Lace on the Gloves: Amateur Boxing in the US and Beyond
78 images Created 19 May 2014
Amateur boxing stands in the shadow cast by its showier, professional cousin. Within this world, I have photographed a small boxing club housed in old church in Somerville, Massachusetts, at the New England Golden Gloves competition in Lowell, MA at Johnny Tocco's sweatbox in Las Vegas, and in Almaty, Kazakhstan, I have found something quieter and purer than I thought boxing could be. Alongside the blood and bruises exist relationships between fighter and trainer, and among fighters and trainers, that are as true and loving as relationships can be. The kids who come to the gym are almost by definition at-risk, and what they seek, what they hunger for, is as complicated as love, glory, and survival. I have travelled to Kazakhstan, where Olympic boxing feels new and full of promise, and children practice in large groups for hours at a time; back to New England, where the Silver Mittens draws scores of boys, and some girls, between the ages of eight and fifteen; back to the seedy Las Vegas boxing clubs whose walls reek of the desperate sweat of wanna-be's and hangers-on. In each of these worlds I have found the story of amateur boxing framed in images of bodies, tiredness, contact, desire, damage, relationship, violence and heart.