Park’s boxing gym to be renamed ‘Muhammad Ali Boxing Center’

In honor of Muhammad Ali, the late three-time heavy-weight boxing champion, the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and Miami-Dade County District 10 Commissioner Javier D. Souto will join members of the local boxing community to rename Tropical Park’s Boxing Center the “Muhammad Ali Boxing Center.” The ceremony takes place on Thursday, July 14, 5 p.m., at Tropical Park Boxing Center, 7900 SW 40 St.

“I am thrilled to see the Tropical Park Boxing Center named after the great Muhammad Ali. I was privileged to have met the man in person and behold his many boxing victories,” Souto said. “He was bigger than life and an inspiration to all. His memory will live on at this center as it grooms future generations of boxers.”

Ali, born Cassius Clay, passed away on June 3 at the age of 74, following a 30-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Considered one of the greatest boxers of all-time, Ali was famous both in and out of the ring for his strength, power, speed, and stamina and flamboyant personality.

“Like the famous boxer, people suffering with Parkinson’s disease have benefited from the movement associated with boxing classes,” said David Pena, boxing center manager. “The boxing center provides special classes for people with Parkinson’s disease, helping them to improve their lives through a boxing-inspired curriculum.”

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative movement disorder which can cause deterioration of motor skills, balance, speech and sensory function. The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates that there are as many as one million Americans living with Parkinson’s disease and approximately 60,000 are diagnosed with the disease each year.

Participants are instructed to hit the mitts of an instructor (who won’t hit back) with different punches to improve their coordination; yell and count their punches to strengthen their voices; stretch to counter muscle rigidity, and do core exercises, which recently included the addition of weight training at the park’s new Fitness Zone area to strengthen their muscles.

“This form of non-contact boxing training is proven to help people suffering from this disease to improve strength, agility, balance and coordination,” Pena said.

In addition, the gym offers amateur boxing, boxing fitness, fitness boot camps and group training classes conducted by certified trainers, and offers ring time and coaching for professionals, as well as boxing classes for youth.

Contact the center at 305-221-0678 or visit the Center’s Web page.

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