BEST BOXING GYM (2001)
Back in 1991, when Jim Glancey bought the former Anderson Meat Company building on St. Paul's East Side, he hoped to train and manage professional boxers. But like many who proceeded him, Glancey quickly learned that it's tough to make a buck on the prairie's pro fight circuit. Rather than giving up, the retired pipe insulator decided to focus on training kids. He has never looked back. In addition to offering instruction on the sweet science's finer points, Glancey places a heavy emphasis on civility and sobriety (in 2000, Glancey's sent more fighters to the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves Championships than any other gym in the region). Glancey, who lives in an apartment upstairs, has remodeled the downstairs extensively, and furnished the old meat lockers with two rings, a full complement of punching bags, weights, and lockers (at 14,000 square feet, it is among the largest boxing gyms in the Midwest). Legend has it that Glancey's is haunted by the ghost of a fighter named Clyde Mudgett. A two-time amateur champ and journeyman professional, Mudgett perished in the building's smokestack in 1983, while attempting to burglarize the place. At night, so say the believers, you can hear him tapping away on the speed bag.