The thumping of about a dozen pairs of feet on the canvas sounds like the beating of drums; Indians on the warpath.

“C’mon Lions!” The man’s African accent makes it sound like he’s saying “Lie-yawns.” In the ring are 11 fighters all pouring sweat as they jog in place. On command they dive into a pushup, mashing their faces to the canvas. As fast as you can blink they’re back on their feet and the rumbling drones on.

But these are not Golden Glove contenders, though they train like they are. These are the Village Lions, a rugby club in the city, and they’re training for a white collar boxing bout. Each will face off against another teammate for charity this Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. And it’s Gleason’s Gym that’s going to get them ready.

Gleason’s is nothing fancy. There isn’t a single piece of equipment in here that looks a day over forty. Even the electric exercise bikes, which I’m pretty sure they didn’t have forty years ago. The place is a true rarity; the kind of old school boxing gym you see recreated in Hollywood. Gleason’s though is the real deal, right down to it’s chipped paint and duct-tape wrapping.

The walls are plastered with pictures of fighters – Tyson, Paccquiao, Marciano. Someone’s nailed to a concrete column what looks like a floor-mat; printed on it is that iconic photo of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston, gloved fist beating chest and Ali roaring.

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