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Everlast pledges $10,000 to burned Morris Park Boxing Club

Everlast plans to extend a helping glove in Morris Park. The boxing outfitter has promised to donate $10,000 in “sweet science” equipment to the Morris Park Boxing Club, K.O.’ed by a mysterious fire in December, Matthew Kern of Everlast said. The gym’s owner, Dex Pejcinovic, lost more than $50,000 in equipment - a ring, heavy bags, speed bags, gloves - to the blaze, he said.

Pejcinovic, a 40-year old Fowler Avenue resident who trained at the Morris Park Boxing Club as a teen, aquired the gym three years ago. He called Everlast’s commitment “a big help.”

“They told me to let them know what I need,” Pejcinovic said. “$10,000 will buy a lot of equipment. I’m really grateful.”

Pejcinovic had liability insurance for the 32-year old Morris Park Boxing Club, which trained world champions Aaron “Superman” Davis and Lou DelValle and has enjoyed a renaissance of late. But no fire insurance. Although the gym’s landlord plans to rebuild, Pejcinovic needs more donations to stage a comeback. A new ring will cost more than $5,000 alone, he explained.

For the moment, scores of Pejcinovic’s teen pugilists have shifted south to John’s Gym, near the Hub on Westchester Avenue. Gym owner Gjin Gjini has offered free one-month memberships to several Morris Park fighters. They and Gjini’s teens need to prepare for the 2010 Golden Gloves amateur tournament, Pejcinovic plans to send some 20 boxers to the tournament. Gjini plans to send 60. The two squads have already transformed John’s Gym into a friendly but ferocious battleground.

“Gjini is a real good guy,” Pejcinovic said. “He opened his doors to us. You gotta see the gym there - it’s packed. There are lines to use the heavy bags.”

He thinks that four or five Morris Park teens have a shot to win the Gloves.

Everlast picked the Morris Park Boxing Club because of its swell reputation and dire need, Pejcinovic explained. Before the fire, he did a brisk business with the outfitter. Pejcinovic hopes Ringside, another boxing equipment supplier, will donate as well.

Reach reporter Daniel Beekman at 718 742-3383 or dbeekman@cnglocal.com

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