PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                             September 17, 2009 - News & Notes


Home Boxers Fights Arenas Non-Boxers Gyms Relics More About Contact




The Joe Hand Boxing Gym is back in action starting today - September 17th. The Hands celebrated their grand re-opening on Wednesday, but the truth is, the new gym has been open for a short time already. The freshly renovated space is located at 543-547 North 3rd Street, just off Spring Garden. This is a brand new location for the legendary gym, which was originally situated in Fishtown, and most recently in South Philly.

The best news is that welterweight prospect Mike Jones and company have returned to this new facility, after a stint at another gym. He joins stable-mates Teon Kennedy and Anthony Flores, as well as middleweight contender LaJuan Simon as the stars of the new place. If it is true that a gym is only as good as the boxers who call it home, then the new Joe Hand Boxing Gym is indeed in good hands with these rising Philly boxing VIPs as clients.

The gym itself is impressive. First of all, almost everything is brand new - a rarity for boxing gyms. There are two rings, one of which is situated right in front of two big sliding glass doors / windows that open to N. 3rd Street. This feature will make the new gym really special. Besides providing the breath of fresh air that all gyms direly need, these windows will truly make the gym "open to the public".

If it were the good old days, we could imagine a gang of street urchins huddling in front of the windows to catch a glimpse of Lew Tendler, Benny Bass, or Bob Montgomery. Although those days of hero worship in boxing are long gone (except with yours truly), we might still get a taste of this phenomenon when the time comes for Jones or Kennedy to train for title fights they no doubt will land in the future. I can see the new gym becoming a destination spot, should these young lions re-capture Philly's boxing imagination.

The gym will also boast a huge Carl LeVotch wall mural of Joe Frazier landing his mighty left hook on Muhammad Ali's kisser. Right now, just Frazier's face peeks out over ring number one. But soon, an entire view of "the punch heard around the world" will be on display. LeVotch is the same guy who created the Bennie Briscoe statue and is currently working on the monument of Joey Giardello.

We wish the new place well and look forward to many late afternoons filled with more legendary Philly gym wars.




John DiSanto - North Philly - September 17, 2009