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 Women's Boxing At Gleasons 


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Malissa Smith is a Women’s Boxing Historian and Author of A History Of Women’s Boxing as well as a longstanding Gleason's Gym regular. Acclaimed by The Ring as “the bible of women’s boxing,” Smith’s book is the first comprehensive history of the sport. Rich in detail and exhaustively researched, this book illuminates the struggles, obstacles, and successes of the women who fought—and continue to fight—for respect in their sport. The book explores all aspects of women’s participation from the earliest contests in eighteenth-century London on through the 2012 Olympics when women’s boxing was officially added to the Games, and beyond. A History Of Women’s Boxing is a must-read for boxing fans, sports historians, and for those interested in women's history.


Malissa’s love affair with boxing began as a young girl but wasn’t fully realized until she walked into Gleason’s Gym in January of 1997 and began to train. Boxing not only awakened her, but truly uncaged her soul, bringing her to her other passion, writing. 
A continued presence in the early morning hours at the gym, Smith created the blog as a labor of love back in October 2010. She documents all aspects of women in boxing as well as to chronicle her own journey of motivation and self-care. Gleason’s has also been her writing home, having penned a portion of her critically acclaimed book, A History Of Women’s Boxing at the gym.


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Malissa with the Gleason's Girl Gang.  From l to r, Sonya Lamonakis, Melissa St. Vil, Ronica Jeffrey, Keisher 'Fire' McLeod & Alicia 'Slick' Ashley.



Gi-huge-ic congratulations to  our own 119 Female Ring Masters Champion Iman James - who’s dedication, strength, drive, kindness and power overwhelm us on a daily basis. Shout out to her training team Ronica Jeffrey & PJ Lawson


 Congratulations, Heather Hardy! 

Heather Hardy Uses Smart Boxing
To Beat Vincent, Gets WBO Crown

By Michael Woods on October 28, 2018 Courtesy

They started out just like they finished in their first rumble at Coney Island, in the main event for many of the fans in the Hulu Theater at MSG in NYC... MORE

 At Gleason’s, A Close Community Of Female Fighters 

Tim Knox has a keen eye for engaging narratives. As a seasoned photographer with a variety of major credits to his name, Tim has visited Gleason’s for several pieces over the years, and, ultimately, the richness of narrative keeps bringing him back through our doors.

“When you get here, what unfolds is just so much story,” he smiles, taking a small break from creating fighter portraits. “There’s a lot to be said. And I think the best way to say it is through the people that are actually here.”


From former dancers to medical professionals to survivors of seemingly insurmountable circumstances, Gleason’s attracts a wide array of clientele, each with a unique story and drive.  “Everybody has their own reason…for being here and for fighting,” Tim says. “And it’s not just about strength or power. It’s about how they fight…heart…strategy…so many different facets of it.”

​Tim set about capturing this inner strength through his recent portraits of our fighters, and Gleason’s community of female boxers told a particularly engaging narrative that day. “When I photograph them, and when I [ask] what [boxing] means to them, as women…there’s a sense of dignity and pride and confidence. The women train a lot harder,” he says, marveling at their work rate. “They’re a lot more intense about it.”

As Tim notes, boxing training provides all students with more than just self-defense and fitness, as fighters often discover inner strength, witnessing glimpses of their true character in the gym. “Everybody’s saying how much it changes them. Everybody has a better sense of themselves.”

For technique, for fitness, for confidence, or for self-discovery, come visit Gleason’s, and add your voice to our growing community.


Check out Tim Knox's photo essay in The Guardian.

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