Brit/Ire Legend Of The Kronk Gym.

  • Hi all, please be aware that CHB will NOT be closing on the 31st July, arrangements are being made to take over the website. Further details will be confirmed in due course. The new owners will be revealed/reveal themselves in the near future at a more appropriate time. TL;DR CHB IS SAVED!
May 8, 2016
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The Kronk gym was the most legendary boxing gym in the last 40 years.

It was essentially a production line that created champions after champion and contenders after contender many of them taken right from the amateur level to professional world level. ... all trained by the legendary Manny Steward and his small group of assistant coaches. I dont think we will see anything like this gym ever again.

The gym housed in the basement of the local council run community center named after a local polish politician called Kronk.

Here are some videos.


 
Last edited:
May 8, 2016
3,998
3,502
The Kronk gym was the most legendary boxing gym in the last 40 years.

It was essentially a production line that created champions after champion and contenders after contender many of them taken right from the amateur level to professional world level. ... all trained by the legendary Manny Steward and his small group of assistant coaches. I dont think we will see anything like this gym ever again.

The gym housed in the basement of the government run community center named after a local polish politician called Kronk.

Here are some videos.



Tommy Hearns and Jimmy Paul returned to the derelict gym for a newscast 6 years ago.


 
May 8, 2016
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The Kronk community center was burned down 2 years ago by vandals. Video by Cornelius K9 Bundrage.


 
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May 8, 2016
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Its pretty sad but then reflects the situation of Detroit as a whole....In any other city it might have seemed rather odd or even outrage that such an iconic landmark was not being saved. But Detroit is not just any other city.

A case in point is that the situation in innercity Detroit is so dire that Emmanuel Steward himself did not attempt to hold on to or save the gym (which he could have easily done.) But he simply relocated the gym to a new place on the outskirts of Detroit to a safer location. Away from the crime the guns , drugs, and decay.
Some of the most historic buildings in Detroit have gone the same way. Detroit also has a whole army of Metal scavengers people who quickly target any empty building strip it of all metal and sell for scrap. What is left is a skeleton then the arsonists come along and burn what remains.


 
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Trail

R.I.P. Joe Rein
May 24, 2013
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Donny
Fucking heartbreaking. These videos are so sad, but so good at the same time.

20 World Champions came out of that place. 20.
 
Jun 3, 2012
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Korakuen Hall
I remember when Emanuel Steward came over to the UK to do some talks or something. And when doing so, he brought along some amazing sparring footage, future legends going against each other in match-ups we'd only be lucky to have read about. This footage stayed exclusive to those who'd seen it during these talks until, one day, the fights were uploaded for the world to see.

Here are a couple of them:


 
May 8, 2016
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Jackie Kallen: “I Lost A Brother Today. Rest In Peace Emanuel Steward.”
POSTED ON 10/25/2012

By Jackie Kallen
I can barely write this, but between my tears I must try to tell the world how much Emanuel Steward meant to me. I know he meant a lot to so many people. I am just one of many. But there would be no “First Lady of Boxing,” no movie Against the Ropesand no Galaxy Boxing if it weren’t for him.


The year was 1978 and I was one of the first female sports writers in the country. I got the assignment to interview a young Detroit boxer named Thomas Hearns who has recently turned pro. I had never been to a boxing match before so it was a mind-expanding evening. I walked out of the old Olympia Stadium as a different girl. I was a boxing fan.

After my story ran on Thomas, I did one on Emanuel. Then I did one on Mickey Goodwin, another Kronk boxer. From then on, I started hanging out at the Kronk Gym, filing story after story. I could not believe how comfortable I felt in the boxing world. It was my new home-away-from-home.

Emanuel Steward finally offered me a job as the Kronk publicist. I would write the bios on all the fighters, set up photo shoots, help arrange the weigh-ins and press conferences and kind of be his right hand. I jumped at it and continued doing it for 10 years until I took the leap to management.
He always deflected the criticism of having a woman around and was my biggest advocate. He taught me to ignore the innuendos and hold my head up high when I was taunted or disrespected. He taught me the right way to wrap hands, stop a cut, and choose an opponent. He told me stories about his own amateur days and he told me which trainers were good and which were merely “cheerleaders.”

Prentiss Byrd and I stood beside Emanuel for years. We were there for the big victories and we were there for the sad defeats. We were there when the money flowed liked water and we were there when things got tight. But through it all, one thing was clear: Emanuel Steward was one hell of a trainer.

So many talented boxers never make it into the Top 10, much less win a world title. But when Emanuel Steward touched them–it was like being touched by Midas. If he had a good boxer with great speed, he taught him to sit down on his punches. If he had a brawler who could really slam–he taught him defense and movement. He evaluated every man individually and trained him accordingly.

We shared so many memorable moments. Our kids grew up together, we traveled the world as a team, and no one to this day could make spareribs like Emanuel Steward. I remember his first Rolls Royce, the gorgeous suits, and the amazing meals at Caesar’s Palace back in the day. I remember him lighting candles at my son’s Bar Mitzvahs.

We celebrated when Tommy and Hilmer Kenty won their first titles, and we consoled one another when Tommy lost to Leonard in 1981 and when my fighter James Toney lost to Roy Jones Jr. in 1994. When I decided to try my hand at managing, it was Emanuel who told me, “You can do it!” and who gave me advice and support.

With the passing of both Angelo Dundee and Emanuel Steward, the boxing world is a different place. We also lost Bill Miller and Burt Sugar. The landscape looks different. The old familiar faces are leaving us, to be replaced by younger ones. But will there ever be faces in the corner as revered and iconic as Emanuel and Angelo?

My heart is very heavy. A part of my life and my heart is gone.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen
 
Jun 3, 2012
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Korakuen Hall
Bump. Here's a brief interview with one of the more overlooked Kronk fighters: Leeonzer Barber.

THE KRONK WARS

LEEONZER BARBER all but vanished after his loss to Dariusz Michalczewski, which occurred 24 years ago last month. His three-year reign as WBO light-heavyweight champion was over and, four low-key comeback bouts aside, so was his career. Today when looking back the 52-year-old is happy he got out “with all of my faculties,” but there is obvious remorse about the heights he never quite scaled. Barber, who finished with a 21-4 (13) record, talks about those tough sparring sessions inside the Kronk Gym and also recalls his key fights.

Why did you not fight for four years after the loss to Michalczewski?

I have quite a lot to say about what happened, but at the time I never did say anything, I never did publicise things. But I had retinal trouble in both eyes, and I never said anything because my plan was to come back. But I had serious injury and the doctor said to me that, basically, I had to call it a day or else I’d be blind in my thirties. The doctor told me that in his entire career he had never seen an eye injury quite so bad as mine. Thankfully my eyes did heal, but it took a good three years. Also, I must say I never did think my management team and myself saw eye to eye. I could have had things done better for me. I’m not going to come across too negative about [trainer] Emanuel [Steward] as he moved things for me and my career, but he had so many fighters all wanting the spotlight at that time. I was a world champion who won the belt when fighting in another guy’s country, I defended it on the road, and eventually I lost it on the road.

When did the eye injury occur?

It was in the Michalczewski fight when I lost the sight in my right eye, I guess for the last four rounds of the fight. That was when I knew I had to go to see a real eye doctor; not just the optician. But the lights went out in that fight in Germany – for real! In the late rounds, when Michalczewski was fading, the lights went out, it was total darkness. Nothing was said afterwards, nobody appealed or anything. Emanuel wasn’t with me for that fight, neither were my people, and I kind of felt naked. I’m not saying Michalczewski wouldn’t have won anyway – he is one of the best lightheavyweight champions ever - but I certainly don’t think I lost that fight by the big margins the judges had it [119-107, 116-111 twice].

Tells us about the legendary Kronk Gym sparring wars

I sparred so many tough fighters, great fighters – and not all of them made it big, name-wise: Leon Spinks, Tommy Hearns, Gerald Mcclellan, Dennis Andries, Duane Thomas, and so many others. Every Monday, I knew I had to go in there and not slip one bit, not at all. Over the weekend, knowing I would have to spar on the Monday, I couldn’t have any pizza, I couldn’t eat and drink what I wanted and let myself go. No way would I risk getting embarrassed, not in front of Emanuel. And it was the same for the other fighters too. We all made each other suffer! Dennis, he was a real tough guy, as was Gerald. Dennis is one of the most accomplished fighters ever to have come out of the UK.

What do you remember about winning the WBO title against Tom Collins in Leeds?

The first round I came out to get him. I had struggled to make the weight and I put it on him early, to let him know I was the boss. Then, all of a sudden, it all went black for a second! I ran into a right hand. But I was in great shape and I recovered. I think he was the betting favourite to win that fight, as he had had way more fights than I had had. Back then, my goal was to unify the belts.

What stopped you from unifying the belts in your opinion?

There were too many of us [champions]! There was Dennis, there was Prince Charles Williams, there was Virgil Hill. I wanted all the belts. Looking back, as champ for over three years, my activity level wasn’t great. Again, I think my people could have moved me better, kept me more active. That’s what I wanted, to be an active word champion. But things turned out the way they turned out. I know Emanuel did a lot for me but my feeling then was, I’m as good as the other guys you have in your corner, who you are working with - I’m wearing those gold shorts too. I wanted the chance to prove I was supreme.

Emanuel, he wasn’t with me for my two toughest fights: the one against Nicky Piper and the loss to Michalczewski. The Piper fight, in Wales, that looked like the toughest fight of my career, but Michalczewski really was the best I fought. Piper, I was badly swollen around the eye and they were close to stopping the fight. They could have stopped that fight quite easily, but I think Frank Warren and everyone, including Piper and his team, felt they were just seconds away from getting a clean knockout win. But then I put Piper’s lights out.
 

Journeyman Jeff

Fucking sexy
Jun 6, 2012
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Rumour has it that the fire was caused by the cosmic friction created by fast pads in a lift that was installed by Steward.

No one knows who started it, and the only clues were an egg stained blazer, WD40 and what appeared to be a door handle.
 
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May 8, 2016
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Tommy Hearns once said the best fighter at Kronk was a guy named Bernard "Superbad" Mays, a MW Joe Louis. So he was more talented then anyone who walked through that gym, including Hearns himself


Unfortunately he was a hardcore alcoholic
He died at 33.

Here is an article on him.

The sheer talent of the Kronk guys who never quite made it..or got consumed by the streets and addiction. Is like a whos, who.

But like you said Bernard "Superbad" Mays... was head and shoulders above any of the others. The real uncrowned king of that gym.
 
Reactions: KOTF and dkos
May 8, 2016
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Bump. Here's a brief interview with one of the more overlooked Kronk fighters: Leeonzer Barber.

THE KRONK WARS

LEEONZER BARBER all but vanished after his loss to Dariusz Michalczewski, which occurred 24 years ago last month. His three-year reign as WBO light-heavyweight champion was over and, four low-key comeback bouts aside, so was his career. Today when looking back the 52-year-old is happy he got out “with all of my faculties,” but there is obvious remorse about the heights he never quite scaled. Barber, who finished with a 21-4 (13) record, talks about those tough sparring sessions inside the Kronk Gym and also recalls his key fights.

Why did you not fight for four years after the loss to Michalczewski?

I have quite a lot to say about what happened, but at the time I never did say anything, I never did publicise things. But I had retinal trouble in both eyes, and I never said anything because my plan was to come back. But I had serious injury and the doctor said to me that, basically, I had to call it a day or else I’d be blind in my thirties. The doctor told me that in his entire career he had never seen an eye injury quite so bad as mine. Thankfully my eyes did heal, but it took a good three years. Also, I must say I never did think my management team and myself saw eye to eye. I could have had things done better for me. I’m not going to come across too negative about [trainer] Emanuel [Steward] as he moved things for me and my career, but he had so many fighters all wanting the spotlight at that time. I was a world champion who won the belt when fighting in another guy’s country, I defended it on the road, and eventually I lost it on the road.

When did the eye injury occur?

It was in the Michalczewski fight when I lost the sight in my right eye, I guess for the last four rounds of the fight. That was when I knew I had to go to see a real eye doctor; not just the optician. But the lights went out in that fight in Germany – for real! In the late rounds, when Michalczewski was fading, the lights went out, it was total darkness. Nothing was said afterwards, nobody appealed or anything. Emanuel wasn’t with me for that fight, neither were my people, and I kind of felt naked. I’m not saying Michalczewski wouldn’t have won anyway – he is one of the best lightheavyweight champions ever - but I certainly don’t think I lost that fight by the big margins the judges had it [119-107, 116-111 twice].

Tells us about the legendary Kronk Gym sparring wars

I sparred so many tough fighters, great fighters – and not all of them made it big, name-wise: Leon Spinks, Tommy Hearns, Gerald Mcclellan, Dennis Andries, Duane Thomas, and so many others. Every Monday, I knew I had to go in there and not slip one bit, not at all. Over the weekend, knowing I would have to spar on the Monday, I couldn’t have any pizza, I couldn’t eat and drink what I wanted and let myself go. No way would I risk getting embarrassed, not in front of Emanuel. And it was the same for the other fighters too. We all made each other suffer! Dennis, he was a real tough guy, as was Gerald. Dennis is one of the most accomplished fighters ever to have come out of the UK.

What do you remember about winning the WBO title against Tom Collins in Leeds?

The first round I came out to get him. I had struggled to make the weight and I put it on him early, to let him know I was the boss. Then, all of a sudden, it all went black for a second! I ran into a right hand. But I was in great shape and I recovered. I think he was the betting favourite to win that fight, as he had had way more fights than I had had. Back then, my goal was to unify the belts.

What stopped you from unifying the belts in your opinion?

There were too many of us [champions]! There was Dennis, there was Prince Charles Williams, there was Virgil Hill. I wanted all the belts. Looking back, as champ for over three years, my activity level wasn’t great. Again, I think my people could have moved me better, kept me more active. That’s what I wanted, to be an active word champion. But things turned out the way they turned out. I know Emanuel did a lot for me but my feeling then was, I’m as good as the other guys you have in your corner, who you are working with - I’m wearing those gold shorts too. I wanted the chance to prove I was supreme.

Emanuel, he wasn’t with me for my two toughest fights: the one against Nicky Piper and the loss to Michalczewski. The Piper fight, in Wales, that looked like the toughest fight of my career, but Michalczewski really was the best I fought. Piper, I was badly swollen around the eye and they were close to stopping the fight. They could have stopped that fight quite easily, but I think Frank Warren and everyone, including Piper and his team, felt they were just seconds away from getting a clean knockout win. But then I put Piper’s lights out.
Leonzer Barber looked quite a talent coming up. Seemed like mystery the way his career panned out. Thanks for the article that explains things.

Back in the early 1990's ITV used to have a show called World Championship Boxing... They used
to show championship fight cards , about 2 months after the actual events. They had their own commentary of Reg Gutteridge and Jim Watts calling those fights.

Got to see alot of talent on those shows.
 
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KOTF

$800 undisputed LHW champ
He died at 33.

Here is an article on him.

The sheer talent of the Kronk guys who never quite made it..or got consumed by the streets and addiction. Is like a whos, who.

But like you said Bernard "Superbad" Mays... was head and shoulders above any of the others. The real uncrowned king of that gym.
If he cut down on his drinking he would have been the one to dethrone Hagler
 
Jun 14, 2012
860
480
Leonzer Barber looked quite a talent coming up. Seemed like mystery the way his career panned out. Thanks for the article that explains things.

Back in the early 1990's ITV used to have a show called World Championship Boxing... They used
to show championship fight cards , about 2 months after the actual events. They had their own commentary of Reg Gutteridge and Jim Watts calling those fights.

Got to see alot of talent on those shows.
I remember the ITV show. Always used to be around 1AM or something. I remember seeing a lot of decent fighters from that era that way. Tate, Barkley, Olajide, at 160, Starling, Brown, Trice at 147, Rosario, Ramirez, Haugen, Camacho etc at 135. Good days.
 
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May 8, 2016
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America at Large: Kronk Gym, a place that offered a ‘chance at life’
Gym produced 30 world champions, three Olympic golds, and saved lives of hundreds more
Dave Hannigan
Follow
Updated: Wed, Sep 19, 2018, 19:38


Paul Dubé was a promising if troubled cruiserweight from Montreal. He’d been knocking around the Kronk Gym for six months, getting used to being called “white meat” by the locals, when he finally got the chance to spar with Tommy Hearns.

A huge step up in class for the Canadian, the gap was made wider by the fact Hearns had his trainer Emanuel Steward in the ring throughout the session, advising him exactly which punch from his repertoire to unleash next. Finally, frustrated at the beat-down he was receiving from this illustrious tandem, Dubé turned and pushed Steward out of the way. Bad move.
Within seconds, 10 other fighters had clambered through the ropes and set upon him, determined to teach the outsider a lesson in Detroit street etiquette. Hit one, you hit all. When they were satisfied he’d suffered enough, they picked Dubé’s unconscious form from the canvas, threw him into a dumpster out the back, and returned to training.
Eventually, the interloper woke up, dusted himself off, walked back in the door and, dried blood caked all over his face, shouted, “Is that all you got, boys? Is that all you got?” The whole place erupted in the type of raucous laughter that told Dubé he had just earned the right to stay.
With its famously low ceiling, Kronk was a gym like few others. Steward presided over savage sparring sessions that became the stuff of fistic legend, most fighters testifying their real bouts paled next to what they endured in that unforgiving basement. He routinely turned the thermostat up to 90 (the first thing Andy Lee noticed when he arrived was the heat) to make boxers so uncomfortable that generations of them swore the walls used to actually sweat.

Wrecking ball
Those same walls fell victim to the wrecking ball last week as the city of Detroit set about reducing to rubble a building that produced 30 world champions, three Olympic gold medals, and saved the lives of hundreds more on the troubled West Side.

Read the rest here...
 
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Apr 19, 2014
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Heres an article on the Belfast Kronk, Stewart gave them his blessing to use the name, do a lot of good

"
By Conor McParland

TO
say the name Kronk Boxing Gym is iconic in the sport would be an understatement. Located in Detroit and once led by trainer Emanuel Steward, the name is a household word in the sport of boxing.
But North Belfast has itself a Kronk Boxing Gym, located in the Duncairn Centre on Duncairn Avenue.
Formed as Belfast ABC over 23 years ago by Bobby McAllister, one of the best coaches in Ireland at the time, the club has come a long way since.
In December 2005, former secretary of the gym, Damien McCann, played a pivotal role in Limerick boxer Andy Lee turning pro. He then negotiated a lucrative financial management agreement for Lee to turn professional with Emanuel Steward from the world renowned Detroit Kronk Boxing Gym
Lee was Ireland’s rising amateur boxing star and when he beat USA champion, Jesus Gonzales in the semi-finals of the World Junior Championship, a new relationship between Steward and Kronk in Detroit was born with Belfast ABC gym, hence its name today, Kronk ABC Belfast.
Past professional coach Tony Dunlop has been a key figure throughout the history of Kronk ABC Belfast and spoke about the club’s illustrious time.
“This place started over 23 years ago when Bobby McAllister walked past the building which was derelict at the time and thought it would be perfect place for a boxing gym,” he explained.
“He asked people in the community who were very positive and said that it would be great for young people in the area.
“After a period of time, a lot of kids came through the doors. Ryan Burnettt and Paddy Barnes both started off here.
“Burnett was groomed from his early days in here to become a superstar. He left here at 37 fights undefeated and was one of the best in the world at just 13 years old.
“The turning point I suppose was when Emanuel Steward from Kronk gym in Detroit, which is the best gym in the history of boxing, got in touch.
“He saw some of the work we were doing and Belfast Kronk Boxing Gym was born – the rest is history as they say.
“We have continued to bring through a lot of champions including professionals James Tennyson and Daniel McShane.
“Tommy McCarthy is also here now fighting professional.”
Today, the club is going from strength to strength under the stewardship of a new breed of coaches in the shape of Paddy Saunders and Martin McCullough.
The duo have embarked on a new programme of coaching young people from North Belfast with the aim of using boxing to their benefit.
Tony added: “Paddy Saunders and Martin McCullough are both fantastic coaches. They are flying the flag for Belfast Kronk Gym today.
“They have started off a new programme with the youth of the area. They are both giving it a million per cent. I’ve never seen two coaches work as hard. Kronk Gym could not be in better hands.”
Classes for 8- to 10-year-olds take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5.30pm to 6.15pm with classes for 11 years and older from 6.30pm to 8pm on the same days.
Paddy Saunders explained: “Many of the kids have behavioural problems and some suffer from autism.
“These classes are an outlet and something to focus and concentrate on.
“It is not all about boxing but something for them to do. They don’t miss classes.
“If we get a few champions out of it, then brilliant, but it is for the kids.
“Most boxing clubs don’t take kids at eight years old, but we do.
“All the kids start off exercising and running about the big hall before they come into the boxing gym itself.
“They are putting their energy into something positive instead of being on the street and engaging in vandalism and anti-social behaviour. I believe there is a bright future for boxing in North Belfast. We have a top-class facility and there are a lot of good kids in here.”
To find out more about the club and to get involved, check out the new Kronk ABC Belfast Facebook page.
 
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