hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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September 26, 2013

Boxers in financial struggle

Seek money for gym of their own

Like so many things, it comes down to money.

Nearly a year after losing their home at the old St. Michael’s Church on High Street, a group of young boxers and their leaders are making progress, but still have not found a new home.

They are having events to raise money and have new members on a board of directors, which is working to get community support.

The Haverhill Inner City Boxing organization had a successful money-raising event last weekend at Archie’s Little River Ale House in Lafayette Square. Proceeds will go toward renting a space to provide the young boxers a new gym.

“Rents are expensive, but times are tough,’’ said Joe Ferguson, leader of the organization. “The landlords have bills have to pay, too. They have to pay their costs. Everybody’s struggling these days.

“The codes that we have to meet don’t make it easy to find a place,” Ferguson said. “The places we need have to met codes and regulations. They need a places with shower facilities, that meets ADA compliance, has the correct sprinkler system and exits that are lit correctly.’’

For now, the group rents a space for a few hours a day at the Lawrence Boxing Club.

An organization created from the remnants of the old Haverhill Boxing Club, the group will mark its first anniversary this November as Haverhill’s first non-profit athletic organization built around boxing.

“We want to get the kids off the street and let them learn that attitudes have consequences,” Ferguson said.

The group’s board of directors has designed the organization as an alternative place for boxers who want to enter matches in the ring and also for people interested in boxing just for the workout.

The group also plans after-school tutoring, community service programs, adult programs and affordable memberships.

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