Over the last thirty years, Bruce Silverglade has been busy keeping one of boxing’s grandest traditions alive. He is the driving force behind Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, a boxing treasure since 1937.
One of the last of New York City’s thriving boxing gyms, Gleason’s has been the training headquarters for such legends as Jake LaMotta, Muhammad Ali and Roberto Duran. In all, 131 World Champions have trained inside the gym’s hallowed walls. Currently five active title holders workout at Gleason’s as well as numerous contenders and dozens of Golden Gloves champions. And yes, women train at Gleason’s too.
The Silverglade name has been associated with boxing for over 65 years. Bruce’s father Edward, was one of the founders of the National PAL. He also worked for the National Olympic Committee and was the team manager for the US Olympic teams of 1980 and 1984.
In 1976, Bruce found himself in the middle of a divorce and sought refuge in boxing. While one marriage ended, another one was just beginning. Silverglade caught the boxing bug and quit his job of 16 years with Sears Roebuck and Company. He began refereeing and judging amateur bouts but because he liked “all” fighters he learned quickly that he could not be an impartial official. That’s when he turned to the administrative side of the sport.
From 1980 to 1985, Silverglade held some of the most prominent positions in amateur boxing. He was president of the Metropolitan Amateur Boxing Federation, a chairman of the National Junior Olympic Committee and a member of the National Selection Committee.
By the early 1980’s, Silverglade began devoting his efforts full-time to Gleason’s. In 1987, he started running live boxing cards at Gleason’s Arena, which was located one block away from the gym. That lasted until 1990, but Silverglade remained involved in the business side of boxing as a matchmaker and booking agent.
He helped to promote the first world title fight in Russia as IBF cruiserweight champion Al Cole defended his title against Glen McCrory. He has also made fights for some of the game’s top attractions: Arturo Gatti, Paulie Malignaggi, Yuri Foreman, Mark Breland and Zab Judah.
Bruce was inducted into the New York State Hall of Fame in 2015.
Silverglade lives in New York City. He graduated Gettysburg College in 1968 with a degree in economics. He also holds a master’s degree in the Sweet Science.