Celebrities in attendance at The Boxing Club’s Grand Opening in East Village

Saturday afternoon, September 1, 2018, the co-owners of The Boxing Club franchise opened their second location in San Diego’s East Village. Doing the honors of cutting the huge orange ribbon were the co-owner Artem Sharoshkin and his two lovely nieces. Photo: Jim Wyatt

The newly finished gym, which spans an entire city block with its main entrance on the corner of 15th Street and Island Avenue, is on the ground floor of one of San Diego’s newest and fanciest highrise buildings. As you look across and down the street there are additional shiny structures rising up into the heavens and another is still in construction directly across the street. With San Diego’s downtown now caught up in an amazing revitalization along with a thriving economy, it’s quite a treat to get an up-close and personal glimpse at one of these futuristic marvels.


(l to r) Alex “Terra” Garcia former WBA World Super Welterweight Champion and former head of officials of the Tijuana Boxing Commission, next, boxing Promoter/Manager Lou Messina, next, the new World Boxing Organization Latino Light Heavyweight Champion Victor “Sina” Fonseca, and finally boxing Manager/Promoter Gabriel Quinones.

Getting back to the unique design of this gym – it is simply out of this world from the 30-ft graffiti mural of Muhamad Ali in the foyer which we had these four gentlemen pose in front of, to the crystal chandelier which now hangs over the boxing ring.

This photo of the ring was taken prior to the final touches being added: the canvas, the turnbuckle cushions, and the post pads. Even before the flooring was completed.

We’re sorry we didn’t give you a closer look at that chandelier. It is quite beautiful.

A quote from co-owner Artem Sharoshkin: “Never thought I would be getting one of these. Big thank you to Senator Joel Anderson for recognizing our work in San Diego community.”

The Boxing Club’s 13,000-sq ft. location reflects it’s unique approach to fitness and training and offers their members Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu training alongside indoor cycling, high-intensity interval training, yoga and Pilates classes. Plus their two saunas can warm you up before a workout or if you desire to sweat out excess toxins after a workout. Seems all inclusive and it is. 

As you would expect, amongst the many invited guests were at least eight if not more standout athletes who coincidentally have close ties with the owners of The Boxing Club East Village. And, with the advent of these oh-so-popular, self-propelled Bird Ride scooters, who shows up on one but Joe “Stitch ’em Up” Shilling, the former Glory 10 World Middleweight Kickboxing Champ. According to his pal, “Once that daredevil got on that contraption, he was like a 10-year-old doing all sorts of crazy, dangerous maneuvers at the top speed and we’re begging him to slow down.”

Here we have the one and only Joe “Stitch ’em Up” Shilling (left) with his buddies. The young lady with the fancy bag needs no introduction, she’s Gina Carano, an actress, TV personality, and fitness model. She’s also a former MMA Champion with Strikeforce and EliteXC, that is until Cris Cyborg came along to defeat her in one of the greatest fights ever. On Carano’s right is her main squeeze, “The Soul Assassin” Kevin Ross, a well-known Muay Thai fighter. Ross is the current Bellator featherweight kickboxing champion.    

Fighters like Gina Carano and Joe Schilling don’t punch time cards, but as professional athletes, personalities, movie stars, they know they’re always being judged, always working.

On September 28, 2013, Schilling fought Artem Levin at the newly opened Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. in the finals of this elimination tournament that had the winner winning $150,000. Some fights you never forget and this was one of them. After defeating Levin, the promotional people entered the ring with this huge check which to this day you have to wonder how Schilling was able to get it cashed. The emotional scene had Schilling with his two boys, Joe Jr. and Jackson present to witness their Dad’s emotional promise to use the money for a downpayment on a house.

A year later, Levin got his revenge and defeated Schilling at Glory 17 in their Last Man Standing elimination series. To his credit, Schilling has also beaten San Diego’s Mike Lemaire (20-5) plus Simon Marcus (49-4-2, 27 KOs).

Also present for Saturday’s Grand Opening was Tijuana boxer Victor Fonseca who only arrived in San Diego at 5:30 p.m. on American Airlines Flight #1740 from Florida. (bottom, center) Fonseca is joined by his co-manager Gabriel Quinones and trainer Alex “Terra” Garcia.

As far as timing goes, you can’t beat the circumstances that brought Victor “Sina” Fonseca to Saturday’s Grand Opening celebration. On Friday night, Fonseca (16-8), with his manager and trainer, were in West Palm Beach, Florida to battle Manuel “El Venado” Ceballos (15-1) on a televised event for the WBO Latino Light Heavyweight Title.

As a 5’7″ tall underdog, Victor Fonseca (l) was willing to battle the much taller 6’3″ Manuel Ceballos, who no doubt would have the reach advantage plus outweigh him at fight time.

Well, Fonseca did exactly as he was told and won the title by a split decision even though one of the judges had poor eyesight and had Manuel Ceballos winning. This sort of blind spot will occur when you are fighting on the road in a show sponsored by the other fighter’s manager/promoter.

(top photos) are of Muay Thai standout Marvin “The Mad Lion” Madariaga and his fiancee, the lovely Tina Chang. (below) Undefeated San Diego welterweight sensation, 26-year-old southpaw Giovanni “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (24-0, 14 KOs) who trains and also teaches boxing classes at the Art of Eight Training Center in San Diego. He was accompanied to the event by his proud father who is very much involved in Giovanni’s training.

In-house Muay Thai standout Brandon Kurosawa from The Boxing Club La Jolla.

Below are the photos of the beautiful people who graced the red carpet.

Prediction: this Downtown location with all these smiling, easy going members will not only be a major success for getting people in great shape, but it should also become an ideal location where the likeminded can meet and form lasting friendships. 

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