The Portland Olympic Club, Inc. became a non-profit organization in 1992, operating as Portland Boxing Club under the leadership of Bob Russo. From the first day, the Portland Boxing Club’s mission has been to provide Portland-area youth with a safe place to learn the sport of boxing. For its entire 31-year history, volunteers have operated the Portland Boxing Club six days per week with no paid staff. The Portland Boxing Club does not receive any public funding. Operations are sustained through memberships, sponsorships, donations and hosting boxing shows. Of those funding sources, hosting boxing shows is the primary source of income. 

In 1992, a tireless group of volunteers renovated the abandoned lumber kiln at 33 Allen Avenue to convert the space into a boxing gym. The building had been neglected for many years and required extensive repair before it could be occupied. When the renovations were complete, the Portland Boxing Club opened and began providing boxing instruction.

The Portland Boxing Club hosted first boxing show at its Allen Avenue location almost immediately after opening. The Portland Boxing Club has since hosted 106 boxing shows, which have moved from the Portland Boxing Club’s gym to the Steven’s Avenue Armory to the Portland Exposition Building as the shows have grown in attendance.

Amateur boxers from the Portland Boxing Club have won 238 championships during the 32-year history. These include:

  • National Golden Gloves
  • New England Golden Gloves
  • Northern New England Golden Gloves
  • USA Boxing New England Championship
  • USA Boxing National Championship
  • New England Silver Mittens
  • New England Silver Gloves
  • USA Junior Olympics
  • Rocky Marciano Tournament

Portland Boxing Club has had 5 amateur boxers in the Olympic trials and 3 amateur boxers on the US Boxing Team representing the United States at matches in Thailand, Italy, Germany, Kazakhstan, India, Ecuador, Cuba, Ireland, Puerto Rico and Canada.

The Portland Boxing Club lives its motto, “Building Champions and Great Citizens.” From the very first day, the mission of the Portland Boxing Club has been to provide young athletes training in the sport of Olympic-style amateur boxing while helping them to build their character. Many of the youth come from underprivileged social and economic environments and require financial assistance to train and compete.

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