KALIHI, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Kakaako Boxing Club is giving back to the community and received a boost from one of the nation’s most well-known gyms of its kind on Friday, Nov. 25.
It turns out the local club discovered its origins stretch back five years earlier than Gleason’s Gym in New York City, which was established in 1937.
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“We wouldn’t have survived with just fighters. So today, the the men and women and children that come into the gym, learn and train just like the professionals, they get discipline,” said Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason’s Gym. “They get focused; they overcome their fear. And, they provide; they perform better at whatever they do.”
One of the coaches at the local club could not help but feel as if he were in the presence of a living legend.
“It’s a complete honor because everyone who’s into boxing knows Gleason’s. And, it’s like, we have a star in our gym. So that’s how it feels for me, a little nervous that he’s here. But, it’s an honor,” said coach Reno Abihai.
KHON2 asked Abihai to react to the similarities between the two oldest boxing gyms in the United States.
“Yeah, that was really surprising. When I went to go visit the gym there, I felt just this welcoming feeling. And that’s what we nurture here. We don’t want anyone to feel intimidated by our boxers, or anyone here. So we take pride in keeping that vibe,” Abihai said.
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The Kakaako Boxing Club is set up as a nonprofit that focuses member fees and donations on helping underserved and at-risk youth where they have an outlet for a safe and supportive sports environment.
Silverglade was in Hawaii to share his wisdom and decades of experience in the boxing world.