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Jackie Kallen to Launch the New Galaxy This Month
Detroit – The famed boxing duo, fighter and manager, that spawned a Hollywood movie and led to some of the city’s greatest moments in boxing history will reunite for the first time in a decade for a very special black-tie boxing benefit event on October 27 at the majestic and historic Masonic Temple in Detroit.
All-time-great boxing champion James “Lights Out” Toney (74-7-3, 45 KOs) will be defending his IBU World Championship in the 10-round main event, while his legendary manager, known as “The First Lady of Boxing” Jackie Kallen is the host of “Reunion Rumble: A Benefit for Galaxy Boxing Gym”.
The event, which will be a combination ****tail party, dinner including signature dishes from some of Detroit’s best restaurants, and boxing card, is promoted by premier Detroit-area promoter Joseph Donofrio and proceeds will go to benefit Kallen’s rebirth of her Galaxy Boxing Gym in Detroit. Wanting other young fighters to have the same opportunity he had when he turned pro back in 1988, Toney is graciously donating his purse to help jump-start the gym.
The new Galaxy Gym, located in Downtown Detroit, will look to continue the tradition the original Galaxy Gym started in the late 1980s, as the home base for world champions including Toney, Bronco McKart, Tom “Boom Boom” Johnson, Tarick Salmaci, Damian Fuller, Scotty Buck and female legend Christy Martin.
“There were so many great fighters who came out of that gym and I couldn’t be happier, now that we’re rebuilding it, that James is willing to help out by fighting,” said Kallen. But more than just for champions, the original Galaxy Gym in Redford became a mecca for all the kids in the community. We did a lot of special programs and gave back to the community. It was for whoever wanted to come. There were no membership dues. A lot of at-risk kids in the city turned their lives around by learning the focus it takes to be a fighter. Not just kids who want to be world champions, but all kids who want to get in better shape and learn the discipline of doing something at the same time every day and being a little more regimented. They could take those skills and put them wherever else they wanted in life. It gave them focus. We’re hoping to duplicate that.”
With Kallen as his ever-present manager, most of Toney’s early fights were at the Palace of Auburn Hills as he worked his way up to winning eight various titles. He won the Michigan State Middleweight title in Detroit in 1990, but hasn’t fought in the Motor City since 2001 when he won the IBA Super Cruiserweight Title at Cobo Arena. He was last seen scoring a knockout in April of this year.
Kallen, one of the sport's first and most successful female managers, has spent 33 years in the boxing world, first as Thomas Hearns' publicist and then later guided the careers of six world champions. She was twice nominated as Manager of the Year. Her life story and relationship with Toney inspired the film Against the Ropes starring Meg Ryan. She is now a successful motivational speaker and travels cross country to speak at conventions, women's health groups and colleges.
“Reunion Rumble: A Benefit for Galaxy Boxing Gym” will also feature NABF Champion Lanardo “Pain Server” Tyner (26-8-2, 16 KOs) in another of his thrilling battles.
Toney’s opponent and the night’s undercard, featuring many of Detroit’s best up-and-coming fighters, will be announced shortly.
Gold Medalist Clarissa Shields from Flint will be on hand that night to cheer the fighters on and help celebrate the new gym opening. Like all amateur boxers, Shields know the importance of neighborhood gyms that offer aspiring contenders a place to learn and train. She has promised to spend time at the Galaxy Gym to encourage other future Olympic hopefuls like herself.
Tickets for “Reunion Rumble: A Benefit for Galaxy Boxing Gym” are priced at $100.00, $150.00 and $250.00
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Good to see James and Jackie reunite. She did a lot for his career and I didn't really like the way he hung her out to dry the way he did.
Hopefully the event is a success.
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