After three decades in what should be a boxing national landmark, the final bell has rung for the Davenport Boxing Club. The gym at the bottom of Gaines Street in downtown Davenport IA, lease is finally up and has been sold and will soon be a block of apartments. But owner, Pat Pena, son of legendary boxing coach Alvino Pena isn’t going out without a fight as he searches for a new home for his team. “We’ve got until July 6th,” explained Pena. “We are out looking for a new spot and I’m just hoping something comes through.”
It was never the intention of Pena to fill his father’s shoes and run the Davenport Boxing Club, where professional boxers, Michael Nunn and Antwun Echols made names for themselves and most recently, Donovan Dennis is doing the same. But when the late Alvino Pena became sick five years ago and could no longer run the gym, Pat kept the lights on and has not turned them off since. “I’ve got to do it,” said Pena. “We’ve got tournaments in June, July and August and these kids have to work out.”
The Davenport Boxing Club is so much more than a group of people jumping rope, hitting bags and sparring. This team is like family to each other. And this small gym in an area of town that isn’t always on the map for the most positive things, with its priceless pictures and memorabilia hanging everywhere has been a place for the young men and women of this neighborhood to be constructive for a few hours each evening. A new home could mean new opportunities for the twenty-plus members of Pena’s team. “We can’t stop. We’ve got to keep going,” said Pena. “I’m hoping someone hears about this and has somewhere for us to go.”
For more information or if you have any suggestions for the Davenport Boxing Club, contact Pat Pena at 309-502-1687 or stop in to the Davenport Boxing Club at 609 West 4th Street, Davenport, IA.
Davenport’s Boxing Club rising star Donovan Dennis returns to the spotlight on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights were he will fight in the title bout of the Boxino Heavyweight Championship on May 22.