Hundreds of people crowded the Gene Lewis Boxing Club gym Nov. 10-12 for the 41st Annual Gene Lewis Invitational Boxing Tournament. Over 300 amateur boxers from the western U.S. competed for 95 championship belts. The bouts were officially sanctioned by United States Amateur Boxing Inc.
The tournament is named in honor of Gene Lewis, a Mesa legendary boxing trainer and the 1991 Mesa Man of the Year for his service to the youth of the community. The boxing club that carries his name has trained thousands of women and men. Joshua Benjamin, executive director for the club described this year’s tournament as one of the best in his memory.
The Gene Lewis Boxing Club is located at 59 E. Broadway Road in central Mesa. The club serves: “To promote decency and prevent delinquency through services geared to providing behavioral guidance and the promotion of health, social, educational, vocational and character development of boys and girls.” Boxing and physical training is the tool that Benjamin and the dedicated staff and volunteers use to carry-on the vision that Gene Lewis had for his life.
At the end of the weekend, all the young boxers returned to their homes. Some had elaborate championship belts, others had large trophies and every boxer had the inspiration born of competition and friendship.
– Ted Wendel is photographer for MyNewsMesa.com.