Surrounded by the strip joints of Kings Cross, and right next door to the infamous Porky’s, isn’t where you’d expect one of Sydney’s newest and fastest-growing boxing gyms, but that’s where you’ll find it.
“Everybody grab a rope,” shouts out coach Ben Savva. One by one, people make their way to the corner of the boxing ring where skipping ropes hang from a post. For five minutes we practise double unders, criss-cross patterns, high knees, squats with cross-overs – anything to make skipping less tedious.
This is how every fight class starts at Boxing Works. These one-hour classes are run by Ben, a professional boxer and coach of a successful amateur team, mostly comprising of female fighters. If you’re a girl who wants to give competitive boxing a go, this is the place to do it.
“Ropes away. Shadow boxing,” Ben calls out.
In front of the mirror, we throw punches, weave and slip the strikes of our imaginary opponent. Ben shouts out different things to focus on: lead hand only (punching only with your left if you’re right-handed, right if you’re left-handed), fast punches (as it sounds), and sometimes even no hands (just footwork).
We’re then told to put on our gloves on, mouthguard in, and partner up. There’s quite a varied level of skill in the room, from people who have had 20-plus fights to those who are sparring for the first time.
“Today, we’re going to practise catching and countering,” Ben says as he demonstrates the drill. “Keep the power down!”
A few rounds of practising later, we put our head guards on to do four two-minute rounds of sparring. Sparring is supposed to be a less intense version of fighting (unless you’re preparing for an upcoming bout), although it’s easy to get carried away.
But the class doesn’t end there! Four more rounds hitting the punch bags and five minutes of ab work later, we’re collapsed on the floor and finally done. If you like leaving your workouts red-faced and drenched in sweat, and are keen to take your love of boxing fitness classes to the next level, make sure you drop by. Don’t be scared, everyone is really friendly. Promise.
Who: Boxing Works Kings Cross
Where: 83-97 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross, NSW
Contact: +61 2 9360 8887; www.boxingworks.com.au
What they offer: Boxing classes for fitness (Mond to Sat) and fighters (Tues and Thurs)
Prices: You can do an 8-day trial for $40, then $30 per class. You can buy a 10-pack for $250 (valid for 3 months), or sign up for unlimited classes for $88 per fortnight on direct debit.
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