“In this world, amateur boxing is lived in the shadow of the professional and pretentious one. In this world, which I photographed in a small boxing clubhouse in Old Church, Somerville, Massachusetts, during the New England Golden Gloves competition in Lowell, at Johnny Tocco’s Sweatbox in Las Vegas, and in Almaty, Kazakhstan, I found something calmer and purer than what I thought boxing could be.
Along with the blood and bruises, there is a sincere and loving relationship between boxers and coaches. Children who come to the gym are almost by definition in danger, and what they are looking for, what they are hungry for, is a complicated mix of love, glory and survival. I traveled to Kazakhstan, where Olympic boxing was still new and full of promise, where children trained in groups for several hours. Then I returned to New England, where the Silver Mittens attract dozens of boys and girls between the ages of eight and fifteen; to the seedy boxing clubs of Las Vegas whose walls reek of the desperate sweat of Wannabe’s and those who hung up their gloves. In each of these worlds, I found the history of amateur boxing captured in images of bodies, fatigue, contact, desire, damage, relationships, violence and heart.”