I’ll have to be honest. I didn’t come here to train; I came here to see Manny Pacquiao. But then it ended up being a training session with former world champion “Cool” Vince Phillips, the only man to ever knock out Kostya Tszyu. He slapped me in the face several times for dropping my hands.
This gym is like a boxing zoo or boxing theme park! I’ve never seen so many people in one place. The size of the gym was like 2 boxing rings and some extra space. I saw at least 60 people crammed in there and another boxer told me it was only half as packed as normal – CRAZY! It was common to see 2-3 people sharing a heavy bag or double-end bag. I saw 2 sparring matches in the ring at the same time while Vince Phillips worked mitts with me IN THE SAME RING! Hahahaha! I’ll never forget the madness.
I also did see Manny Pacquiao finishing his workouts. I saw Jose Benevidez and Shawn Porter warming up as well as a ton of other well-named boxers. It was like a star-studded gym workout. I even spoke with Freddie Roach for 5-10 minutes about some upcoming fights.
A friendly place for serious boxers. Crowded but the busy atmosphere will definitely challenge you!
Claude de Lange
i want to start training there next year 🙂 be a good environment to improve. Would you recommend it?
been there one time for a visit
I forgot who was the dude who trained me but he was african american, around six feet and was a middleweight champion.
Like the author, what struck me was the unpretentiousness of the place. I’ve been to some gyms in the Philippines where the good guys look down on the white collar types like me, or the pros are unapproachable and keep to themselves. There, from the very first minute when I was changing in the dressing room, there was this mexican dude just dressing up after a workout, and said hi ad asked where we were from. When he heard I was Filipino, he said I should come back when Manny was around, as the place would get crazy!
Afterwards, between mittwork and bagwork, my trainer would introduce me to some normal-looking guys who turned out to be champion amateurs or top 10 pros, all of them were cool and did not act any different from all the others who were training. One, a contender, even came with his mom! Apparently his mom always watched him spar or something.
One tip: the very first thing you have to do once you walk in is to introduce yourself to the owner: Freddie Roach. He is always behind the counter and you get the feeling he likes to know everyone who goes inside. Just walk up and say hi and shake his hand and he’ll warm up quick. Also, avoid the guy with a sort of a limp, as he’ll ask you for a loan once you’ve chatted five minutes or so…hahaha!
All in all, a nice place where everyone works hard and also bullshit each other on the sidelines. Its definitely not a yoga/aerobics/fitness gym type atmosphere.
Awesome experience, Jake! That was exactly how I felt too. It’s a great place, great energy. You will know the gym is real from the moment you step foot into it.
I love your website! It really offered be a lot of useful information!!!
I am currently a college sophomore and I love boxing! I have been trained muay thai and kickboxing for the last year with some really good trainers.
I just decide to go to wild card boxing gym and train there with a trainer for three weeks during winter break (Dec 21-Jan 17). Although I didn’t have formal boxing training, I have been training very hard for muay thai so my body condition is good and I think I could adapt pretty quickly. I’ve called them and the price is very reasonable. I want to train there and prepare myself for some amateur fights.
I know wild card is an awesome gym, and I love the serious environment. However, from your description, I am a little bit worried that the gym is a little bit too overcrowded to learn boxing, do you think so?
I’ve talked to someone from the gym on the phone and he said I could just go there, paid them and get a trainer and start to work, but since so many people are there, do you think I should reserve a place or so before I go there?
Because I do not live in LA and I have to fly there and rent a house near the gym, I have to be sure that I can train there beforehand. Is it anything else you think I should take care of before I get there?
Thank you so much!!!
Wildcard is a good gym but just because you’re in there doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a solid trainer. Don’t let them pair you up with a permanent trainer when you first come in. Tell them you want to train with a different one everyday until you find one you like. Some trainers are better at sports conditioning, others are better at holding mitts (usually technical guys), and others are better at coaching you through sparring (strategic). If it so happens that you don’t like Wildcard, Justin Fortune’s gym is not far away.
The environment is crowded but I think you’ll like it. It also depends what time you go, if your focus is purely just training, you’ll find time. If you’re like most people and only have time at 5pm then yeah, it’s going to be super crowded.
Well, because I decide to focus myself in boxing training this winter break, I think I will get up early, train their the whole morning and noon, and leave there at late afternoon everyday. I think that would be a lot better!
Just a few more questions:
If I wanna switch trainer everyday, can I still buy training session in package? I already called and asked the gym for the price and it seems that it’s pretty expensive counting hours but a lot cheaper if I say I want train for three weeks. If not, can you recommend me the best trainer there good with techniques and strategies?
Is there a possibility to work with Freddie?
Do I need to call and reserve a place with the trainer beforehand or I could just walk in and pay them?
Thank you so much Johnny!
No need to buy any training sessions. Just show up there and different trainers will offer to work with you. They will all give you a workout rate or have their own pricing plan with you. There are DOZENS of trainers to choose from. I can’t recommend the best trainer for you because I don’t really know all of them and am not good enough to learn everything they have to teach.
There is very little chance of you working with Freddie unless you’re already an established pro or amateur or have so much natural talent that he likes you. He hardly has enough time for all the pro’s he’s busy training.
No need to reserve a trainer beforehand.
First of all , I really admire your articles , your putting up a good work , keep it up
And i am a ameture boxer and am in India , i would be coming to do graduation courses in LA
i love boxing so much that i want to become a pro[no pro boxing in India] , would Wildcard gym be a perfect place for me to choose to get a license and box as a pro ???
There are several good pro gyms in the Los Angeles area. You’ll have to check out several gyms first and see if you like the atmosphere and style and available coaches and then make a decision. It’d be bad advice for me to give you only one option and make you gamble your future life on it.
Thanks a lot Johnny for guiding me bro , you made my day 😀
I am from India. i wanna make my career in pro boxing. currently, i am a Amateur boxer. i am age around 17. can you tell me the approx. cost to live their of a month to match that with my budget!
You can get by with about $1000-1500/month. This is assuming you live right next to the gym and don’t have a car and don’t go out and have any fun.
manny the best..fighting style..proud to be filipino..
Jason Madigan Lanney
Pls, have Feddy Roach contact me!!!
I can beat Mayweather. Because I’m the most gifted never was you will ever here from. If its the difference between me winning and death. I rather die in the ring. I’ll play by his rules. Let me tarnish that bs perfect paper record he has.
About to challenge Floyd via you tube. All I want is a 1 million to set my life st8. You all can have the rest. 5″8 1/2, 36,180 after being 245. Super fast hands with heavyweight power. And a strong Jaw.
No joke!!! Tell Freddy to get back to me. I respect him. What he’s done. What he’s been through and what he has left in him as I have too. One last moment of greatness. And its long over due…
I’m an amateur boxer from Luxembourg with 7 fights and 1 loss. I want to travel to Los Angeles from 18th December to 4th January to train in the wild card gym. First of all is that actually possible to go there and pay for these to weeks and then train there every day and also maybe doing some sparring if possible?
It’s definitely possible to train and spar there. You will have lots of fun and great training experience here. Make sure you try working with different coaches while you’re here!
Okay thank you very much for the information!
Regard from Luxembourg
Just wanted to know whether u actually went to LA in December and trainec at wildcard? And if so: what was it like? Did u get the kind of Training & motivation u were looking for? I am asking because I plan to do the same in March….and hoping that it will work out..
Yes I went to LA in December to train there and it was great!! Altough I couldn’t train with different coaches like Johnny requested because it would become too expensive , they charge you about 50 dollars per training and I couldn’t afford that. So I just took one trainer who charged me 200 for the 16 days I trained there. And I don’t regret it because he was a very good trainer I learned a lot with him and he threw me in the ring with different boxers to spar, I sparred with pros an amateurs. The sparring at the Wildcard is hard. I didn’t see any other sparring then fightpacesparring there, I loved it!
The people who train there are also very friendly but everybody trains hard in there. All in all it was a great experience!
Thanks Michel. That sounds great. What was the trainer’s name?
You are welcome. His name is ray lopez, he’s a very nice guy and a great trainer!
I’m new to the sport, but will be in the LA area soon. Is this a spot that even a newcomer is welcome? I think it would be motivating just to work out next to some of these guys. Thanks.
Yes, it’s ok for beginners. Go there and train but don’t get sucked into any sparring offers.
Why would it be a bad idea to take sparring offers?
Is this a Wildcard thing, or more of a general boxing gym thing?
I’ve only been to a couple of gyms, but I don’t see how taking sparring offers would be harmful.
It’s a bad idea if you’re a beginner and don’t know what you’re in for. Take your time and don’t get into battles until you’re ready. Or at least have faith in your coach. This is definitely a Wildcard thing as it can be pretty rough on beginners.
Hi Joe. So, are u training at wildcard,yet? If so, I might see u there in March.
first of all, amazing website!
I recently moved to LA and I am looking for a boxing gym. I know a lot of people have already asked you if you had any recommendation, and I completely agree with you that the best is to try quite few of them to see which one fits best. However, I am having quite a hard time to even find a list of the existing ones. I am not looking for an amateur or pro training, but I really enjoy sparring. So far the few gyms I have tried offer work-out but you never set foot on the ring…and this is quite a deal breaker for me. Anyway, if you had a list of a few names of gyms in LA (beside Wildcard!) that you think I could check out, that would be great!
Go to Wildcard and ask the trainers in there about other nearby gyms. You’ll get tons of recommendations for sure.
Any other gyms in the LA area that you’d recommend for a serious beginner in boxing but a lifelong athlete?
Although I live 5 minutes away from Wildcard, I can’t get my workouts in until the late afternoon since I’m trying to finish up my degree in Nursing and Wildcard is way too busy at those times. They’re closed on Sundays which sucks since I love training on a Sunday.
You can try Justin Fortune’s gym or Goosen’s or other ones in North Hollywood, in the valley. I don’t know why you’d avoid Wildcard…I find it fun when it’s a packed madhouse.
Hey Johnny h. I’m 24 and moving to los ángeles from Florida i use to box when I was young.i just never went to competitions.ican I still train and become pro?
That’s a question you have to answer for yourself, not me.
hey Jonny quicc question for u I wanna know how much on the average does it cost to train their if I was to train their 3times a week let me know something please
Call the gym yourself and find out.
i really need to see mayweather beaten this time round; seriously. i am a boxing strategist and i simply cant find freddie’s email, so that i can share with him a key strategy that WILL enable pacman win.
can anybody assist??
Hello. I am 14 years old, I’m from Russia. I have been boxing for 4 years. In summer, I want to come to Los Angeles for a period of 3 months for trentrovok boxing in your club. Please, do you have at the club sparring partners for me (my weight is 50 kg, age 14) What is the cost of training with the coach on the feet? Sincerely N. Alekseev, Russia, Moscow
I ve been reading your articles for years now.
I ve been boxing for 3 years, and I intend to keep boxing for as long as I can. You see I m 44 years old! ( I guess I found out boxing a bit late, but thats ok)
Anyway I m travelling to LA next month and I ll definitely check out Wildcard and have a couple of training sessions there. It will by a fantastic experience for me, even just to see Freddie Roach in person!
I ll let you know about my visit once I ll get back
Thank you so much for the amazing work you do with your website