The Kronk Gym Detroit

Emanuel Steward’s Dream

The Legendary Kronk Gym

Where Champions Were Made

Kronk Gym | Emanuel Steward |

The Kronk Gym is a boxing gym situated in Detroit, after headed by coach Emanuel Steward. It was run from the basement of the oldest recreation center of the City of Detroit, also eventually become a household word in the sport of boxing and its golden shorts a magnet to young talent following the monumental success and high profile of several World Champion and also Boxing Hall of Famer Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns from the 1980’s.

Wladimir Klitschko With Emanuel Steward
Wladimir Klitschko With Emanuel Steward

In 1980, Kenty became Kronk’s first world champion, Hearns after him months afterwards. Duane Thomas, another Kronk fighter, conquer John Mugabi to the WBC light middleweight title in 1986. McCrory’s brother, Steve McCrory, was also a world champion who like a recreational won the flyweight gold trophy in the 1984 Summer Olympics at Los Angeles. Back in 1984 four Kronk crew members of different weight classes were ranked world’s top ten by AIBA: Steve McCrory #1 at 112 pounds, Mark Breland #1 in 147 lbs, Frank Tate #5 at 156 pounds, also Ricky Womack #3 at 178 lbs.

In the 1990’s the Kronk secure included two WBA welterweight champion Mark Breland, leading amateur prospect and future competition Tarick Salmaci, and replicate welterweight contender Oba Carr.

Kronk opened Another fitness center in Tucson, Arizona during the 1990’s. A new host of fighters who’d later become world champions came there, such as Gerald McClellan. The Kronk “franchise” began to market Kronk product through catalogue sales.

In 1998 Kronk started Kronk Gym website, promoting the gyms and their fighters.

Kronk Gym in Ruins
The Kronk Gym in Ruins

Back in September 2006, the original gym in 5555 McGraw Avenue between 33rd and Junction Streets in Detroit closed temporarily after thieves stole copper water pipes, cutting off supply to the building. Boxers relocated to some Dearborn Gold’s Gym. A “Save the Kronk” effort aimed at keeping the facilities from closure due to funding shortfall was set up by Emanuel Steward. The effort would finally work toward building a brand new Kronk.

The fitness center and recreation centre was closed from the Recreation Department on November 28, 2006 because of the prohibitive cost of repairs to the plumbing and construction infrastructure. In the past couple of decades, the Detroit gym jumped into a new centre in a storefront on West Warren Avenue. The roof was destroyed along with the basement gym had been greatly damaged.

The new centre opened on Memorial Day weekend in 2015 at 9520 Mettetal St.

On August 20, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic and following restrictions on sports events, the fitness center hosted its first professional boxing occasion, a long-time dream held by Steward. The card has been headlined by Kronk fighter Vladimir Shishkin who conquered Oscar Riojas via ninth-round technical knockout.

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