Legendary boxing gym goes the distance

Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:52am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - The folks at Gleason's Gym like to say that boxing is the art of not getting hit.

With its down-at-the-heels decor, Gleason's looks like it's taken a punch or two. But focus and fancy footwork have kept this oldest active boxing gym in the United States firmly in the ring since 1937.

"I'm a specialist. We're a boxing gym. That's what we do," said Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason's, located in Brooklyn, New York. "Woman or businessman we'll train you in the sport of boxing, prepare you physically and mentally for a 12-round fight."

Although the gym has retained its rough and tumble feel one of the biggest changes in the past few decades has been the arrival of white collar clientele.

Businessmen discovered Gleason's in the late 1970s, so in 1988 the gym set up the first white collar boxing match: between an English professor and a veterinarian.

Women showed up in the 80s and were welcomed. Today 50 percent of Silverglade's clients are businessmen and women.

"Women train and sweat and get a good workout. If they want to look good, they go to Chelsea Piers," he said, referring to the trendy Manhattan fitness complex.

"If they just want to work out they come here."   Continued...