MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- Boxing is back at the University of Wisconsin after a 54 year hiatus.
The sport was banned as a collegiate competition after a fighter died following injuries sustained in a 1960 bout.
However, sophomore Chandler Davis said research in the UW's library led him to discover boxing was never banned as a club sport.
Davis' efforts to get a boxing club established on campus began in his first semester as a student.
Davis, who had boxed during high school in his hometown of Los Angeles, Calif., said he wanted to start a boxing club immediately upon arriving in Madison. He put up fliers advertising the group, and said he received substantial interest.
But because the club, which was registered as a student organization, was not an officially recognized club sport, Davis and its members had to practice at a gym far off campus.
He said that deterred many people from staying involved.
But following more than 18 months of filling out applications and giving presentations to faculty and his peers, Davis earned the club official recognition from the university's recreational sports division in December.
"It was nice to work on building something up," Davis said.
The group now practices at the school's Natatorium. Its first practice was Wednesday evening.
"Just seeing everyone come out is awesome," said the boxing club's marketing officer, Cody Kuchinski.
Faris Alsree, the team's secretary, said boxing is a great workout. But it also teaches him and the 39 other club members who showed up Wednesday about self discipline and commitment.
"It's all about being a strong person," Alsree said. "Those three minute rounds teach you to focus on one thing... That helps me in my life with my studies, my relationships, like with my family."
Now that the club has been established on campus, Davis said its new goal is to hold an exhibition match "within the next few years.
He also said he'd like to see the UW's boxing team eventually compete against boxing clubs from other universities.
"It'll be nice to see how far (other students) take this," Davis said. "To see, after I graduate, how far this goes."
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WKOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Anna Engelhart at 608-661-2767. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.