Tony Jeffries’ route to owning Box n’ Burn, voted California’s #1 gym by Men’s Fitness and Yelp, is Hollywood script worthy.
Let me set the scene. (If someone picks up this page long script I want a cameo in the movie. Do we have a deal Tony & Production Company X?)
Tony grows up in your typical “boxing family.” His uncle is a mid level fighter, and at the age of 7, his grandfather has him in a boxing stance throwing punches. It’s in his blood. Quickly it becomes all he wants to do. By 10 he’s fighting in a gym and getting formal training. Now, like thousands of kids across the world, he sets his goal on being a championship boxer. His hometown of Sunderland in the UK is far from a boxing breeding ground. It had never, and besides Tony has never, produced an Olympic level boxer. He even enrolls in an 8 year program for 2008 Olympics a few years later. Boxing hopefuls come and go frequently but one guy makes it through.
Fast forward to 2008. As you might imagine, this unlikely scenario comes to fruition. Tony’s hard work and dedication not only leads him to the Olympics but earn him a bronze medal. Dude is on top of the world. He goes to the Beijing a young boxer with dreams and arrives home to Sunderland a star. The airport is full of hundreds of fans welcoming him back. He can’t walk the streets without being mobbed by fans. It doesn’t stop there though. He turns pro and goes undefeated through his first 10 fights.
(Insert epic montage of knockouts, celebrations, and open sparring sessions in the mall for hundreds of fans. Cue the “Eye of the Tiger.”)
Boom! Career ending injury. Tony shows us his beat up hand and his scars from major surgery in 2012. He guessed he’d probably been hit in the head 55,000 times and then laughed at the number of times he had thrown a punch with his now useless hand. He can’t even open a door or turn a key. Boxing is clearly out of the picture.
He’s 27, has no plan for the rest of his life, gets depressed, and turns to the booze.
(I’m picturing a dirty blonde beard, and Tony going Ron Burgundy on us..Hollywood you take this one.)
A friend suggests he apply for jobs as a personal trainer, where he had become certified. One job was at a national gym chain, and the other was at a local gym that offered boxing classes. His interview with the chain is literally his first job interview ever. He shows up in a suit and bring his Olympic medal. The chain hires a “more qualified” trainer. (I remind you that this script is 100% a true story and not loosely based on one.)
Tony gets the other gig though and begins training clients at the Santa Monica gym. He loves it but wants to take the boxing to another level.
(cut!) (Last “cut!”. I know this isn’t really a script, but I feel like I could get used to this. Maybe I’ll be Tarantino’s #2 someday…)
He opens a boxing bootcamp on the beach but it’s still not enough. He invests his own money, and opens a gym called Box N’ Burn in Santa Monica. It goes well. Really well. So well that he opens another location and has plans for more.
His secret to success is no secret. He has world class training talent, speak the truth, and know what they’re doing. Trainers include former Olympian Wayne McCullough and IBF Champ Chris van Heerden.
Here’s where the script ends. There is no championship fight or epic moment to end our story of Tony Jeffries. But when our team met with him, we got the impression that he loves his new life as a trainer/owner. This is why we love fitness and the stories it brings us.
Send Tony a virtual high five for us. Dude is inspirational.
Patrick Curran @PWCurran