N.Y. - Less than a year old, the Seneca Nation Boxing Club (SNBC)
is already making its presence felt in Western New York. For 10
days in early October, the club will host the Native American
Boxing Team as it trains for the 24th annual Tammer Tournament
in Tampere, Finland.
is the first time that [the Native American] team has been invited
to Finland - they usually invite the American Olympic Team," said
SNBC founder Mike Tome, adding that while in Finland, the Native
team will battle boxers from 15 countries between Oct. 16 - 19.
Oct. 3 - 13, the team will train at the SNBC's Knockout Factory
Gym in Salamanca and conduct a boxing clinic at the club's open
house on Oct. 4 and 5. Other boxing clubs from Western New York
and southern Ontario have been invited to participate.
team is sponsored by the Native American Sports Council in Colorado
Springs, Colo. and is comprised of the best boxers in Indian country.
Several Olympic coaches and pro boxers will accompany the Native
boxers to Salamanca. In addition, a film crew from the Public Broadcasting
System (PBS) is traveling with the team as part of its efforts to
document the re-emergence of Native American boxing.
said his gym's doors are open to anyone who wants to box. The operation
is privately owned and privately funded but donations are certainly
welcome. Training and boxing takes place in a former beverage company
gym has only been around since the beginning of the year, but we've
been growing in leaps and bounds," Tome told Indian Country Today.
"We're becoming a force to be reckoned with in Western New York."
boxing, Tome and fellow coaches (and former Golden Gloves boxers)
Billy Abrams and Jimmy Wilder seek to give young people an alcohol
and drug-free environment in which to learn commitment, discipline
and camaraderie. USA Boxing, the sport's national governing body,
has certified the three as both coaches and referees.
kids are really excited and proud of what they're doing," Tome said.
"They like people to come and see how they're progressing. Every
day they look forward to coming in and training and getting the
praise that they deserve."
June, Tome took five of his protégés to the Native
American boxing championships at Peshawbestown, Mich. and brought
home three national titles and two runners-up, drawing praise from
SNBC, in conjunction with the Casals Boxing Club of Niagara Falls,
will host its first sanctioned boxing card on Oct. 12. The "Columbus
Day Rumble on the Rez" will feature 15 bouts and will be held at
the Gil Lay Arena in Irving, adjacent to the Seneca Nation Bingo
more information on the Seneca Nation Boxing Club, visit its Web
site at http://www.knockoutfactory.com.