Yesterday at the Morris Park Boxing Club in the Bronx, Joe DeGuardia hosted the gym's grand re-opening and first annual Holiday Party before a standing room only contingent of gym members (both past and present), press, and members from the surrounding community.
The building, which suffered a devastating fire exactly one year ago that left the entire gym in shambles, has been completely re-done and renovated, thanks to numerous donations from DeGuardia, and a generous donation of equipment by Everlast.
The gym is now busier than ever as many of the members are gearing up for this year's New York Golden Gloves Tournament, which starts in January.
"It was a great turnout, we couldn't have been happier," said DeGuardia, CEO of Star Boxing and building owner. "It really shows how important the gym is not to just the members, and the kids who box, but to the entire community.
"This gym has been here for so many years and has been so important in many of these young youth's lives. When the fire first happened not a lot of people thought we could build it back up, but just like a fighter, the gym got knocked down, but it's back up and fighting harder than ever.
"We are going to make this an annual thing now and each year we will look to expand more and more with it. It is our way of giving back to the gym and the community and bringing everyone together around the Holidays."
Fighters new and old turned out for the opening, which included hot food and beverages being served, as well as a Turkey and Chicken giveaway.
Some familiar faces in attendance were former lightweight world champion, Carlos Ortiz, former middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight world champion, Iran Barkley, former light heavyweight world champion Lou Del Valle, former Morris Park gym owner and operator, Joe DeGuardia Sr., as well as numerous other pro and amateur fighters that have trained or currently are training at the gym.