The Philadelphia Crusade
Old Town Gym
Location: Old Town
Controlled by: The Union – Reggie Watkins
The Old Town Gym is located between the Old Town district and Downtown, and has been declared a historical landmark, being featured in the Rocky films. It is a mildly renovated 1930s affair, cedar floorboards and fogged windows, smelling permanently of sweat, body odor, and last night’s floor polish. While the facility isn’t fit to train amateur boxers with any true potential, all Philadelphia boxers consider it a rite-of-passage to spend a day sparring in the ancient gym, and step in the same ring as ghosts of champions before.
It is no surprise that the Union chose this working class symbol to operate out of. Its place as a historical landmark gives them a needed break on utilities and rent, and it happens to exist at an important intersection in terms of controlling the streets of Old Town. Local 247 organizer Reggie Watkins has set up a desk in the most pristine and unused section of the gym, the women’s washroom, and directs Union affairs from there. Union veteran Raoul Mendoza spars here, taking instructions from wise old trainer Frankie Spriggs.