Boxing gym owner inspired by community spirit

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Linda Murphy
Linda Murphy

MANCHESTER, NH – With more than $5,000 raised in the past week, and some interesting prospects for possible future collaboration, Linda Murphy is feeling positive about the push to save her Lake Avenue boxing gym.

“It’s been incredible. People are coming up with ideas, including organizing a group loan. I feel so positive about what people are doing. I’m feeling like something is happening here,” says Murphy, who has until March 12 to raise $50,000 needed to stop the sale of the old armory building that houses her boxing gym.

It will otherwise be sold to settle the financial terms of her divorce, terms which included the sale of her River Road home. Due to the tumble in real estate values since she and her ex-husband used it to secure a 2005 home equity loan to refurbish the Lake Avenue building, she now needs to raise the money to make up the difference owed, or lose the gym.

Murphy said at the time she took over the building 10 years ago she felt empowered by the spirit of the place.

“There is something about this space. I always felt it, that it enhances everything that happens here, and that’s been reaffirmed this week, by so many people who’ve contacted me to tell me just how much this place has meant to them,” Murphy says.  

Moving the business to Lake Avenue came at a time when Murphy’s two daughters, Shaunna and Heather, were preparing to launch, one already in college and the other finishing high school.

“It was a chance for me to do something a little different in this space, at that stage in life when you can really create something. I put a lot of thought into the floor plan, the feel, of the place, the details, the design. I wanted it to be functional, but with an artistic flair,” says Murphy.

“Everything that’s happened, everything it’s become – it’s been everything I imagined it would be,” Murphy says.

Working alongside her daughters has energized Murphy, and the gym has evolved into a true family business

“It’s been a neat addition to have them here, doing all that they’re doing with the aerial training and nutrition classes,” she says.

Murphy spends long days and late nights at the gym, teaching classes throughout the day and catching up on emails at night, fielding several this past week from old friends and acquaintances with offers of assistance.

Some have asked what will happen if the money needed isn’t raised by the end of the week.

“I really want to keep this space – it’s home to us. But the gym will go on,” says Murphy.

Save Bare Knuckle Murphy’s Family-owned gym Crowdrise donation page.

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About Carol Robidoux 6040 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!