The sweet science

Broadway Boxing Club trainers Dennis Wilcox (thumb up) and Joe Ricciardi (center) surrounded by the many boxers training for free at the new boxing center at the old Everett High School building. (Contributed photo)

Broadway Boxing Club open to interested fighters

By LORENZO RECUPERO

If you’ve ever dreamed of climbing in the ring, get your gloves and inner fight readyas a first-of-its-kind boxing center is now open for all Everett residents to attend — free of charge.

Whether you’re 13, 30, or maybe older, the Broadway Boxing Club at the site of the old Everett High School, is welcoming all to train with certified USA Boxing trainers and former amateur boxers, Dennis Willcox and Joe Ricciardi, who have been running the club together since it opened to residents in May.

“Both Joe and Myself were amateur boxers and he had a gym in Saugus. He would train professional boxers and we talked about getting together to offer it to the youth of Everett and that’s how it came to be,” Said Willcox, who said he presented the idea to the city and was offered the space at the former site of the Wellness Center.

“The free program is offered for all ages, but the best time to get started with boxing is between the ages of 12-13. So we really want to encourage all the interested youth in the city to get involved,” said Willcox.

Trainer Joe Ricciardi, professional boxer James Per- kins, and trainer Dennis Wilcox at the Broadway Boxing Club. (Contributed photo)

The program is geared towards teaching new boxers the basics but is also home to several professional fighters in the area, including Greg Vendetti, James Perkins, who is undefeated, and Travis Gambardelli.

While Willcox is the train-r primarily there to show the youth the ropes, Ricciardi, the program’s head trainer, deals with boxers fighting competitively. “Just this month, we have 5 professional boxers fighting in competitive matches”, said Willcox.

The club is offering the free sessions to residents Monday through Friday from 2 PM-6 PM and Saturday’s from 12 PM-2 PM.

All equipment, including gloves and headgear, will be provided to those who do not own their own. Willcox is only asking attendees to come in their preferred gym clothing, mentally prepared to work hard.

“This is not a hangout spot, it’s a boxing gym,” said Willcox. “We are all about doing the right thing, keeping kids off the street and out of trouble.”

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