clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

As boxing gyms close, fighters find themselves without a sanctuary

Mick Doherty shares the difficulty of having to close boxing gyms during this time, which often serve as a place of refuge.

Belarusian female boxer Alla Starodub... Photo by Natalia Fedosenko\TASS via Getty Images

For many around the globe, boxing gyms are a sanctuary for those from every walk of life. But as the world copes with a pandemic that has no clear end in site, those sanctuaries have had to have their doors shut for precautionary reasons. While those reasons clearly make sense given the currently climate, it doesn’t necessarily take the sting away from those who otherwise have nowhere else to go.

Steve Bunce of ESPN took a look at the local gym scene in north London where they tried to stay open for as long as possible, understanding the role the gym played in the lives of many of its members.

“On the Thursday we closed and it was not easy,” Mick Doherty of the Islington club said. “We shut before we were ordered to and that is because the gym is not just a boxing gym, it is much more than that; there were the boxers in the championships and others that need the gym — it is a lifeline for people.

”We have boys in the quarterfinals of the National Championships and we couldn’t tell them to stop training until we were all told that there would be no championships. Those nationals might be the greatest achievement of that boy’s life — how could we close the door before we had to?”

Doherty would go on to saying that for some folks the gym might be the only socialization they get, and it was for all of these reasons they at least made an attempt to remain open for as long as they could.

It’s a different perspective, to be sure, but we’ve already seen some high-level fighters having trouble during all this cooped up downtime, so it’s no real surprise what the implications might be for those with much fewer options and resources.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook