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Joe Hanks – Professional Boxer in SGV

Episode 078

Boxing his way to Pasadena

Joe Hanks is the owner of Brick City Boxing, an innovative boxing inspired high intensity fitness experience. The classes taught are designed by Joe Hanks himself, a world class professional boxer. His inspiration when designing the classes came by his journey through boxing gyms in ‘Brick City,’ that is Newark, New Jersey.

Joe was raised in Newark, New Jersey where he attended private school and then went to gyms afterwards. Eventually he found a coach to train him in professional boxing. After making the rounds in Amateur Boxing Joe made it to the professional level and in 2008 moved to California. During his time in California Joe not only experienced success in his boxing career but also in his personal life. He married his wife and started a family in California and now considers it a second home state. When his family and him moved to Pasadena, Joe started his Brick City Boxing gym. Not only does he welcome anyone who comes to the gym with the same values as him, but he also helps train the Pasadena police.

App: brickcityboxing

Location: 250 N Lake Avenue, Ste 120

Pasadena, CA 91101

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Joe Hanks – Professional Boxer in SGV Quotes

  • “When you go to a private school, but you still live in the neighborhood, you probably should know how to fight a little bit. Coming home with the uniform on, you don’t quite always get the chance to blend in.”
  • “My first fight actually came in the Golden Gloves. You don’t know who you’re going to fight; you have to wait for the drawing to come out; I don’t even remember the guy I fought. I just remember that I was happy it was over. And I ended up winning the tournament.”
  • “Every day you’re putting yourself in that space, you know, you’re trying to see how comfortable you can be at being uncomfortable. So you’re challenging yourself every day.”
  • “There’s no privileged guy in boxing. Everybody that climbs in that ring, even in the gym, you’re putting your life on the line each time.”
  • “You probably hear more about the football guys, you don’t hear a lot of boxers or MMA guys tearing up bars, and we can do the most damage. We are reserved because we have a level of confidence in ourselves.”
  • “That’s the sweet science; anyone can get out and turn into rock-em sock-em robots, but who can show you an angle? Who can step off and hit you? You see me now; now you don’t.”
  • Joe learned to fight after going to a private school and growing up in a rough neighborhood
  • Joe Hanks has been top 15 in the world as a heavyweight
  • Joe Hanks moved to Pasadena from New Jersey.
  • Joe feels inspired to create a space for people to train and grow without fear of embarrassment or shame.

What is Joe Hanks’ connection to the San Gabriel Valley?

Joe moved to Pasadena about three years ago (in 2019) and wanted his kids to grow up with some space and to live the suburban life.

Joe’s wife is a nurse downtown, and they used to go on dates in the area all the time, so they wanted to give it a shot. Joe and his family love the suburban lifestyle and are very happy.

Despite his strong connection to SGV, Joe Hanks is originally from Newark, New Jersey.

What was it like growing up in Newark, NJ?

It motivated Joe. He went to a private school, but he grew up in a rougher area.

Did Joe seek out boxing on his own?

In Joe’s opinion, going to a private school in a rough neighborhood and coming home wearing a uniform, it was hard to blend it, so he thought it would be beneficial to know how to fight.

Around the age of 10, Joe picked up some boxing, but it quickly shifted to another passion which was basketball.

He went back to boxing around 18 and started amateur boxing. He’s also a five-time golden glove champion.

What is the difference between an amateur fight vs. a professional fight?

Other than the money, when you are in an amateur fight, you don’t always know who you are going to fight. You show up in a room and look around to see who weighs about the same as you.

That’s likely the person you’re going to fight.

Joe’s first fight was the Golden Glove, and he was super nervous. He ended up winning, but he had no expectations and wanted to be adjustable.

Joe Hanks Boxing Gloves

How has Joe protected himself over the years?

Joe made a promise to his family that he wouldn’t climb into the ring unless he did everything he good to ensure that he was prepared.

That meant training hard, exercising, not drinking or smoking, and keeping up on nutrition.

Joe even had a sports psychologist. Not even just for himself but for the peace of mind of his loved ones.

What is Joe’s gym called?

Joe owns Brick City Boxing, which is named after New Jersey. Joe is proud to open the gym up to more than just fighters.

Regular, everyday people that may want confidence boosts or to learn how to box are able to come in. Even kids who may be bullied and want to learn how to protect themselves are welcome.

He wanted to create a clean, easygoing gym that wasn’t intimidating. He wanted to be able to bridge the gap between the community and the police force.

What is Joe’s first instinct if he was in a situation where push came to shove?

Boxing and his skillset have actually allowed Joe to have a very relaxed demeanor. His instinct, above all, is to take a second, stop and think about what is happening – and then act accordingly.

He is able to fight off impulses. But also, due to his nature and profession, he could get in trouble for easily getting into fights.

Has Joe ever lost his plan of attack or composure?

In Joe’s words, once you get hit in the mouth, it all goes out the window. But, you learn to adapt and to bring it all back in.

It’s all the days of training, which is normally harder than the fight, that prepares you for those moments.

What is the feeling like when you knock someone out?

It’s both a moment of celebration and feeling bad. It’s a true bipolar moment.

You’re happy because you were successful and you completed your task, but you also have empathy for the man you just knocked out.

Who have been the most influential people in Joe Hanks’ life?

First and foremost, Joe would have to say his brother. He is the one that brought him back to the gym. His coach Jamal was a huge father figure to Joe and also his current business partner.

His wife is a major part of his success and, of course, his happiness.

Who are Joe’s top 3 fighters?

1 Muhammad Ali

2 Sugar Ray Leonard

3 Jack Johnson

Picture of Joe Hanks – Professional Boxer in SGV

Joe Hanks – Professional Boxer in SGV

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