will be the second heavyweight in Baltimore history to hold a portion of the WBC.
With his boxing and entrepreneurial careers on the rise, Blackwell is enthusiastic to see what the future holds as he foresees expanding into more businesses, opening more locations for Rita’s Italian Ice, and venturing into more franchises.
You can get the latest update on Yahu Blackwell’s ventures by following him on Instagram.