By Jake Donovan
Two of the most famous boxing entities produced by the borough of Brooklyn are now prepared to join forces in a venture that can prove to restore glory in a landmark location.
Mike Tyson’s Iron Mike Productions (IMP) promotional company continues to branch out, with the latest wing to now come in the form of a recruitment center inside Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. The world famous gym that once housed a young man who would go on to become the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history will now serve as headquarters for IMP to recruit local amateur fighters aspiring to enter the pro ranks.
“The combination of Gleason’s Gym and Mike Tyson is sure to make an impact in the boxing community,” stated Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason’s Gym, the oldest boxing gym in the United States. “The Recruitment Center will be a magnet for top prospects from around the world.”
IMP plans to officially open its office doors at its new location in April.
The launching is well timed, coming towards the semifinals and finals of the 2014 Daily News Golden Gloves, an annual amateur boxing tournament. The finals will take place April 16–17 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s a given that Tyson and his team will be paying close attention to the results.
“The opening of this recruitment center could not have come at a better time,” notes Jose Nuñez, a local boxing manager whose clients include reigning 130 lb. titlist Argenis Mendez, former two-time champ Joan Guzman and a slew of rising young fighters.
Nuñez Management will serve as an integral part of the recruiting process for IMP, given the managers local roots.
The location hits home for Tyson, one of 133 champions (male and female) from past and present to have at one point trained at Gleason’s Gym. Tyson was born and raised in Brooklyn before being taken in by Cus D’Amato at age 16, with boxing serving as his lone salvation amidst a childhood littered with petty crimes, frequent arrests and time spent in reform school.
Now comes the Hall of Famer’s chance to once again give back.
The move comes on the heels of launching a regular series at Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as well as becoming a regular presence on the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights circuit. It’s been a busy first year for the Florida-based promotional outfit, which was formed last summer after the former heavyweight champ joined forces with Acquinity Sports to form the company.
“Iron Mike Productions is very excited about establishing our presence in the New York boxing community by partnering up with Gleason’s Gym,” said Azim Spicer, Vice President of Iron Mike Productions. “It’s a great opportunity to monitor and assist boxers to strive for their goals in the amateur and professional ranks.”
More so than just hitting the recruiting trail, it’s believed that the presence of IMP on location will help raise the competition level in the ring – whether in a fight or for display purposes.
“Gleason’s Gym is one of the most famous gyms in the history of boxing,” notes Nuñez. “This collaboration will not only help bring local fighters to the gym, but make them step up their game. We’re looking for the best fighters of the area to represent our brand in the pro ranks. When fighters come to Gleason’s, they’ll know they have to bring their best every time they’re ready to train.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBoxTags: boxing