COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — One local boxing team has found a new, permanent home in downtown Columbus.
In just five short years, the Rising Stars boxing team went from fighting in someone else’s gym to a brand-new facility they can now call home.
The team is able to take its fighting to the next level, both inside and outside the ring.
Rising Stars coach Ryan Dickey said he never imagined this would happen.
“No, absolutely not,” he said. “I was working a full-time job. This was just something I was doing on the side, to stay involved with the sport.”
In March of this year, the team was renting space out of a gym in Hilliard. Now, four months later, he got a call from his eventual business partners Lejuan Coleman and Guy Schmidt.
“They’re like, ‘Hey, we want to open a gym, we want to have boxing in it, we hear you’re the guy to work with,’” Dickey said.
That was the birth of Resolve Fitness, a new gym in downtown Columbus open to the public.
It’s also the new home for the Rising Stars team.
“We now have the capacity to train hundreds of people and teach hundreds of people how to box and to help people find a new passion, and a healthy lifestyle, and a new community,” Dickey said.
It’s giving fighters like Junior Williams their first taste of coaching.
“It lets me see from the outside in, right, what I was seeing when I was first learning the sweet science,” he said. “Maybe they’re not going to step in the ring or necessarily fight somebody, but at the end of the day, they lie their head at night and they’re like, ‘Wow, I went to sleep doing something I never dreamed of being capable of doing.’”
Because as Dickey said, he wants to train world champion fighters – and people.
“It really just sets guys up for their future in boxing when it’s time for them to hang up the gloves and they can’t compete anymore,” Dickey said. “Now they can start a career, just like I did myself, teaching people how to box and starting their own team.”
Dickey said many of the boxers have their sights set on qualifying for the 2024 Olympics, and he’s confident that in the years to come, you’ll see some of his fighters on the world’s biggest stage.