If you're ever in the Los Angeles area and in need for a serious boxing workout. You will get it at The Broadway Gym! Established in the mid 1970's by the late Bill Slayton, who was a great trainer and mentor to
legendary fighters such as the former heavyweight champion, Ken Norton.
Slayton's most recent fighter before he passed that he guided was the former WBO champion Lamon Brewster. Mickey Rourke, the actor, trained at Broadway at one time. The gym is located on the corner of Broadway & 108th street in Los Angeles. It's a typical boxing facility and not made to be flashy because you're there to focus on your training, and work up a good sweat. Boxing gyms are not your average place to look pretty and wear cute little tight shorts and cut off shirts so you can flirt with the girl or guy next to you. In fact, hot looking women are a distraction when a fighter is in training unless the woman is there to train as well. This is the reason why fighters go to training camps to get away from the noise.
When you open the doors of Broadway gym the first thing you come across is a flight of stairs going up. Right away you begin your workout! The stairs going up remind me of Lou Stillman's gym in New York where the fighters of old used to train. (Stillman's is no longer in existance)
Even before training begins the fighter has to come in already concentrating on their craft. It's sort of like psyching yourself out. Boxing is a serious business and not as easy as one might think.
Once you get to the top of the stairs you can feel the history of the gym punching you in the face. The decades of blood, sweat, and tears are in your veins. Fight posters and old school pictures of the fighters
that used to train at Broadway are plastered all over the gym. It helps give it that essence where warriors train. Inside the gym is nothing to brag about and it's very basic and properly maintained for heavy use. Every piece of equipment is not the state of the art but it works like new. The entire atmosphere is very nostalgic and a healthy one at that. Every fighter that comes in to work always has with him what I like to call the 'warriors' gear.' It consist of sparring gloves, hand wraps/gauze/tape, protective cup, headgear, and mouth piece. Without these tools you cannot spar! I sparred a few times without the cup and I've taken a few shots to the groin. After the pain subsided I continued on with caution.
Once you've stepped into the ring all of your worries and thoughts for the day must disappear. The fight game is a mental game. "Trust me I know for experience." You cannot worry about your bills that are past due while your in the heat of battle, or you'll pay by taking a right
upper-cut to the body and a left hook to the chin which is a knockout punch. When you're in the ring you have to think and out think your opponent just like a game of chess even while sparring. That's how you learn!
The two best type of fighters to spar with are 1.The guy that outweighs you by 20-30 pounds so you can see the punches coming. That helps you with blocking and to counter your punches. 2.The guy that's lighter than
you so you can move with good reflexes and keep yourself balanced at all times. Your power comes from your legs.
It takes a special person to even step foot in a boxing gym. Not everybody is made to take a shot much less give it. The commen problem with fighters if they stick with the sport long enough to call it a career they might end up with pugilistic dementia a.k.a. punch drunk disease. A prime example of this was heavyweight contender Jerry Quarry, who fought top warriors like Ali and Frazier.
(Go to www.jerryquarryfoundation.com for more detailed information about his life and the disease that killed him.)
There have been many times after several sparring sessions that I've felt sort of punchy. It's an odd feeling as if you don't know where you are. You usually have this effect a couple of hours after your workout
and it seems to last for hours. People think that a person is punch drunk because of all the fights he's had. Not true! You're only training for one fight at a time. Here's where the problem lies according to a trainer friend of mine. He says it's all the sparring a fighter does in the gym prior to the fight that may cause P.D.
I disaggree to a certain length because look at Jack Dempsey, he came out alright. Although he dished out most of the beatings. The same goes with Rocky Marciano, he took beatings and gave it to them right back!
Even Jake Lamotta, whom I just spoke to over the phone not long ago. He's sharper than nails! Everybody is built different and hard to detect because P.D. is a long term effect. This thing could catch up to me later on. Who knows? I'm not putting down boxing. It is what it is! It's a great cardiovascular routine and everybody should do it to keep their heart rate up. It builds confidence and stamina and most of all it gives you discipline.
The guys that I spar with are like family. These tough guys are the nicest human beings you'll meet, but not somebody you want to mess with.
Makes me proud when they say I can take a punch and fight on by putting pressure on them. Anybody care to find out?
Copyright © 2010 'Mean' Mike Duffau
The Pugilistic Writer
Copyright © 2010 'Mean' Mike Duffau
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