KOBOX Boxing Club Launches PROUD Campaign

KOBOX Boxing Club has launched its PROUD campaign with Attitude – the UK’s best-selling gay magazine – encouraging gay men to pick up a pair of gloves and help smash away the current stigma attached to the sport. I've been very proud (pardon the pun) to represent KOBOX over these last few months as their ambassador for reasons just like these. 

Not only are they championing fitness, they're also unashamedly egalitarian in the way that they promote their brand. The people behind KOBOX know the true definition of community spirit.

In this campaign Kris Pace, brand director at KOBOX has addressed a glaring misnomer that boxing is a sport exclusive to straight men.  

'The lack of gay men participating in boxing, and boxing-related fitness, has needed to be addressed for some time now, and we felt this was a profound way to deliver a clear message to everyone within the sport.

We welcome anyone through our doors, from any walk of life, and the LGBT community is, without question, absolutely a part of that. On this occasion, after speaking to Attitude magazine and those closest to us, we wanted to start by challenging the perception that boxing is a sport predominantly for straight men in particular. But this is just the beginning...’  Kris Pace, brand director at KOBOX

Boxing clubs are, by some, still seen as hostile, intimidating environments to work out in. Many in the gay community rightly see boxing as an incredibly effective way to get fit, but many say they feel uneasy about trying their hand at it.

Has there never been any famous gay boxers? 

Yes there has, and perhaps more than you think. Emile Griffin is considered one of the greatest welterweight boxers of all time. He killed fellow fighter Benny Paret in the ring on March 24, 1962 and was famously quoted -  

They forgave me for killing a man, but they couldn’t forgive me for loving a man.” 

His bisexuality was only revealed after his boxing career; Orlando Cruz became the first boxer to come out during his professional career in 2012. 

It's amazing to think that we still live in a world where we need these kind of campaigns, but the sad truth of it all is we do. 

So what's the campaign about? 

In the run-up to London Pride in July, KOBOX Boxing Club launches its PROUD campaign with a hard-hitting video, showcasing the isolation and exclusion some gay men may feel when thinking about taking up the sport.

The video is filmed in its London City studio, displaying the visceral environment of KOBOX that runs on the mantra of Fight Club Meets Nightclub. Through the use of deliberate homophobic rhetoric, the film sensationalises the stigmatisation some gay men feel when thinking about getting into boxing.

The video doesn't pull its punches (ok that pun was intended) and has succeeded in delivering some of the underlying concerns and emotions, felt by many people in the gay community. 

No one should feel intimidated coming to a boxing class at KOBOX, or any other gym for that matter. Any perception that gay men aren’t welcome at a boxing club is outrageous.Kris Pace

A host of names feature in the video – which is led by creative director Jerry Reeve – including showbiz journalist James Ingham, TV producer Joff Powell and comedian and TV presenter James Barr.

 

Introducing KOBOX - Fightclub meets Night Club

If you've been following my Instagram stories of late you'll know I've procured a healthy obsession with KOBOX. Yes, I'm working on my bikini body for my upcoming trip to Tanzania, but square pecs and a six-pack aren't just for beach holidays and showy social posts (well some days they are). I've come to the slow realisation that fitness is a way of life. 

For many people joining a boxing gym can be extremely intimidating. Whilst it's nothing like the movies where a trainer asks you to jump in to the ring within seconds of you entering the gym and asks 'ok kid let’s see what you got', it means completely abandoning your comfort zone. 

One of the reasons I've become hooked on KOBOX of late is because there is an acute sense of community. It's ran like a family business and straight I was made to feel like one of the family. All the trainers and staff live and breathe the brand, and want every person who walks through the doors to feel as at home as they all do. 

What is KOBOX?

KOBOX, 50-minute, high intensity classes that will see you tackle all the fundamentals of boxing. Each class is structured in a series of boxing combinations, displayed in HD on the studio wall, making boxing easier than ever. The classes are boxing combined with HIIT training, think 3 minutes on a bag and 3 minutes HIIT...repeated. 

I started off by using these classes once per week just to mix it up a bit as variation in your fitness routine is important (or so I’ve heard!) Now I’m up to 4-5 classes a week and I’m feeling as fit as I’ve felt in such a long time. Each class focuses on a particular muscle group such as Upper Body, Lower Body, Core or a Full Body workout. 

The best part for me is that I can get a sweat on, throw some meaningful punches and not leave with any marks on the cash register (my face!). The music kicks ass and lends a fantastic pulse to the class. The lights dim, the beat drops and as someone at KOBOX has so aptly coined, 'It’s Fight Club Meets Nightclub'.

KOBOX has two London locations one in Chelsea and the other in the City. You simply sign up to koboxlondon.com and buy a pack of classes which you use to book your slot. The booking system is super easy to use and the classes structured with incredible staff. 

I'm now proud to announce I'm an ambassador for the brand and would love to hear from you on what your take on fitness is. Have you attended a KOBOX class and if so please leave some thoughts in the comments below. All feedback welcome.