Fame, success, even self-respect can be elusive goals for many young men (and women) who grow up in the inner city. But the boxing gym, as it has for decades, promises a way up for some, a way out for others. It offers young boxers a home where they can find support and community. It builds character. For some it’s also the source of discipline needed to avoid the ever-present lure of gangs or drugs.
I’ve been spending time at some of the inner-city gyms in the old mill towns north of Boston. I’ve gotten to know many of the boxers — and the trainers committed to them – and found them to possess an inner strength as well as a physical one. It takes both to step into the ring, to put the body through the punishment boxing demands, and to make the sacrifices needed to achieve a few moments of glory.
These images – the beginning of a long-term project that will explore the lives of these boxers more deeply – celebrate the strength and courage it takes to be a boxer.
Edward Boches is a Boston based photographer with an interest in documenting how people live, work and play.
Recently inspired by a climate that’s dividing America along religious, economic and political lines, he has sought out places that bring people together. It’s led him to urban skate parks, political rallies, the front porches that line city side streets, and the inclusive communities found in urban boxing gyms.
In recent years Boches has studied at the New England School of Photography and the Griffin Museum. He has exhibited as part of group shows at the Providence Center for the Photographic Arts and at the Griffin. His first solo exhibit is scheduled for the Brewster Ladies’ Library in the summer of 2018.
Contact Edward Boches