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Best Boxing Gym: Cathartic place for a beating 

King's Gym

If Rocky Balboa were from Oakland, he'd train at a place like King's. Even better: For Oakland's Andre Ward, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in boxing, King's was the hole-in-the-wall gym he trained at. Ward's rise to fame has been well documented -- he's 9-0 as a pro as of this writing -- but the local boy still skips rope inside East Oakland's smallest, hottest, stinkiest gym. When the famous pugilist laces 'em up and gets between the ropes for heavy glove work, the old-timers don't so much as give him a second glance. No celebrities around here, kid. Over the years, King's has also developed a gravitational pull in a neighborhood besieged by errant youth orbiting out of control. Nowadays, thanks to the hard-word ethic on display every day, the punch-shack is packed tight in the after-school hours with Andre Ward-enviers. It's a special place, one Hollywood could only wish for.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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