Manchester is renowned for having started the Industrial Revolution and is often nicknamed ‘Cottonopolis’ as a result. But it has also been dubbed ‘the sporting capital of the UK‘.
Even putting aside their famous football clubs, Manchester takes some beating when it comes to its sporting achievements: Ricky Hatton and Tyson Fury are just a couple of prime examples of the calibre of Mancunian sportsmen. But, of course, it’s not just the men of sports from the city who have found great success in sporting achievements – as you will soon see in great detail.
Our topic today is boxing. Specifically, boxing in Manchester. Your Superprof now lays out some of the best boxing clubs in and around Manchester. Along the way, you’ll be treated to a glimpse of history to find out how boxing became a legitimate sport… rather than just a combative event.
Find boxing classes near me.
You will need a mouthguard among other pieces of equipment when boxing. Photo credit: MartialArtsNomad.com on Visual hunt / CC BY
As with so much else in the Greater Manchester area – music, cultural events and other entertainment, boxing aficionados are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding and selecting a boxing club to work out in and a boxing instructor to learn from.
In fact, so plentiful are they that there are entire web pages dedicated to listing them!
Don’t worry; we’re not just going to throw you a hyperlink and let you sort things out for yourself; we’re going to talk about a select group of them and present others in a table so you can see for yourself their merits and locations at a glance.
Are you ready? Got your mouthpiece in? Get your gloves up; here we go!
If you are in the Ancoats area, you will find great boxing coaches and a lot of action at the Ancoats Amateur Boxing Club.
Everything from their YouTube videos to their Facebook page points to the fact that, no matter how much training you already have – or whether you are a complete novice, you would be perfectly welcome there.
One of the best features of this club is that it sponsors youths who wish to learn how to box.
This programme is called The Ancoats Lads. Classes for boxers under 10 years old meet Thursday evenings from 6 to 7; the over-10s meet on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7 until 9.
Hello, Caregivers! If you were looking for a way to channel your youths’ energy, this would be a great way to do so!
On the other end of the age spectrum, the Elite Boxing Club in Bolton offers free boxing classes to people over 50 years old.
We have decided to run this session to help people in the area become more active and hopefully start a new hobby. Elite Boxing
Each of these sessions is run by a former professional boxer. After a stellar career in the ring, one fighter in particular went on to pursue an education in sports science and physical conditioning.
Now he puts his wealth of experience in the ring and his education at your disposal.
Whether you have long wanted to explore this ancient sport in depth or are just looking for a new way to improve your physical fitness, the Elite Boxing Club would be a great place to start.
You might wonder: do you need to be in any kind of shape? Might you need any prior training?
Not at all, the boxing instructors at Elite aver. They would be as happy to work with complete novices to the sport as with anyone who has had a bit of training.
There are some who have a disdain for pugilism: isn’t it just two people, knocking each other about, sometimes for money?
Well, that’s one way to look at it but a more generous – a more realistic way to view of boxing is as a form of fitness training.
After all, you can train as a boxer and never take part in a prizefight. There are many good reasons to do so.
The speed and coordination required to work the bags, the total body workout involved in a single hour’s session that incorporates cardio, strength and core training as well as muscle building… boxer training is multiple fitness programme all rolled into one intense physical activity!
Boxing clubs have long known the fitness benefits of their sport.
Today, more and more gyms are working to dispel the admittedly seamy undertones attached to boxing and are focusing on the sport’s health aspects rather than the lucrative but difficult to attain titles.
Take a look at some of these boxing clubs. Do you live close to one? Would you drop in to see what boxing can do for you?
|Club Name||Contact Details||Membership Cost or fees||Notes|
|Mancunian Boxing||82 North Western Street|
0758 097 2086
Various locations throughout Greater Manchester
|Per lesson/class fees||Women only, youths, private lessons|
|Area 5 Fitness||Ashton-Under-Lyne, Tameside, Manchester, OL5 9QA|
0785 114 0218
|£30 per hour|
£15 for 30 minutes
|Boxercise, bag workout
Not strictly a boxing gym
|Kickboxing Manchester||1-7 Albert Hill Street |
0161 445 7733
|This gym offers a 30-day money back guarantee!||Family plans, groups workouts, women only; Little Dragons (children)|
|Moss Side Boxing||139 Princess Road|
Manchester M14 4RE
0796 190 3982
|£25 per year plus £3 per lesson||Also offers Brazilian Ju Jitsu|
|Fight Factory Manchester||Unit 17, Vaughan Industrial Estate|
0161 220 9824
|£300 per year|
One to One sessions
|The People's Gym||Wham Street|
0790 705 6211
|£3-5 per session|
Private training: £200 for 10 sessions
Juniors: 4 to 10 years old
|Bell's Gym||Denmark Street, Altrincham, WA14 2SS|
0161 941 4584
|£960 per year - unlimited classes||Boxfit, box circuits; teen box circuits|
0796 191 4054
|£5.30 (most classes)||Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Krav Maga;
One on one lessons
Youths and Adults
|SBG||12 Sheffield Street|
|Per/lesson price depending on what type of lessons||Adult and kids' classes|
Perhaps the rise in the number of female boxers is mere coincidence, starting as it did after the 2004 release of the Hollywood blockbuster film Million Dollar Baby, a story of a female boxer fighting for her chance in the ring.
The Guardian reported on the phenomenon: “… the number of registered female boxers rose from 70 in 2005 to 900 in 2009.”
That same year it was announced that women’s boxing would become an official category in 2012 Olympics.
Obviously,boxing is no longer a sport reserved for men. If further proof were needed, consider Mohamed Ali’s daughter: she followed in her father’s legendary footsteps by becoming a pro boxer. Add to that list Holly Holm, Regina Halmich and Anne-Sophie Mathis, and there’s a very impressive group of female boxers.
2017 was a very sad year for female boxing, however, as Angelique Duchemin, born in 1991, died at just 26 years of age. During the summer, she was training when she suffered a cardiac arrest. Duchemin was a triple-time French champion, double European winner, as well as the female world champion in her weight category.
Since the 1990s, British women’s boxing – which differs not at all from men’s British boxing in its rules and disciplines – soared in popularity thanks to the success of the female competitors in the World Olympics and other international contests.
That said, the announcement that the London 2012 Olympics would include women’s boxing as a competitive sport influenced by far the most female athletes. As a result, there are many places you can begin if you wish to start boxing as a female novice.
As mentioned above, Elite Boxing provides plenty of opportunity for non-traditional boxers to train. Not only do they have a training programme for the 50+, they also offer women’s only boxing classes. as they are aware that some women find training with men a little daunting.
No worries, though; they train their female boxers just as rigorously as their male fighters and, eventually, provided both parties agree, your coaches might even set you to spar together!
Classes can be paid for by the lesson and, since they are held in the evenings, classes can have half a dozen or more participants.
Take yourself to their gym in Bolton (around a half hour car journey from the city but with easy access transport connections) on a Tuesday or Thursday at 8.00pm to give it a try. Classes last one hour.
Alternatively, if kickboxing looks more like ‘your thing’, why not join the Chorlton Women’s Kickboxing Club which holds classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7.00pm and 8.30pm, and Thursdays from 10.30am to 11.30am. Sessions cost £5.00 each and can be payed for as you train. Dedicated to female customers, the classes are taught by female instructors and are suitable for beginners.
If you feel uncomfortable training with men then try to find a women’s only class. Photo credit: SurfaceWarriors on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA
As mentioned before, the art of boxing is ancient: depictions of bouts have been discovered on artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age. One fresco in particular demonstrates that, even in 1650BC, boxers wore gloves!
The Ancient Greeks, natural athletes and originators of the Olympic Games, introduced the sport in the 23rd Olympiad in 688BC. Not to be outdone, the Ancient Romans enjoyed boxing as a spectator sport, but their style of fighting for sport took a rather brutal turn.
Whereas the Olympians wound leather thongs around their hands to prevent injury, the Romans adorned their protective leather with spikes, it seems to better inflict damage.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, boxing fell out of favour, lingering in obscurity while the world went through massive upheavals. This lack of attention to organised fighting led to the rise of other types of matches, Savate among them.
Its name literally means ‘old shoe’ for a reason: it involves mainly kicking, along with open-handed slaps – at the time of its establishment as a legitimate fighting style, a closed fist was considered a weapon.
However, in Marseilles, where one version of the sport originated, sailors’ heavy boots were not considered weapons and it was quite acceptable to kick one’s opponent whilst wearing them.
Indeed, it was on those docks, where sailor brawls so often broke out, that the spectacle was proven to have some worth, both as a spectator sport and as a competitive one.
However, traditional Savate has its roots in northern Paris. The kicks, generally never above the groin, were meant to smash bone and the slaps to impact facial nerves.
Today, Savate is practised in a much more civilised and regulated environment. Indeed, all over the world there exist federations to support and promote Savate as an amateur sport.
Thus it should come as no surprise that the Great Britain Savate Federation is alive and kicking – pardon the pun, with clubs all over the country.
SBG Manchester is a club that specialises in Savate boxing among other disciplines. The Manchester Martial Arts Centre too offers classes in the native French martial art. Look them up online to learn more about the elegant sport and to find out when you can attend classes.
You won’t find any bare knuckle boxing in the UK! Source: Pixabay Credit: WikiImages
Either disreputed or banned outright throughout the world since the fall of the Roman Empire, it comes as a bit of a surprise that the sport of boxing continued to thrive in the UK.
Welsh boxer and all around athlete John Chambers devised the premier code of boxing, the set of rules that defined the sport. They were endorsed by – and still today are known as the Marquess of Queensberry Rules.
Among said rules are the 10-second count when a fighter is knocked down, the three-minute round with one minute of rest between each, and the mandatory use of gloves.
Those gloves, often resembling overly-large mittens, forced fighters to consider strategy rather than just blindly punching away because, wearing them, landing a blow did not guarantee a knock out.
In spite of that ‘civilisation’ of boxing, it retained its reputation as a sport of questionable legitimacy; the street type of bare knuckle fighting was ultimately outlawed.
Nevertheless, Manchester, as the hub of the British industrial revolution, quite naturally took to her people scrapping and fighting. However, it was in London that great boxers such as James Figg fought the sport into legitimacy.
Today, British boxing is a combat sport whereby two opponents of the same weight category and same gender compete in a fight inside a ring wearing gloves.
Where it differs from French boxing is that you can only use your hands and you must only hit your opponent above the waist.
Here’s some Manchester based clubs.
plus many more.
The first, highly-rated by customers, is located in Ardwick and offers one-to-one courses at £200.00 per eight sessions or £100.00 per four. All sessions are mixed, so male and female participants are invited to come along any weekday from 6.30pm to 8.00pm.
Membership options include 12-month entry at £400.00, or £50.00 a month (for non-members) or you can choose to pay as you train which costs £5.00 a session. There are many more options available to you, which can be found by visiting www.mancunianboxingclub.co.uk.
The club has limited changing space so you are asked wherever possible to come in already dressed in your boxing gear.
If you don’t already have gloves and want to become a member of their gym, then remember you can qualify for a members’ discount on some boxing equipment!
Muay Thai boxing differs greatly from British boxing in that elbows, knees and shins are used along with fists to strike blows. Furthermore, while clinching is not allowed in other forms of boxing, it is permitted in Thai boxing. That is when the elbows, knees and shins come into play.
Kicking, especially the roundhouse kick are accepted and expected offensive moves, while the foot jab is considered defensive.
Naturally, Thai boxing calls for a bit more protective equipment, specifically shin guards and a special type of glove, meant specifically to aid the fighter in catching kicks and in clinching.
While you may have thought long and hard about the pros and cons of British boxing in comparison to Thai boxing, did you ever consider how the cost of the equipment differs? Having the right equipment is vital to training properly.
You can consult websites like Lonsdale to get an idea of what kind of boxing equipment is out there and how much you will be looking to pay for each item.
If, like many, you’re a serial mind-changer and spend your time flitting from one hobby to the next, you may be wise to do a trial session first to see if it is for you before spending a fortune on gear!
If you’re interested in kickboxing classes in the area, then why not get in touch with Master A’s Muay Thai club, which is based in Manchester’s northern quarter. There is no joining fee and you can make the most of monthly payments ranging from £40.00+ for students.
Alternatively, you can benefit from private lessons for any level (beginner to expert) with a highly trained instructor for just £40 per hour.
Moving around the UK? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You can find out where to find Boxing Classes in the capital, check out the Boxing Classes on offer in Birmingham or discover different types of Boxing Classes in Liverpool.
Thai boxing is an elegant form of boxing which is supposedly based loosely on ballet! Photo credit: MartialArtsNomad.com on Visual hunt
Because the stigma against boxing is still very strong despite its growing appeal, many have realised the fitness benefits of boxer training… and have capitalised on it!
Boxercise is a keep fit-style class that derives from boxing. But, while Boxercise was a craze that hit many gyms across the nation, many more alternatives have developed too.
You can now find a range of classes centred around boxing but incorporating key elements of other fitness classes. For example, there is BoxFit, BoxYoga (or YogaBox at some gyms), BeatBoxing and I have even come across one class named B*tch Boxing!
Just search for a “boxercise class near me” to find more!
If you are looking for energetic boxing classes in the Manchester area, then consider going to the Box ‘N Burn class held at Bells Gym in Altrincham (30 mins from the city centre). They also offer classes called Box Circuits, Box Fit, Fight Club, HIIT Boxing, HIIT Skipping, Bag Circuits, Hard Core, Teen Box Circuits, Kids Gloves and Bags, Pads and Abs… there is certainly no shortage of choice here!
See their timetable online to find out more about times, instructors and class availability.
A city centre alternative is Studio25‘s BoxFit Boot Camp classes which run on a Monday from 5.30pm-6.30pm costing £5 per session. They have a Facebook page detailing their class info and more, so go and visit them by searching ‘studio 25’. The gym can be found on Church Street, M4 1PE.
The variety in styles and the intensity of the workout has made boxing THE sport to practise these days.
Yet, in spite of its greater visibility – some might say the legitimacy afforded it by the Olympics, even in spite of the great movies about boxing that have been turned out in this decade alone, there are those who still shy away from potentially the best workout they could hope to have.
Now we get down on the mat to take a close look at boxing.
Manchester, above all, is dedicated to offering a range of sports centres in which boxers can practice and train. Whether inner-city or in the suburbs, you will find a class that suits you.
In boxing, you should always be prepared for the worst case injury. That is why most boxers wear all sorts of protective equipment during training.
To be certain to that you won’t be harmed during a training session, you will need to invest in a helmet, a mouth guard, various body pads, bandages, gloves and suitable clothes, as well as appropriate, well-fitting footwear. In fact, most clubs will insist that you have all of the gear or will hire it out to you. There are no bare knuckle fights in regulated boxing!
Any gym and boxing coach should be a member or have endorsement from a recognised boxing association. The Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) or the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) are two reliable, recognised brands that would guarantee your coach has been trained to exacting standards.
if you are uncertain – should the gym’s association shield not be prominently displayed, be sure to ask your prospective coach about that affiliation before committing to lessons.
There are various types of combat sports that you might try out, including French boxing, British boxing, kick boxing or Thai boxing, martial mixed arts – also known as MMA, aikido, taekwondo, full contact, jujitsu, karate, kung fu and krav maga.
Yes, there is an association for each of them!
We hope this leaves you more informed of the many classes and styles of boxing available to you in your area, as well as teaching you a bit about the sport you are about to undertake.
In the 2012 Olympics, Team GB was represented by 542 athletes, among which 262 were female. Four years later, in Rio, the team was made up of 45% women with the same percentage of medals being won by female athletes.
With few challenging opportunities for young female boxers until the London 2012 Olympics, boxers like Stacey Copeland struggled to turn professional in their sport. Copeland, who is now a three-time national champion, is just the kind of female boxing role model that young athletes need. Her work outside the ring celebrates women in sport and encourages more and more girls to follow their dream to become a professional boxer.
The recent growth in popularity of boxing as a sport among women is no doubt down to the fact that, thanks to such role models, the sport is no longer seen as solely for men.
Some people may prefer training with a private boxing coach. This is a good idea for many reasons.
If you are completely unfamiliar with the art of boxing, working individually with a boxing instructor will help you master the fine points of pose and power more quickly.
Your coach, dedicated to your development as a boxer – whether for competition or personal fitness would be able to better track your progress and know when you are ready for a new challenge.
S/he will also be able to spot issues with your form and correct you before you incur any type of injury!
Plenty of gyms in Greater Manchester offer private boxing lessons. Mancunian Boxing is a fine example of such training; their private boxing sessions cost £30 per hour, or you might prefer their Zero to Hero programme: eight sessions for £200.
You may also investigate boxing lessons online or with a boxing tutor in your home.
Well, maybe your garage… unless you have a large enough room inside your house for a decent sparring match, one where nothing valuable might accidentally get broken.
Superprof has private boxing tutors who are trained, qualified and recognised by the various boxing organisations. They would be happy to meet you in your home or for online sessions, or you might enquire about finding boxing classes near you.