Photos: New Miami Beach 5th St. Gym Continues Rich Boxing History

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“The Greatest” Muhammad Ali regularly trained at 5th St. Gym

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Through the years 5th St. Gym photo gallery below
(pictures courtesy of Tom Tastas and 5t St. Gym)

MIAMI BEACH (June 8, 2015) – The new 5th St. Gym is carrying on the rich boxing history established there in 1950 by the famed Dundee brothers, Chris and Angelo.
 
Known throughout boxing as the world’s most famous gym, 5th St. Gym became a major attraction for boxers, international celebrities and tourists alike, originally due to presence of a rising star training there, Cassius Clay, who, of course, went on to become The Greatest, Muhammad Ali.
 
Hall of Famers and future inductees have trained at 5th St. Gym over the years, including Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Carmen Basilio, Archie Moore, Willie Pep, Roberto Duran, Lennox Lewis, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones, Jr. and so many other ring greats.
 
Others who have been part of the 5th St. Gym experience are actor Matt Damon and comedian Dave Chappelle, in addition to elite athletes such as Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Lebron James, Green Bay Packers future Hall-of-Famer Julius Peppers and former UFC great George St. Pierre. 5th St. Gym’s history also includes legendary celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery, Jackie Gleason.
 
5th St. Gym fell on hard times at one point but a revitalization started in 2009, thanks to new owners Tom Tsatas and Dino Spencer, who re-opened the gym at its original location on 5th and Washington in Miami Beach.
 
In 2013, 5th St. Gym moved from its original location of 63 years, off and on, when CVS took over the property and forced the gym to move to its present location at nearby 1434 Alton Road.
 
“We’re slowly getting back,” Spencer explained. “We’ve only been reopened since 2010 and in our new location since 2013. We have new people – trainers, manager and fighters – and offer unique opportunities for up-and-coming professional boxers. You can’t catch passes from Tom Brady but boxers can train here every day with champions and contenders. There are also ultra-successful people here who can teach boxers about how to be successful outside the ring. We’re creating an environment at 5th St. Gym to give young boxers every opportunity to succeed.
 
“Wildcard Gym (Los Angeles) is the No. 1 spot today but, on this side of the country, fighters from all over the world are coming here to train. Bryant Jennings trained here for his fight with (Wladimir) Klitschko, Manual Charr trained here for his last fight, Anthony and Andre Dirrell have trained here, (Sergey) Kovalev, too. They get elite sparring here for their training camps. Some come here with their coach, others have me train them.
 
“A lot of boxing managers are here every day like John Seip and Charr’s manager was hanging out here, too. In fact, he’s interested in signing a fighter he saw at our gym. People from Warriors Gym are here a lot looking for young talent. These people can make a difference in a young fighter’s life.   Fighters are getting exposure here before they ever get to fight on TV. We also have great weather and all the amenities of South Beach. It’s only a matter of time before we’re back on top at No. 1.”
 
Times have changed and today the heart and soul of 5th St. Gym beats strong once again with world-class boxers training alongside supermodels Adriana Lima, Alessandra and Nina Adgal, as well as Grammy winner Cedric Gervais, just to name a few of the more notable non-boxer members working out there on a regular basis.
 
Once again, 5th St. Gym is the training mecca for world champions, top contenders and promising prospects. In fact, Seip discovered gifted Italian boxer Daniele Marco Scardina at 5th St. Gym and signed him to a professional contract.
 

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Newly-crowned International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight champion James DeGale, pictured here with 5th St. Gym owner Dino Spencer, trained at 5th St. Gym for his recent title-winning performance against Andre Dirrell, who has also trained at 5th St. Gym in the past, in Boston. DeGale sparred with the gym’s top amateur southpaw, Niko Valdes, to prepare for Dirrell. DeGale won a unanimous 12-round decision over Dirrell to become the first Olympic gold medalist from Great Britain to capture a major world title as a professional boxer.
 
“Four years ago,” Seip explained, “I moved my managerial company to Miami from New York City. It had become very difficult to find solid sparring in New York City, where boxing gyms were closing due to the demand for high rents. The 5th St Gym has grown back into a big time professional boxing gym. I house all my fighters in Miami and they all train exclusively at 5th St. Gym for boxing and conditioning. There are pros who fly in from other countries to prepare there for fights. The atmosphere is incredible and professional boxers, heavyweights to featherweights, spar there three or four days a week. Let’s face it, sparring is like a classroom and it’s pivotal for pros to prepare and learn. The teachers at 5th St. Gym — Dino Spencer, Guy Laieta and Louis Perez – are all top rated. It’s also a fun place to hang my hat. You cannot beat Miami weather for training, either.”
 
For more information about 5th St Gym, visit www..5thstgym.com, follow on Twitter @5thstgym, or call 305.763.8110. Operation hours of gym are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am.-9:30 p.m. ET, Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. ET.
 

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Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali
 

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(L-R) 2008 U.S. Olympic Bronze medalist and world super middleweight title challenger Andre Dirrell, 5th St. Gym owner Dino Spencer and former world heavyweight/cruiserweight world champion David Haye
 

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(L-R) – Seated the late HOF trainer Angelo Dundee, Muhammad Ali, the late journalist Bert Sugar and Dino Spencer, behind (L-R)Tom Tsatas, unknown person, and former world heavyweight title challenger Fres Oquendo
 

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(L-R) – Former world heavyweight/cruiserweight champion David Haye & comedian Dave Chappelle

Super Bouts Throughout Boxing History

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By: Steve Gallegos

With the long anticipated mega fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao just a day away, we are going to look back at some of the “Super” bouts throughout boxing history.

Marvin Hagler vs Thomas Hearns– During an era of 4 kings: Hagler, Leonard, Hearns and Duran, this was probably the best fight matchup made from the circle of these 4 legends. The 1st round was one of the best rounds in boxing history as Hearns came out throwing everything he had and rocked Hagler.. Hagler showed his grit as well as a very hard head and weathered the early onslaught. Hearns, who liked to end fights early, tried his best to get Hagler out early and broke his right hand in the process. After a bad cut on the forehead of Hagler, put the possibility of the fight coming to a close, Hagler went in for the kill and put Hearns down and out.
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Marvin Hagler vs “Sugar” Ray Leonard– Like Mayweather vs Pacquiao, this bout was the most anticipated fight in the 1980’s. Both men were superstars with contrasting styles and personalities. Leonard was the charismatic, fun loving hero and Hagler was the blue collar, all American Joe. After many years of waiting as well as many comebacks for Leonard, the fight finally took place in 1987. The fight wasn’t an all out slugfest as Leonard chose to box, move and not engage with Hagler. Hagler started off slow, choosing to fight in an orthodox position as compared to his southpaw style. Ray used the ring, threw flashy combinations and would flurry in the last 30 seconds of each round to try and steal the round. Hagler had his moments in the middle rounds; however this was Ray’s night as he fought a smart fight, won over the crowd and would win over the judges as he won a 12 round split decision.
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Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield– Mike Tyson was considered “The Baddest Man On The Planet” and very few fighters posed a threat to Tyson. After putting off a big payday against Evander Holyfield and electing to give a shot to a 42-1 underdog in James “Buster” Douglas, Tyson was knocked out in 10 rounds in Tokyo, Japan in February of 1990. Holyfied would then knock “Buster” out later on that year to claim the heavyweight title and a showdown between Tyson and Holyfield looked like a done deal. They were scheduled to meet in early 1992; however Tyson’s rape conviction would scrap the fight all together. After Tyson’s release from prison in 1995, he did claim 2 Heavyweight titles over obscure oppostion. Finally in November of 1996, the two met at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. Holyfield, who showed he wasn’t intimidated by Tyson fought a well strategized fight in which he kept the fight on the inside and didn’t let Tyson land his hard bombs. The end result was an 11th round TKO for Holyfield.
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Julio Cesar Chavez vs Oscar De La Hoya– It was the most anticipated bout since Hagler vs Leonard. You had the Mexican legend in Chavez who had ruled the 140 lb division for the 7 years and you had the Mexican-American Golden Boy moving up in weight, trying to win his 4th world title. It was a contrast of styles as Chavez was the all action banger and De La Hoya was an exciting boxer/puncher. They met in June of 1996 at the legendary outdoor arena at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, NV. De La Hoya came out using his jab and immediately opened up a huge cut over Chavez’s right eye. The eye continued to bleed badly and in the 4th round, De La Hoya opened and began landing hard left-right combinations. Referee Joe Cortez called time to have the ringside doctor inspect the cut and the bout was stopped awarding De La Hoya the WBC Super Lightweight Championship.
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Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier– It was the fight dubbed as the “Fight Of The Century”. You had 2 undefeated Heavyweight Champions going against each other to see who was the best. Ali had been away from boxing for 3 1/2 years due to refusing induction into the Armed Forces. During Ali’s exile from boxing, a new heavyweight champion came along in “Smokin” Joe Frazier. Frazier; however didn’t garner the same respect as Ali did and many didn’t feel he was the true heavyweight champ. The 2 champions would meet in 1971 and they had the United States of America divided. It was a fight of many twists and turns and the most memorable moment of the fight happened in round 15 when Frazier landed a huge left hook that put Ali down. The end result was a 15 round unanimous decision win for Frazier.
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Manager John Seip Inks Italian Super Middleweight Prospect Daniele Marco Scardina

MIAMI (April 6, 2015) – Veteran boxing manager John Seip has signed highly decorated Italian amateur boxer Daniele Marco Scardina to an exclusive managerial contract.
 
Seip is best known for guiding Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin to the World Boxing Organization (WBO) world middleweight title. The native New Yorker also manages rising British super middleweight Steed “The Stallion” Woodall (7-0-1, 5 KOs).
 
The 21-year-old Scardina hails from Rozzano, a town of less than 40,000 people in the Province of Milan. He started boxing in 2008 at the age of 16, following in his uncle’s footsteps who was a boxer at that time, as well as Daniele’s role model.
 
Scardina, who had 56 amateur bouts, captured top honors in numerous Italian tournaments including the Rovereto National, National Silver Glove, and two National Golden Gloves. He also won a bronze medal at an International event.
 
In 2013, he boxed for the Italia Thunder Boxing Team in the World Series of Boxing, winning his only match against a German opponent.
 
Scardina first caught Seip’s attention at the world famous 5th St. Gym in Miami Beach, originally opened in 1950 by Chris Dundee, and the home of countless world champions have trained there including Muhammad Ali, Carmen Basilio, Willie Pastrano, Emile Griffith, Archie Moore, Roberto Duran, Sonny Liston, and Willie Pep. The rich tradition continues at the new 5th St. Gym, located nearby at 1434 Alton Street, where top fighters from around the world such as Bernard Hopkins still train.  
 
“I first saw him training at the 5th St. Gym and he looked like a typical amateur,” Seip explained. “He threw wide punches and didn’t know how to throw a good jab. Trainers Guy Laieta and Dino Spencer started working with him and now he’s using his reach, fighting at a distance, and throwing combinations of jabs and hooks. He’s passionate about boxing, listening and learning every day. Daniele has good hand speed and power. He’s a handsome kid, too. I saw something in him, intangibles, and decided to sign him.
 
“Dino is an owner who has created a top-notch gym with great sparring opportunities in an atmosphere featuring so many talented fighters who really push each other. It’s already apparent that Danielle has improved his skills training there. He’s long, fast and powerful. His work ethic is incredible; he’s the first in the gym, last to leave. You can’t hurt this kid, either. We all believe that he has a very bright future.”  
 

Scardina hits heavy-bag at 5th St. Gym in Miami Beach
 
Unlike fighters from Russia and former Soviet-bloc nations, as well as those from Latin America who come to the United States to establish their professional boxing careers, Italian-born fighters rarely have followed the same route as Scardina, who moved to Miami last year and sleeps on the floor of his brother’s apartment.
 
The lone Italian-born world champion who fought professionally in America is Vito Antuofermo (50-7-2, 21 KOs), who was the WBC/WBA middleweight champion in 1979-1980. Antuofermo, though, moved with his family to Brooklyn from Puglia, Italy when he was 17 and he learned how to box in America.
 
“I have always wanted to be a champion in America,” Scardina said. “That’s the American dream for me. I think I’ll have a great opportunity in this country to be the greatest boxer I can be with the right help. John Seip is the right manager for me because he believes we can the world championship together as a team.”
 
Scardina’s favorite boxers are Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Miguel Cotto. “I’m working on perfection as an outside fighter and to main my arms closer,” Scardina added. I’m fighting to become world champion.”
 
Scardina is expected to make his pro debut this May or June.
 
Follow Scardina on Instagram @danieletoretto