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Jim Finley, owner of legendary Finley’s Gym in DC, Passes at 85

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By Gary “Digital” Williams

The owner of one of the legendary boxing gyms in Washington, DC –Finley’s Gym — passed away today at the age of 85. Jim Finley opened the gym in 1960 and it became the spot in the Nation’s Capitol for boxers where boxers could train. Bob Foster, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, Larry Holmes, George Foreman and Mike Tyson are just some of the countless number of boxing legends that passed through the doors of Finley’s Gym before the gym closed in 2001.

The boxing scenes for the 1973 Al Pacino movie “Serpico” were shot in the gym and the location was depicted as a training site in an edition of the EA Sports boxing video game “Knockout Kings.”

Mr. Finley was born in Greenville, SC in 1929 and came to Washington, DC in 1943. Mr. Finley was an amateur boxer. However, he also loved to work on cars and opened a garage in the early fifties. The gym was upstairs above the garage. Finley’s Gym also served as an unofficial museum for Beltway Boxing history as the walls and ceiling were lined with posters from local boxing cards over a four-decade period.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Fightnews sends its deepest condolences to Mr. Finley’s family.




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