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Best Boxing Gym St. Louis 2008 - 12th and Park Recreation Center

12th and Park Recreation Center

12th and Park Recreation Center

1410 S. Tucker Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63104

314-589-6142

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The boxing gym at the 12th and Park Recreation Center is nothing to look at, with its peeling paint and ancient-looking equipment. Sans A/C, or even cross-ventilation, the place blasts like a furnace on hot summer days. But the scrappy setting matters not to St. Louis' young fighters, who flock to the gym by the dozen come weekdays at 2:30 p.m. They start young — trainer Kenny Loehr will take 'em beginning at age seven — and seem to stay forever. A former Marine who was shot in the Korean War, the 76-year-old Loehr won his bread as a postman but made his life as a boxing coach. Since 1955 he has shepherded hundreds of fighters to Golden Gloves championships and took Michael Spinks all the way to the 1976 Olympics. Loehr's latest star is Deandre "The Bull" Latimore, a Vashon High School grad who recently turned pro and moved to Las Vegas for more exposure. Fighters say Loehr has long been known for his hard-knocks, no-nonsense approach. "I thought he was a maniac when I first met him," says Harold Petty, Loehr's assistant. "But he softens up once he sees that you love to work." Loehr puts it another way: "I'm not what you call too nice of a guy sometimes, but my life is these kids."

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Roland Finger
Roland Finger

Those of us who've ever had the pleasure of walking pass the basketball court, swimming pool in the summer, as well as the ping pong table and up the steps and Meeting Ken have trained under 'Greatness' and you sparred in a ring that produced the likes of Mr. Cladell Aitkens, Pelo Carbine, Mike and Leon Spinks, Harold Petty, Mr Fred Knox(Love You Bro), Mike Goodeau, Ronald Freeman, Terrell and Lavell Finger, ...........The young brothers doing their thing now, Leon Lattimore-Goodeau, Tyrone Chatman, Danny Williams, I could go on forever. Lem Steples has to be mentioned whenever boxing and St. Louis are being related(him and Caldell certainly best St Louis fighters produced) with Kens input. I apologize for anyone I didn't mention, alive or not with us. Love Kenny Loehr forever.

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