Boxing in the professional sphere is on an upswing, mainly compliments of an air of optimism having been conjured by the British heavyweight with a plesant manner, sterling physique, and some heavy-enough hands to make him must see, because he can end a bout at any time. Anthony Joshua is an XXL reason why boxing is on an uptick.
But outside the sphere, actually, things have been humming along nicely. Boxing as WORKOUT, as a lifestyle choice, which combines an athletic exercise and positive mental health benefits, is an a tear, with legs. Bruce Silverglade, owner/proprietor of the famed and fabled Gleason’s Gym, has seen the ups and downs and all arounds. He felt the love that attended the Ali era; saw the start and the rise and the full spectrum of the Tyson era, and of course, had no shortage of persons come into his gym humming in their mind the “Rocky” theme, with dreams of rising up, and regaining passion and attaining glory.
The gym features something extra every week, basically. There was a seminar for people wanting to get a certificate in doing boxing training, and there was a clinic for females, which is an annual event.
There is an event which runs May 13-18 which some might be surprised will be situated in this gritty gym, if they aren’t familair with Silverglade and his ways. On May 13, a photo exhibition opens up at the fight factory; “Lucky Jo” is a photo exhibition about boxing by French photographer Orianne O. On display will be snapshots telling the tale of welterweight female boxing French champion Johanne Cavarec, aka Jo Lachance (Lucky Jo). There will also be an exhibition boxing match during the opening night of the event, pitting, in a “friendly,” Ronica Jeffrey versus Johanne Cavarec. The show is produced and organized by hospitality company and lifestyle
brand Creamhotel. “For a whole week we will have a lot of her art and pictures displayed throughout the gym,” said Silverglade, right before, coincidentally, helping his wife box up some of her art, for shipping. “Heather Hardy was scheduled, but booked a fight, so we’re substituting in Ronica, another champion. It’s a three round exhibition. It’s a free event.”
We chatted about the improbable intersection of pugilism and art. “My wife is an artist, so I certainly support the arts,” Silverglade said. “A couple times a year I usually have something displayed. Always fun, always something unusual. I like to do things that aren’t boxing, because it brings young people in, whether it’s a book reading or poetry or art, people come in and realize, boxers are really nice people.”
Smart marketing, it goes without saying.
“A person from the middle of the country, who doesn’t know about boxing, they go to the movies, see “Rocky,” and see a guy getting cut in the ring, or “A Million Dollar Baby,” a woman dying in the ring, these are all fabrications, from Hollywood. It sells tickets, but it’s not what boxing is, and maybe that’s their introduction.”