John L. Sullivan, a celebrated sportsman and fellow New Yorker of the early 19thCentury was the first American heavyweight champion of the world: both in bare-knuckle boxing and when gloves were finally eventually introduced in the year of 1892.
The term ‘bare-knuckle’ can send shivers down the spine of the least scarce of folk, yet it helps to illustrate the mass changes the sport has experienced over the years.
New York and boxing have a rich history and when discussing iconic venues and historical fights, an LED light reading Madison Square Garden appears in your sub-conscience with the faces of worldly recognizable sportspeople throwing unyielding punches.
The popularity of the sport had diminished over the turn of the 21stCentury due to the retirement of famous figures and the monumental rise of commercial Mixed Martial Arts.
Yet, the song ‘The Times They are a-Changin' by the infamous Bob Dylan seems to spin in one’s head when analyzing the current situation of the once undisputed king of contact sports. Boxing popularity is on the rise and the public interest is resurfacing this time with a more diverse and rather unexpected demographic.
Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua and New York’s very own Jarrell ‘Baby Face’ Miller’s face off at Madison Square Garden (2019) had broken a long-standing record by being the fastest selling pre-ticketed boxing event in the venue's history: rather breath-taking indeed.
However, the recent surge in the sport’s popularity cannot be accredited alone to elitist performance and patriotic spectators; for the present interest in combat sports should be largely thanks to a more diverse, unexpected interest of enthusiastic participants.
Individuals from all scopes of life; shapes and sizes; ages and motives are joining in on the new trend and as a New Yorker, you should be grateful to know that an abundance of boxing clubs, programs and specialist boxing trainers across The Big City are ready to deal with your every desire and request.
Boxing Classes Near Me
With a population of over 8 million inhabitants, New York is one of the largest and most culturally diverse cities in the world. The scope of the city could, however, cause frustration when attempting to find fitness classes within your locality - yet thou shan’t fear, for the beauty of city living is that it will always conform to the laws of supply and demand.
So, from the Bronx to Manhattan, Brooklyn to Queens, there are an array of various boxing classes to suit your every need.
Work Train Fight provides boxing classes which aim to get your heart rate racing whilst pushing you to your optimum limits. Located on 636 Broadway, the gym boasts up-to-date equipment after a recent refurbishment and offers classes which aim to build endurance as well as burning fat!
Do you rumble? A question you may be prepared to answer if you take your next class at Rumble Boxing Gym!
Located on 7thAvenue in the neighborhood of Chelsea, the company prides itself by not taking matters too seriously and therefore reducing the anxiety for first-timers.
What is unique about the programs over at Rumble is that they incorporate music into their classes for that extra bit of motivation whilst you gain an opportunity to work the bags and develop floor techniques in the process.
If you are looking for a private trainer, make sure you take a look on the Superprof website today! Individuals with a plethora of skill-sets can be contacted directly with an average response time within a 24 hour period!
Also, look at the ‘Physical Centers’ section in this article for more suggestions!
Boxing Associations and Charities
The New York State Athletic Commission is an association devoted to the regulation of all licensed contact sports within the city. They are personally responsible for the supervision of competitive fights and it is certainly an organization you should familiarise yourself with as they ensure all up-to-date rules and procedures are being carried out within competitive boxing matches in New York.
Other associations include the Veteran Boxers Association of New York, The WBA (World Boxing Association) and The ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions).
Associations aforementioned often work in conjunction with charitable causes, organizing competitive boxing matches to raise funds for various charities in and outside of the city.
Haymaker’s for Hope is a prime example of the positive effects such organizations can have, raising over $10.5 million dollars in the fight against cancer in the first eight years of its opening. If your mission in boxing is to raise money for a good cause, be sure to check out the website for more information.
Physical Boxing Centers
You are reading this because you have decided for one reason or another that Boxing is the sport for you! However, like most sports, we don’t start our first sparring session or competitive fight in a stadium with 20,000 onlookers.
Here are some physical centers (excluding Madison Square Garden) that could get you on your tiptoes learning your first techniques:
- Gleason’s Gym
- Brooklyn Total Fitness
Each center has obtained consistent online reviews and provides an array of unique and tailored services.
Boxing Weight Classes
A ‘weight class’ is a measurement weight range for boxers to ensure that participants are grouped with people of a similar build, frame and overall physical stature; this is to ensure that those involved complement one another physically whilst making actions like sparring and pair-work fair game.
Some boxing classes do however concentrate exclusively in reaching personal fitness goals and therefore grouping by weight deems unnecessary.
Private coaches are also available and they cover a range of boxing expertise spanning from MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), Kickboxing, Thai Boxing and those which use the sport to administer specialist weight-loss programs, (a range of private boxing coaches can be found on Superprof).
When it comes to boxing, there are several weight categories that separate fighters one from another:
- Flyweight: max. 112lbs or 50.9kg
- Bantamweight: max. 118lbs or 53.6kg
- Featherweight: max. 126lbs or 57.3 kg
- Lightweight: max 135lbs or 61.4kg
- Welterweight: max. 147lbs or 66.8 kg
- Middleweight: max 160lbs or 72.7 kg
- Light heavyweight: max. 175lbs or 79.5kg
- Heavyweight: 200lbs or more
Similar to the male weight division, women’s weight categories are mostly identical with the only exception being in the heavyweight division where men must reach/surpass 200 pounds whilst women must top 175 pounds.
Just to reiterate, if your reasons for joining a boxing class are to either lose weight, gain some insight into boxing strategy or identify self-defense techniques, most boxing lessons will not request body weight or even distinguish between gender.
There is a range of boxing classes available in the city: it is entirely up to you and the goals you have set for yourself to determine which will be the right fit!
Boxing Classes For Kids
There needn’t be a stigma attached to the idea of your child heading to boxing lessons after a long day at school.
As well as being an effective way to drain that excess energy, boxing classes provide a wealth of benefits to budding youngsters.
Regular boxing training sessions also help to install an element of discipline; it has been a technique used for decades to help vulnerable children. The growing popularity of the sport has attracted a range of underage attendees for various means and personal goals. It is, as earlier discussed, an effective way to lose weight and learn basic self-defense principles.
It also provides an effective means for children to develop friendships as well as exposing them to partner and team-working opportunities, thus paving its way to the practicing of leadership skills that can be developed and transferred into later life.
Church Street Boxing Gym, an ‘unpretentious neighborhood establishment’ offers a kids boxing program taught by trainers with a specialty in youth instruction. They focus on the teaching of self-defense and discipline through the use of activities aimed at increasing both skill and self-confidence.
They offer a regular free trial and if satisfied you have the chance to enroll onto a 10-week program aimed at 7 to 12-year-olds.
If the location is a little out of reach, they also provide regular sessions at their newly opened venue on Walker Street.
Gleason’s gym, located directly under the Manhattan Bridge in the heart of Brooklyn, is an establishment devoted exclusively to female boxing. They offer a diverse range of opportunities for teenagers between the age of 12-18 years and have regular courses available to both children and teenagers alike: be sure to sign up to their mailing list for the latest news and opportunities!