The inside of Johnny Tocco's is as grimy as the reputations of the fighters that once trained there. SB Nation's Phoenix Carnevale took her camera crew on a tour of Tocco's, the oldest active boxing gym in Las Vegas, America's mecca of boxing.
Luis Monda, former-manager of the gym and current full-time trainer, shares some fascinating stories from the history of the gym, which was once a mob bar called "The Zebra Lounge." At one point, Monda asks Carnevale if she knows why the gym is just the same as it was back when Liston trained there.
"Bernard Hopkins," is the answer. Monda explains how Hopkins, who was middleweight champion at the time, threatened to take his business elsewhere should the new owners of the gym go ahead with their plans to renovate. It seems that Hopkins, like Monda, felt that a tough training environment cultivated the best boxers, and so Johnny Tocco's holds onto its legacy by embracing the dirt, and the grime, and the heat.
Enjoy this fascinating look at one of the most important sites in the history of the sweet science.