Liverpool street artist John Culshaw recently completed the large-format work on the wall of the famous Golden Gloves sports hall at the top of Lodge Lane in Toxteth.
The owner of a famous sports hall in Liverpool said that a stunning mural commissioned by him could herald a new era for the club and the L8 community.
“In the past, mothers and fathers from beautiful zip codes would not have dreamed of a trip to Toxteth, but now they do”.
“He’s a talented kid, and I have reconciled myself with the artwork. I want this to be a new beginning for the Golden Gloves. ”
Wayne said, “I knew John had created something for Tyson Fury’s gym, so I thought he’d be perfect for us. He sent me a couple of mock-ups, and then I chose one.
Wayne Smith, who owns the gym, said he recently invested around £30,000 in Golden Gloves.
Wayne said: “The move was a big deal and took us far away from our natural home in the heart of the L8 community. So the artwork is important in telling the city where we are and what we stand for. For us, it’s all about boxing,” Wayne said.
Founded in 1947 by Dougie Pomford, a World War II Special Forces veteran, generations of schoolboys went through Golden Gloves over the decades.
The gym has occupied a number of rooms over the years, but Wayne oversaw the move to their current home in the old Dressler nightclub building on Lodge Lane.
Wayne, a former kickboxer who grew up in Toxteth, told ECHO that he believes the club fulfills an important function in the community.
He said: “I don’t like to talk about it, but I would rather a child get a bloody nose in our gym than get into trouble on the street.
Wayne said the Golden Gloves is still a “Rocky” gym because it serves to shape and mold the local boys into potential champions.
“I want the local boys and girls to know where we stand and to get involved. We all know what can happen to the local boys when they get caught on the street and it never ends well.
he said: “Yes, I believe that the skinny kid who drifts along one night could be the next Hagler, Hearns or Tyson.
“And we already have a lot of talent around us, from Marcel Braithwaite to Anthony Fowler. They are both local boys who are now on the world stage. And they train here.”
he said: “Yeah, all the old stuff is drifting away now – I mean the 80’s and all that. You should see the cars coming in from the other side of town to drop off their kids and look around. In the past, mothers and fathers from nice zip codes wouldn’t have dreamed of a trip to Toxteth, but now they do.
Wayne, something of a boxing fanatic, has visited some of the major American gyms, including Gleason’s in Brooklyn.
Wayne admitted that Toxteth is constantly changing and many of the old prejudices about zip codes have disappeared.