PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – They say boxing is a bit like dancing, and if you listen closely enough in Downtown Panama City, you can hear the music.
In the afternoons, you can find Felix Malespin coaching boxing classes at the Downtown Boxing Club in Panama City.
“I will teach you how to fight, how to move, everything,” said Malespin.
Felix teaches kids and adults the art of boxing, everything from jabs to punching bags.
”I will teach you how to fight, how to move, everything.”
Members can fight in the ring and compete. They can also use technique to break a sweat.
”They try it out, they fell in love with it and become loyal members.”
Getting to a point of a gym full of members required some of Felix’s fighting spirit. The club used to be an old storage building, full of boxes and even a junk car.
“It was a lot of work to clear it out, to clear this building it took about three months.”
Luckily, Felix had some friends to help in the fight. Christ Stamps is a co-owner along with Felix and Jennifer Burg.
”We were able to get it cleaned out and turn it into a boxing club which it is today,” said Stamps.
Trading in boxes for boxing. Black walls with gold colored punching bags, a boxing ring and cardio equipment in the loft.
”It’s beautiful, it’s great, it has that vibe. It’s perfect for a boxing gym,” said Malespin.
But these friends didn’t just see an old warehouse and decide to build a gym. That story started in New Orleans when Chris saw Felix coaching in the big easy.
”I said we have to bring this idea back to Panama City,” said Stamps.
It also helped Felix knew a thing or two about boxing.
”It follows me everywhere I go,” said Malespin.
Felix has been rolling with the punches since he was 12 when he started boxing. He then became an amateur fight, all the way up to the pro level.
”I turned pro, I was at a good level of competition in Vegas, in different states.”
After years of fighting, Felix hung up his gloves and started coaching.
”I think it was good that I made that choice back then, because it kind of paid off.”
And paid off it did, just call it his killer instinct.
”It’s a dream come true for me because I always wanted a gym of my own.”
A dream that came true, by never throwing in the towel.
If you would like to join the Downtown Boxing Club you can find that on Facebook at @downtownboxingclubpc.
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