Stanley Couch Gym is at the epicenter of the current resurgence of boxing in Jamaica.
It’s shortly after 5 p.m. on a muggy August afternoon when we arrive at the gym, and while the uptown-bound rush hour traffic outside the gates slowly empties the surrounding area, the training floor inside fills up as fighters trickle in one-by-one from their various day jobs around the corporate area. The place is spartan, but the best boxing gyms usually are. Jamaica’s flyweight hero and official coach of the gym Richard ‘Shrimpy’ Clarke walks the perimeter, overseeing a handful of veterans scattered around the room working with individual fighters. Over a chorus of gloves slapping heavy bags, sneakers chirping on the poured concrete and stacks crashing on weight machines, I catch up with Sakima Mullings and Devon ‘Concrete’ Moncrieffe, two popular boxers at the forefront of the sport today, as well as their promoters, Willie Yap and Christopher Brown of Jamaica Genesis Entertainment.
We spent an afternoon at Stanley Couch Gym in downtown Kingston.