SOUTH JORDAN — The Gene Fullmer Boxing Program has a new home — at the Salt Lake County Equestrian Center in South Jordan.
The Salt Lake County Council approved an $11,500 budget change Tuesday that will enable the county to renovate an existing 2,000-square-foot building at the center for the use by the Salt Lake County sheriff's posse.
The boxing gym will then move into the 3,800 square-foot-building that was built by and had been occupied by the mounted posse.
Erin Litvak, director of Salt Lake County's Community Services Department, said county officials were approached by West Jordan officials who asked for their help relocating the gym, which has operated out of an old firehouse at 7900 South and 1300 West.
West Jordan has allowed the nonprofit boxing club to use the firehouse for free for five years. But the city now needs the facility to park trucks so it can decentralize its snow removal program. The city gave the club several months to find a new home.
County Councilman Randy Horiuchi said the Fullmer brothers have worked with at risk youths for more than 20 years teaching them boxing and life skills for free.
"What they do is pretty special. I think it's great that West Jordan for so long has sustained this program," Horiuchi said, adding he was proud that the county had worked to find a new home for the program. The county's lease agreement with the boxing club is still being negotiated, he said.
"We're happy to find a place where they can be permanently located," Litvak said.
Larry Fullmer, whose uncle Gene Fullmer won the world middleweight boxing title in 1957, said the Fullmer family is deeply committed to developing young boxing talent. Their program has the added benefit of providing structure and supervision to at-risk youths.
"There's 20 to 30 kids in the gym every night," he said.
Fullmer said the family was grateful for West Jordan's support of the program over the past few years. "They moved us around a few times. I guess they just ran out of places to put us."
Salt Lake County, he said, "came to our rescue."
Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, and Horiuchi were instrumental in helping the gym find a new home, Fullmer said.
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