October 7th saw a fire take the Kronk Gym building in Detroit and burn it to the ground.
1921 saw Detroit’s Kronk Community Center open it’s doors, In 1971, boxing trainer Emanuel Steward started the boxing program that would last for decades. The gym came upon hard times in the 2000’s and closed it’s doors in 2006. The building was in an abandoned state and without nearby neighbors this past weekend when the fire started.
You can read the Detroit Free Press’ report on the Kronk Gym fire here. The piece includes pictures of Kronk alumnus Thomas”Hitman” Hearns as he visited the site of the fire on Sunday, October 8th. Hearns, who rose to fame fighting under Steward out of Kronk, is boxing’s first five weight class world champion and he numbers among the thirty or so men who have attained world titles and called Kronk home.
With the fire that Detroit’s fire department is calling arson, a chapter of Detroit’s boxing history comes to another sad ending. Kronk Gym may be gone, but it is not forgotten.
A history of the gym can be found at the Kronk Boxing Team website.