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The Best Boxing Gyms in New York

Photo-Illustration: Curbed; Photos: Getty

For One-on-One Attention

Hudson Boxing Gym, 406 Broadway; 646-241-1506;

Ricardo Andre opened Hudson Boxing Gym in a small basement in Tribeca after training around the city for over a decade. The studio has no ring; instead, it’s set up with heavy bags on one side and mirrors on the other with room for warm-up bear crawls and running drills in the hallway. “To say it is ‘no frills’ is an understatement,” says Damion Sammarco, who has been training under Andre for more than a decade. “You’re there to learn from the trainers, and these guys can train you anywhere.” They work with boxers one-on-one and zero in on technique. Actress Erica Pappas says she improved more in just six weeks at Hudson than in five years at the boutique boxing gym where she used to train. A lot of her work with Andre was “unlearning habits I had gotten used to,” such as dropping her right hand and flinching. Andre likes to pair off people at different skill levels so they can learn from each other. “It’s not some stock class,” says Sammarco. “They adapt it for who’s there and what they need to work on.” (From $35.)

For a Real Community

Gleason’s Gym, 130 Water St., Dumbo; 718-797-2872;

This boxing gym is one of the most famous in the country — Muhammad Ali trained at the original Bronx location, world champ Roberto Duran worked out at its Manhattan outpost, and its Brooklyn location is where Hilary Swank trained for Million Dollar Baby. That same 13,500-square-foot facility has enough room for four boxing rings, heavy bags, and 92 trainers, many of whom are former boxing champions. Personal trainer Alexis Dreiss works out with pro boxer Scott Burrell four times a week in two days of light sparring and two days of hard sparring. The latter involves her fighting in the ring with other pros. That might sound intimidating, but Dreiss says Gleason’s is all about community. “You’re kind of bombarded with a bunch of seemingly menacing faces, but when you do get to know them, they all have hearts of gold,” she says. Oscar Arana, who has been training at Gleason’s for two years, says, “There are coaches who probably don’t know my name but have helped me by seeing me spar, hitting the bag, giving me tips as they’re walking the floor.” Arana trains five to six times a week with Don Saxby; recently, Saxby was unable to attend Arana’s match in Poughkeepsie, so Burrell stepped in. “This guy took time out of his day, his life, and was like, ‘Nah, we’re rolling up there. You’re not gonna go by yourself,’” Arana says. “I was like, ‘Man, this place is great.’” (From $25.)

For Lots of Options

Overthrow Boxing Club, 9 Bleecker St.; 646-705-0332;

If not for the fighters shadowboxing in the street in front of Overthrow Boxing Club, one might mistake it for a dive bar. It’s covered in graffiti and fliers, and TVs and neon illuminate the windows. Inside, the space is divided between two floors. Upstairs is the ring where private training sessions, Wednesday-night sparring, and advanced ringwork classes take place. The Boxing Burnout Class, a 45-minute workout incorporating the basics of shadowboxing and heavy-bag work, happens in the basement. A big appeal for Overthrow is its scope of offerings. “They meet you where you are,” model Olesia Anisimovich says. “A lot of people go there to get ready for amateur fights, and a lot go to get in shape and have fun.” Anisimovich, who has been going to Overthrow on and off since 2016, now does sparring sessions (and the occasional burnout class) to focus on her footwork. Designer Antonia Martel solely attends the burnout classes. Unlike the teachers in other fitness classes she’s tried, Overthrow’s trainers have more of a straight-up approach while still being encouraging. “They remind you of things without being so woo-woo about it,” she says. “Once, I was told that your mind will tell you that you’re tired before your body actually is. They keep it real. I connect more with that than motivational things that just sound like a bunch of crap to me.” (From $38.)

For Technical Advice at Any Level

SouthBox, 171 Lincoln Ave., the Bronx; 347-591-2131;

From SouthBox’s wall of street-facing floor-to-ceiling windows, passersby can see clients working on the hanging heavy bags or in the boxing ring, all under the watchful eye of a Muhammad Ali mural. Freelance executive producer Kristine Smith has tried a number of boxing gyms throughout the city but considers SouthBox her “second home” because she’s there so often. She appreciates how supportive the coaches are in teaching her proper technique, even though she doesn’t plan on fighting. She trains with Eric Kelly, the gym’s founder, who has taught her how to slow down her throws so she’s turning over her knuckles, keeping her arm at the proper length, and bending her knees. Boxer Israel Bailey went in knowing he’d want to compete, so he was set up with a trainer to help him get fight ready. “I’m not gonna lie: When I first started, it was kind of boring,” Bailey says. “I was jump roping, doing repetitive exercises nonstop, but it got me to where I am now.” He’s since fought in two major fights — the second of which he won. “I’ve only been boxing for a year and seven or eight months,” he says. “But everyone thinks I’ve been fighting longer because the coach turned me into a different type of monster.” (From $20.)

For a Form of Therapy

Trinity Boxing Club, 20 Vesey St.; 212-374-9393;

Since opening in 2004, Trinity Boxing has moved all around Manhattan, and dedicated clients have moved right along with it. Former lacrosse player and entrepreneur Crista Samaras, with the gym from the start, says it’s known as a safe haven: “If you feel slighted, like you need to rise to a challenge, this is the place you wanna train.” The owner, f-ormer Gleason’s trainer Martin Snow, who was a recurring, beloved character on The Real Housewives of New York as Leah McSweeney’s trainer, does this by making clients face their fears. “He’s a psychologist and a trainer,” says McSweeney, who has boxed with Snow since 2009. “You get a complete mind, body, and spirit workout.” Sessions consist of cardio warm-up, shadowboxing, and one-on-one ring work with Snow sharing inspirational advice. He’s said it’s harder to punch something than take a punch, says McSweeney. “He knows your fears and will use that to get you to throw the punch. From a woman’s perspective, he helps women really believe in themselves.” Snow also teaches kids’ classes three times a week, which Samaras’s two children attend. (From $30.)

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The Best Boxing Gyms in New York