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Feb 04, 2014 08:50 AM EST

Boxing Makes a Come Back in UW Madison as Club Sport

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Boxing returns to the University of Wisconsin, UW, after more than 50 years.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, banned boxing at the Madison College and as an intercollegiate sport after UW boxing team member Charlie Mohr's death April 17, 1960 during the NCAA championships.      

Mohr died eight days after he received a blow to his head. Before the suspension, UW's boxing team, the Badgers, won eight NCAA team championships over a period of 21 years.

When Chandler Davis, an UW sophomore, arrived on campus in the fall of 2012, he found that boxing was not part of the university's 41 sports clubs. Once he learnt about the ban, Davis took up the responsibility of bringing back boxing as a club sport.

Davis, an amateur boxer himself collected 200 signatures on a petition, and organized numerous presentations and campaigns to gather the support for boxing. He said that boxing is a club sport at lot of schools including Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Southern Cal and UCLA among others. "Some of the clubs even have their own gyms," Davis said, Miami Herald reports.

Besides Davis, Bob Lynch, longtime boxing trainer, also attempted to re-introduce the sport about 30 years ago.

"I welcomed Chandler to give it a try but I told him the horror stories of Charlie Mohr dying Easter Sunday of 1960 and let him know that I had gotten it going once but they then said no live punching on campus," Lynch said. "Several other people tried and always failed."

Davis set up a club at Ford's Gym in Madison but UW students were unable to attend practice sessions everyday due to the long distance from the campus. He felt that the only way he can generate interest among students for boxing is by establishing the club on campus. After several petitions to the university officials, the club was finally approved Dec. 4.

The first practice session in the Natatorium is scheduled Wednesday. Lynch and Andrea Nelson, former professional boxer, will train the boxing club twice a week.

"Chandler deserves an awful lot of credit," Lynch said. "The kid is really a well-organized, excellent student and has taken all the correct steps," Journal Sentinel reports.

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