Boxing-Centered Facility Represents Shift in Recreation

A two-ring boxing center in Macon, Ga., will mark its opening with a 24-bout tournament, though most of its regular users may never land a punch.

The boxing center, named the Bishop Frank Arena after local boxing-scene legend Frank Ray, becomes the first "specialty center" operated by the Macon-Bibb County Recreation Department. It will open Sept. 6 in the wake of the Middle Georgia Amateur Boxing Club's closing last January. Recreation director Dale Doughtery expects many boxers who used that facility to join the new Macon-Bibb United Boxing and Conditioning Club.

Yet Doughtery wants his club to focus on more than just uppercuts and jabs. “The objective here is not just boxing,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph. “It’s setting up a conditioning club also.”

Image via The TelegraphImage via The Telegraph

In addition to boxing programs, Doughtery hopes to hold fitness classes for 2- to 5-year-olds and after school exercise programs for youth ages six to 14. He's also looking to add rock climbing and offering academic programs to cater to those not interested in sports.

The arena will also boast two boxing rings and 600 seats of bleachers, punching bags and a workout area — but it won't have a full weight room. Instead, Doughtery is looking to install satellite-linked screens that would show a variety of exercise programs.

The Macon-Bibb United Boxing and Conditioning Club is truly open to all, regardless of age or interest.

Andrew Brandt is an intern with Athletic Business.

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