a letter from the founder
"We started out with one light bulb for illumination and one heavy bag suspended from a steel beam by a chain. "
I founded “Ike and Randy's Boxing Gym” located at 98 Park Avenue in Paterson, New Jersey in November 1993. The ground floor commercial space, I believe, had formerly been an auto body repair shop. Isaac “Ike” Rhule, a Jamaican man in his 60's owned the building. I named the gym after “Ike” Rhule who passed away in 1996. I intended to name the gym for my late brother Bob as well. But Bob insisted that we name the gym for our brother Randy (who is mentally challenged). Randy can only read his first name which he proudly observes on the sign located atop the fence leading into our driveway. I make sure that I always tell Randy that the gym is his property and he is the boss. It usually brings a smile to his face.
We started out with one light bulb for illumination and one heavy bag suspended from a steel beam by a chain. We kept cleaning the place and got some more bags to use. I rented the space from Ike and he chipped in his excellent carpenter and masonry skills. My late brother Robert "Bob" Shevack, was a licensed electrician and a gold seal boiler mechanic. Ike got rid of the front garage door and put bricks where the door had been. He also put in a metal covered entrance door. Ike went on to build us a boxing ring and a dressing room. He also gave us a large closet space. Bob put in great lighting and heating, and also built us a bathroom. Bob went on to put in smoke detectors for safety reasons too.
The gym was growing into a old fashioned looking boxing facility with all the necessities right there in good working order. Our membership was growing, and one day a British fellow stumbled in and said his name was Adrian Stone. He said he had been in the amateur ranks in the UK, and wanted to turn pro in the US. It was our first successful pro boxer in the gym. We had been visited by Ron Lyle earlier who wanted to make a comeback as well as a few other pros. But Adrian quickly rose in the welterweight ranks and attracted other pros for sparring. Aaron Davis became a regular along with other young professionals from Newark and Jersey City. They came because we had great sparring and many trainers and their boxers liked the old time atmosphere in our gym.
Film companies have also used the gym. ESPN Classic Sports has been to us twice. Fox Sports Network has been to Ike and Randy's to shoot boxing scenes for the Billy Miske Story. Sixty Minutes Sports (part of Showtime Sports) conducted interviews at the gym. Recently, a Powerade commercial for television was filmed at our gym. Again, we get requests from film companies and television stations because we are known by the New Jersey Film Commission and we have that 1940's boxing gym look.
Since our beginning, trainers such as Bob Shevack, Wayne Sharpe and Joey Rivera got the place running at top speed. Now, Ossie Duran, Ken De Berry and Mike Cupak are dedicated trainers doing a wonderful job with the kids. Champions such as Adrian Stone, Kendall Holt, Aaron Davis, Buddy McGirt,and Al "Ice" Cole have also spent time at our gym. World renown trainers such as Don Turner (who trained Evander Holyfield) and Tommy Brooks (who trained Mike Tyson) have used our place as well. Ike and Randy's Boxing Gym is well known in boxing circles. We are very familiar to the residents of Paterson too. Everyone knows where Ike and Randy's Boxing Gym is located. We also have members who are non-Patersonians. They come to us from cities in Passaic, Bergen, Essex, and Hudson Counties.
Ike’s & Randy Boxing Gym recently obtained a non-profit 501 (c)(3) status afforded by the IRS. We will engage in fund raising events and other activities to secure grants to keep the gym operating in proper order for years to come. The most important reason for us to continue breathing life into this gym is because we keep young people off the streets where disagreements all too often end in gunfire with fatal results. We teach young people of both sexes to respect one another and respect is simply afforded to those who train hard, develop talent, and display courage. People of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and religions mingle at the gym and display respect for one another. This is the paramount reason to continue doing what we do.
Several years ago there were actually six (6) boxing gyms in operation in Paterson. Presently, there are only two. We are the longest running boxing gym in Paterson with twenty-two years and two months of continuous operation. . Please consider making a small tax-deductible contribution to help less fortunate kids strive to become future champions.