Community stepping up to help boxing gym in need of equipment

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis boxing gym is desperate for equipment.

Sims Boxing Gym trains several top athletes, including world class and ringside champions. The gym, which continues to attract new members, is struggling to keep up with the demand.

“We have tons and tons of kids coming in and they’re running through the equipment rapidly,” said Anthony Sims Jr. “Boxing is not a cheap sport. The equipment is not cheap. Parents can’t afford to pay.”

Sims, who is a professional boxer himself with a long list of victory titles, coaches several up-and-comers. He said sometimes they don’t have enough equipment for everyone. In that case, they have to share.

“Sometimes we don’t even have matching boxing gloves for the kids when they come in. They’ll have a 16-ounce and a 12-ounce glove or maybe they only have one glove.”

“If you’re doing stuff with two different gloves – let’s say one is heavier and one is lighter – it’s harder to fight,” Keegan Gibbs told CBS4.

Gibbs is one of the competitive teams' captains. He pointed out some of the ripped gloves and several gloves that had holes in them.

“We don’t have normal kids. We have some of the top fighters in the world, in the country, that don’t have the equipment that they need,” Sims said. “Some of the kids tape their shoes because their toes are hanging out. It’s like going to school and not having pencils or paper--that’s how you do your work.”

That’s why Sims Boxing Gym is now trying to collect all the equipment they can. Title Boxing Club’s regional manager, Billy Vaughn, heard about their need and decided to pitch in.

“They have to have equipment. If they’re going to put the work in and work hard, if these kids are staying off the streets and have something to fight towards, why not help out if we can?” he said.

Title Boxing started a donation drive and told their members about it. It didn’t take long before people were not only donating their used items, but purchasing new wraps, gloves and head gear for the east side kids. They are stocked up at their Fishers and Glendale Shopping Center locations and plan to give the gear to Sims Boxing Gym on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

“The future is only as bright as the kids are and right now, we’re trying to make the future very bright for these kids,” Sims said.

Sims Boxing Gym will host a boxing barbecue Wednesday. If people have used or new boxing equipment they’d like to donate, the gym is located at 4615 E 10th St. in Indianapolis. The gym is usually open in the evenings.