Documentary honoring history of South Bronx boxing gym complete
A documentary highlighting the history of a South Bronx community center and boxing club has finally been completed after two years of production.
The city demolished the building that belonged to the Fort Apache Youth Center before it was torn down. The developers who took over that property decided to commemorate the cultural significance of the boxing gym by creating a documentary.
The developers, who plan to turn the new site into a 14-story affordable housing complex, spent two years producing this 22-minute documentary, interviewing boxing legends and members of the community about its impact.
The gym first came to be in the 1970s when retired NYPD Officer George Hankins began to use the center to help kids stay off the streets one punch at a time. Those kids included former welterweight boxing champion Aaron Davis, who eventually was inspired to open up the Morris Park Boxing Club in the Bronx.
“George was a tough guy, but George was a good guy,” said Davis. “He saved a lot of kids, he took a lot of juveniles out of prison… he gave them discipline.”
The empty lot where Fort Apache used to stand will still serve the community once it is rebuilt – the developers say they plan to make a community center on the ground floor of the affordable housing building.
The development is set to break ground in 2024.