The legendary Kronk Gym in Detroit, where world champions Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, and various others once trained, was destroyed by fire on Saturday.
Deputy Fire Chief Dave Fornell told The Detroit News via The Associated Press that the blaze at the vacant building on the city’s southwest side was reported around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find flames shooting from the gym’s second floor, but the roof eventually collapsed.
Fornell says the fire is being listed as suspicious and is under investigation.
The building closed in 2006 after thieves stole copper plumbing and Detroit couldn’t afford the repairs. Prior to the fire, the property was not being maintained. The building was covered in graffiti and the grounds were overrun with trash.
Prior to his death in 2012, Steward told Motor City Muckraker that he wanted nothing more than to revive the gym and provide a place for troubled kids to find hope and purpose in boxing.
The new Kronk Boxing Community Center is located on Mettetal Street in Detroit.