After 27 years of training and working at the Abbott Community Center, Topeka Golden Gloves is forced to leave the facility at the end of the month.
Shawnee County Parks and Recreation notified the group that the community center would shut down.
“I grew up here really and to see this place go really breaks my heart,” Golden Gloves boxer Michael Guerrero said. “Feels like all of the people’s hard work has been thrown away.”
The organization trained several boxing champions over the years and held one final training session on Tuesday night.
“Well it came to all of us as a surprise and our jaws just dropped,” Raul Barron, Topeka Golden Gloves coach said. “I’m hoping that whoever buys this building can maybe let us back in other than that we’ll have to find a new home for our boxers, for our kids.”
“I was pretty upset when I heard about it and I fought back tears a little bit,” Golden Gloves boxer Brian Clements said. “It’s alright. Things happen for a reason, just put it in God’s hands and we’ll find a home here soon.”
Other gyms and workout facilities across Topeka were made available to the Topeka Golden Gloves for temporary use but the group searches for a permanent home.
“It’s motivation for us because that’s going to give us the edge to train harder where we’re actually fighting for something and I feel sorry for our next opponents,” Guerrero said.