Always wanted to jump rope, spit a whole lot and posture endlessly in front of a mirror? Sometimes it’s difficult to fit the finer things in life into a workingman’s schedule. Fear not: Boxing, the often overlooked if not avoided sport that dots the i’s and crosses the t’s of manhood (were there i’s and t’s in “manhood”), is an active and enjoyable way to get rid of some pent up aggression at the same time as getting one hell of a workout. Here, four recommended clubs in Montreal.
Grant Brothers Boxing
Just outside the city centre is a small gym run by brothers Howard and Otis Grant — one a successful pro trainer, the other a former WBO World Champion. Trainees agree that the Grant Brothers’ can–do attitude is incredibly inspiring, and their no–nonsense training programs cut through the fluff of more corporate boxing clubs. They take on beginners, amateurs and pros, so no matter your skill level you’ll feel at home here. 2101 Rte Trans-Canada, Dorval, QC. 514-421-1459
Underdog Boxing Gym
Perhaps Montreal’s most aggressive–seeming club, Underdog tackles the sport with all the enthusiasm of an Olympic coach. Dubbed the best boxing gym in Quebec three years running, it has intensive sparring and training programs as well as more lax classes for white collars simply looking to stay in shape. Conveniently located dead centre downtown, it wouldn’t hurt to drop in on your way to, well, anywhere. 9 St-Catherine St. E, 514-843-5164
Mansfield Athletic Club
Built into one of the most highly equipped athletic centres in Canada is a select boxing program that focuses on the fitness side of the sport. Take advantage of the cardio and core strength training that stems from ducking and weaving, perhaps hitting the spa afterwards. Mansfield Athletic Club offers a free trial day pass, so be sure to check out the facilities before signing up. 1230 Mansfield Ave., 514-390-1230
Club de Boxe Chat Bleu
While having only one trainer at a gym can seem limiting and impersonal, Phil Dickinson makes a point of welcoming each individual boxer into his club. Dickinson’s impressive grasp of boxing technique really shines as he guides trainees through coordination, strength and stamina exercises. This joint is not for those looking to stop in and mess about with a punching bag — Dickinson takes training incredibly seriously and looks to improve both the consistency and fitness of his pupils. 435 Beaubien Ave. W., 4th Fl., 514-223-2432
Image courtesy of Romel Jacinto.