Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
BUSINESSES IN THE NEWS
WEBSTER – It’s been a long time since there was a boxing club in Webster, but the combination of pro boxing referee John “Zab” Zablocki and Powerhouse Gym owner Scott Holland are making it happen.
The pair of locals hope to have the doors of their new boxing gym, which will include a boxing ring, heavy bags, speed bags, and sparring gear, open by February 1 at the Powerhouse Gym in Webster.
Zablocki, who grew up in Webster and graduated from Shepherd Hill in 1978, and Holland, who also grew up in Webster and graduated from Bartlett in 1992, have been talking and planning this endeavor for some time.
Originally Holland asked Zablocki if he wanted to do one or two nights a week of boxing, more for fitness training than actual boxing. Things worked out so well that it led to plans to go all out with a fully equipped boxing gym.
“We are going to open up five nights a week from 5:30-7:30 and on Saturday mornings,” said Zablocki. “Two of my guys, Andy Palmerino and Pat Lawrence, both excellent fighters, are on board.”
“We will have a boxing ring, heavy bags, speed bags, sparring gear; it will be a club within the club with a separate membership fee. We really think it's going to take off. It’s something that the town hasn’t had for years.”
In fact, the last time there was a boxing club in the area it was Zablocki who ran it, at the old Webster-Dudley Boys Club in Dudley, from 1987-1989.
Years earlier the legendary Joe Arns ran the Webster-Dudley Boxing Club, which was located on High Street in the old firehouse, which is now a parking lot.
Arns trained several successful local fighters such as Dennis “The Bear” Tremblay, Al Robidoux, the late Alan “Little Bear” Tremblay, and Eddie “Cocky” Miller.
Zablocki picked up a few pointers from Arns and went on to become a successful trainer and a professional referee. He has refereed close to 100 pro fights, eight of which were title fights, including a historic bout between Ricky Hatton and Luis Callazo, which was telecast on HBO.
“As a business owner this is what differentiates us from everybody else as a service. John Zablocki brings a lifetime of experience to the table,” said Holland.
Holland, who was a star football player and two-year captain at Bartlett, where he also spent 4 years as the head football coach, actually boxed on one of Zablocki’s amateur boxing shows at the town hall in Webster, which increased his interest not only in boxing, but in forming a bond with him.
The new co-ed boxing club is not being set up as a training site for upcoming boxers but more as a place where you can go and train to get and stay in shape.
“This is authentic, but not intimidating. For example, if you are a professional middle aged guy, 40-45 years old, and you want to do something else besides working out at the gym and you want to box, this is where you can,” said Holland. “No one is going to get hurt here,” added Zablocki.
The Powerhouse Gym, which is located at 37 Sutton Road in Webster, opened its doors in 2004 and has been a popular and successful spot ever since and this new move should make it even more popular.
- Wednesday, 02 January 2013
- Posted in Categories: : Businesses in the News