It was over eleven years ago when a VOLUNTEER-run boxing and fitness club was first established in La Zenia where it functioned at a great deal of personal expense by founder and local businessman Lloyd (Sam) Sambor.

The club provided essential sporting facilities to the youth of the Orihuela Costa amongst whom it was very well received. Unfortunately, the economic climate eventually forced its closure. But Sam, an auctioneer and secondhand furniture dealer, and legend of the local amateur boxing scene, wasn’t daunted.

He found premises underneath MAPFRE Insurance in La Zenia, renamed the new venture Underworld Amateur Boxing Club, and reopened the club five years ago, since which time, he has been helped by a few dedicated volunteers who give their time freely to help the local community.

Freya is just 7 years of age

Unfortunately we then had covid so Sam’s plans to develop his community asset took a dive but now he is hoping that it is third time lucky as he has reopened the club once again.

Sam told the Leader: “I have always seen the boxing gym as a place to instil everything – respect, love support, discipline – all those life lessons that are really important beyond the sport so it is important that, on this occasion we keep it going and even develop beyond where we currently are.

It gives a lot of its members some purpose in life, and one that we will work hard to keep going in the future. We don’t want to see it close again.”

Although club members pay a nominal fee to train Sam explained that sponsorship has been very hard to come by and a great majority of the funding has come from his own pocket. “Now, however, I am asking the people who use the facility to make a small contribution themselves.”

LLoyd and Jaydon are both hoping to enter the ring competitively
LLoyd and Jaydon are both hoping to enter the ring competitively

Sam is a fully qualified ABA coach with many years of experience both as a competitor and as a coach at all levels of the sport. He said “Amateur boxing is one of the most rewarding, challenging and safest sports available to young people today. It isn’t about knocking people out, it’s about using your brain and your skills to outscore them. We show people how to develop a sense of intuition, quick thinking, a relaxed state and self-motivation.”

There are of course many other youngsters who use the centre, and along with the half dozen or so adults who go along purely to use the equipment and keep themselves fit, Underworld also has a gradually increasing range of fitness equipment.

The gym is located just off the N332, by the side of Costa Cars, directly underneath the Mapfre offices. The club is open to all on Monday and Wednesday evening from 5-8pm, whether you just want to improve your fitness, keep yourself in shape or pick up the gloves under Sam’s guidance and supervision.

The gym is aimed at boys, girls and adults, costing just 5 euro a session for adults and 3 euros for youths and children to use the equipment for a 90 minute session, which includes personal fitness coaching from Sam, who can be contacted on 627 177 511 or 966 844 453. Sam is also available for ‘one to one’ Personal training.