A boxing gym is more so like a family than anyone not involved in the mix can comprehend. So, when a gym regular, like a Tony Baldwin, a long-time fixture, gets taken from us, it hurts deeply.
Tony was known to a man, and to all women, as good dude. Simply put, everyone at Gleason's said things along the same lines when they learned that Tony's body succumbed to cancer.
He was 57 years old.
“We lost a very nice human being,” Gleason's boss Bruce Silverglade told me of the Bed-Stuy resident, who trained as an amateur with people like Mark Breland, and Leon “The Cat” Taylor and Delen “Blimp” Parsley. “He became one of my real good trainers and he was one of the real good guys up here, someone that was always here to help.” Bruce could get Tony, who he'd know would step up, to train someone who maybe didn't have the funds to join the gym.
Silverglade said that three weeks ago, he went to Tony's home, and talked to him and his wife. It was hard to see a man who was known to be ripped, bestowed with majestic biceps, sapped. So Bruce is helped by knowing that he isn't in pain anymore.
His pal “Blimp” told me that he will treasure the good times, the laughter, and the bonding in the boxing life. They were friends for 37 plus years. “He had the best boxing legs in the business, his legs was his whole fight,” Blimp recalled of a guy he was in the trenches with, in Bed-Stuy. “I liked his fight against cancer, he put up a helluva fight,” he said, noting that two years ago, Tony told him he had cancer. “He was doing great, he was doing real good.” But three months or so, Tony was on the ropes. “We lost a great individual, a great teacher, someone who loved the game,” his pal shared. “He will be missed, he will be missed.” Blimp chuckled recalling that Tony would get heated when big Blimp would snatch a piece of Tony's chow. “And he loved his music,” he said, remembering that he'd make boom boxes.
Gleason's regular Yuri Foreman called Tony “a great, a gentle, a very strong guy, very helpful, a giving person. He was part of the family, the Gleason's Gym family, and part of his soul is still here!”
Leon “The Cat” Taylor grinned, and recalled that he was the first to give Baldwin a black eye. He was 16, Tony two years older, they sparred, and Cat caught him. Decades later, Baldwin would not let it go. They'd chuckle over that intimate bond. Cat said he'd really, really miss a really, really good guy.
Here is the release Gleason's sent out, detailing service arrangements:
As many of you may have heard, Gleason's Gym lost one of our own this week.
Coach Tony Baldwin, a beloved member of our gym family for more than 20 years, lost his valiant fight against a dreaded opponent when he succumbed to pancreatic cancer. It's a body shot that we may never shake off.
Very few words can convey the loss we all feel, but Tony's spirit, memories and energy will forever live on here at Gleason's Gym. His presence made all of our lives more rich, and for that we are forever grateful to Tony Baldwin. Sleep well, dear old friend, you will be missed immensely.
The funeral service for Anthony (Tony) Baldwin will be held at New Life Cathedral located at 110 Junius Street, Brooklyn NY 11212.
The Viewing begins at 10am and the Service will follow at 11 am on Monday, October 15th.
Monday – Oct 15, 2018