Vision and a bit of foresight is what brought Newman’s Gym into existence. In the basement of the Cadillac Hotel in San Francisco, Billy Newman envisioned a boxing gym that would one day be a training ground for some of the greatest champions of all time.
In 1924 he leased the space that had been the basement restaurant at the hotel and for the next 60 years, it was known as Newman’s Gym. Stepping down the stairs, through the dark passage to the doors of the gym, one wouldn’t know that a boxing gym even existed within the comfort and confines of a hotel. Yet each thump of a glove meeting canvas, of a grind of shoes scuffing across the floor, of the raging breath of men aiming for a championship, Newman’s Gym breathed energy into all who stepped across the threshold.
Some of the best boxers ever trained at Newman’s Gym, giving it creditability and inspiring young fighters to keep striving for greatness. Some of the greats that trained here included Jack Dempsey, Jim Jeffries, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sonny Liston, Sugar Ray Leonard George Foreman and Muhammad Ali.
A gym that endured through the Great Depression and World War II was one that truly harbored the spirit of greatness. At the time it was the oldest gym in America and it moved in 1984 from the Cadillac to 136 Leavenworth where it continued to operate until the passing of Don Stewart in 1995.