Gleason's Gym has something for everyone. That means from 8 to 80, at the famed and fabled fight emporium, run by Bruce Silverglade, the NYC living legend of pugilism promotion, you are covered.
Really, youger than 8, actually, and over 80, if we're being specific…The gym features tournaments and fight nights, and seminars and pop up art galleries and tours for tourists and…you get the picture, things are always cookin' at Gleasons.
F'rinstance…From June 12 to June 15, the gym is home to a Masters Tournament, their fifth annual.
That means people like Jason Klabal…
.. a Williamsburg, Brooklyn resident, is immersing himself into the mental and physical crucible of boing.
I touched base with Klabal, to get a sense of what brought him to Gleason's, and why he taking part in the Masters (age 40 and over) movement.
“I'm single, and have a 15 year old daughter,” Klabal told me. “I grew up in Brooklyn, lived in the city for the last 15 years and just moved to Williamsburg last year. I’m in finance. I started boxing about two years ago, another broker at my firm who also trained fighters after work asked me if I wanted to try boxing. So after my first hour in the boxing gym I didn’t think I’d go back again,” he continued, chuckling.
“One hundred percent the hardest workout I ever had, I didn’t think I could handle it. But that was two years ago and I have been going every day since. I have never competed in a masters tournament, this will be my first. I have had three amateur fights so far so this will be my fourth,” he said, referring to the bout that he will take part in on Saturday, the final day of the session. “As far as what I’m looking to gain, same thing as the last three fights, just to be able to conquer my fears and compete in something that a couple years ago I never would have thought was possible.”
I was curious–how nervous does Klabal…
…get for a bout?
“As far as level of nerves, probably a 10…they say it gets easier after a few fights but I’m still pretty nervous. I have been watching boxing my whole life my dad was a big fan so we watched a lot of fights together. But now that I’m involved in the sport, I have a understanding of what goes into a fight. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the sport and the athletes that compete.”
And so do we, at NYF, for Jason and all the others taking part in this tourney. Life can indeed be a fight, things pop up and we have to duck and weave and counter all the time….so doing it for real, and risking a black eye, well, props to Klabal and all the participants at the fifth Masters Tournament.
Hey, you can watch Masters bouts, at Gleason's! The semis take place Friday, June 14, and the finals are the next night.
Looking forward, you too can get involved, if you are 8 or 85, because the Gleason's Fantasy Camp…
…is set to unfold soon. “It's August 8 to 11, at Honor's Haven, a real nice resort in Ellenville, NY. You dont have to have any boxing experience, and you can come, and the trainers are great, world champions, and you learn about the sport and eat great food, and it is a once in a lifetime expereince,” Silverglade told me. Here is a link to learn more, and sign up. You will not regret it, most people who attend tell us that this was one of the best things THEY HAVE EVER DONE, period.