New Program Combines Boxing, Education in Port City

OSWEGO, NY – The Riverside Boxing Club was down for the count. But, it’s gotten off the mat and is ready to go the distance as the new Oswego Boxing Club.

It has re-established itself at 177 W. First St. (second floor) as the Oswego Boxing Club.

The new boxing club in the Port City teaches students of all ages the basics of the sport – but also stresses the importance of a good education, according to co-owners Derek Breitbeck and Derrick J. Falcetti.

" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="size-medium wp-image-134666" alt="Sidney LeCeur, right, spars a few rounds with co-owner Derek Breitbeck." src="" width="300" height="258" srcset=" 300w, 150w, 460w, 348w, 900w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
Sidney LeCeur, right, spars a few rounds with co-owner Derek Breitbeck.

“I am doing this because this is how I got started. I joined a boxing club that required going to school and having good grades,” explained Falcetti.

The hours are Monday through Friday from 4 to 8:30 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. They are closed Sundays.

Falcetti believes the project can help alleviate the problem of teens complaining “There’s nothing to do.”

The gym is located in more than twice the space they had when they started a couple years ago on East First Street. They have been back up and running for a little more than three months. They offer weight training as well as workouts with punching bags and heavy bags to improve your boxing and kick boxing skills.

Students are learning the basics of boxing – the mental as well as physical conditioning.

“I grew up with a program like this. I started when I was about 13, took up boxing when I was like eight and started actually going to a gym when I was 13,” Falcetti said.

He said he wants his gym to be the same – a place for the kids to exercise and workout and be an educational center, too.

“It’s not just boxing. Now we’re offering classes as well,” Breitbeck added. “We have a larger space now and we are able to have classrooms. We have classes for women and kids as well as men. We’re just finishing up our first round and in a couple of weeks we’ll start round two.”

The kids love it and most of the women are signing up for the second round, he said.

“The kids kind of tap out around 12 years old. In the women’s group, I think we have a 16-year-old and we have some that probably almost 60,” Breitbeck said. “It’s a nice variety. We definitely push them, but we engage them, too. It’s boxing technicque mixed with a cardio workout.”

The class runs 5:15-6 p.m. for six weeks; the Tuesday Thursday class runs for eight weeks and is 5:15 – 6 p.m. as well.

The women’s boxing class is Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 6:15 – 7:15, Falcetti said.

“Boxing fundamentals as well as strength conditioning is taught. The class is six weeks. The Tuesday, Thursday class is eight weeks and also from 6:15 – 7:15 p.m.,” he said. “We also have a Cross-Box class we are offering on Monday/Wednesday/Friday for six weeks. It will be a high intensity workout with boxing fundamentals as well as a Cross-Fit style workout.”

The first round of the women’s class had 18 participants while the first kids’ class had eight participants, he added.

The gym has quite a few month-to-month members as well. Personal training is also available.

Being relatively new, the club doesn’t have any boxers in competion yet, Breitbeck said.

“We won’t let the kids get in the ring to compete unless they really know what they are doing,” Falcetti explained. “It’s a mental thing, we let them know that this is what’s going to happen, you’re going to get hit.”

“We have guys that want to compete and some that have competed through different gyms,” Breitbeck said. “We just don’t want to throw them in the ring if we don’t know if they are ready or not. After a little bit of sparing in the gym, when we see them get their technique down, absolutely, they’ll start doing some competions.”

Sidney LeCeur, a native of California now living in Oswego, has been boxing since he was young.

“I’ve always been athletic. When I moved out here I wanted to get into boxing and start competing,” he said. “I used to have to go to Onondaga County until they opened here. I have been coming here ever since.”

Part of his training is to move around the ring as he shadow boxes in simulated 3-minute rounds.

The ring is slightly “spongy,” Breitbeck noted. People who run miles a day find it a much tougher workout in the ring, he said.

“It’s like running in sand. It tires you out quickly,” he said. “Guys that run miles a day get in here for 30 seconds and they’re tired.”

“My goal is to promote a sport I love that takes dedication,” Falcetti said. “It is a sport that requires commitment. I am hoping that I can also have a positive affect on these kids as a ‘big brother’ and teach them leadership and coach them to lead a better life along the way.”

“I always wanted a gym here (in Oswego), it never happened, until now. It was always a goal to bring boxing to Oswego. We do this because we basically wish we had this when we were kids,” said Breitbeck who used train the Syracuse Golden Gloves.

The fees are $50 month to month; $40 a month for a six-month commitment and class programs for the kids and women’s classes are $99 for the entire duration, Falcetti said.

“We are currently accepting sponsorships to start an after school program for kids that need a good place to go after school,” he added.

For more information, call 342-3300 or visit