WATERVILLE — Right now, Mike Leary’s boxing gym is just a pile of equipment in the middle of the room. But Leary can point to different spots and he knows how everything will look when he opens next week on Monday, Jan. 4.

Here, by the door, Leary said, will be the warmup area. Next to that will be a spot for people to work on balance and coordination. The speed bags will be over here, to the left. Treadmills will be in that back corner.

Over here, near the front of the gym, will be the boxing ring, Leary said.

“Right now, it’s a jigsaw puzzle,” Leary said.

Leary’s new facility will be in the old Marden’s building at 184 College Ave. in Waterville. Leary, who has trained amateur boxers in central Maine for close to 20 years, plans to have his gym — called O’Leary’s Fitness — ready to go for the start of the new year. Leary hopes to attract clients who are interested in the intensity of boxing workouts, the cardio and shadow boxing, even if they have no interest in sparring.

“It seems like the public is interested in the workout. I want people to come in and be safe and have fun,” Leary said. “We’ll be turning nobody away. We want to build a sense of belonging. Everyone can come.”

On Monday, Dec. 14 Leary worked on building the ring with Matt Field, a former boxer Leary trained. Under Leary’s tutelage, Field reached the finals of the New England Golden Gloves tournament and won a pair of Northeast regional titles. Now, Field works as a nurse at Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan.

“Mike’s been a huge influence on me. Boxing teaches you to work hard and you can apply that to anything in life,” Field said. “It changed my life. It boosted my confidence. I thought, ‘if I can stay in the ring and fight, I can go through nursing school.'”

Added Leary: “I’ve seen what (boxing) does for people. I’ve had people come back to see me after they’ve lost 100 pounds.”

A membership in Leary’s gym will cost $45 per month, $90 for three months or $180 for six months. Leary also is offering a limited number of lifetime memberships for $500. Memberships help pay dues for underprivileged children and teens to use the facility, Leary said.

“When you sign up, you help a kid who can’t pay,” Leary said.

Most recently, Leary trained boxers in Augusta. He’s previously trained fighters in Waterville and Fairfield.

“I’m starting from scratch again,” Leary said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

<URL destination=””>[email protected]

</URL>Twitter: <URL destination=””>@TLazarczykMTM

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.