Philadelphia’s K & A Boxing Club plus the return of Carto & Boots


By Luis A. Cortes III

Boxing with its ever-changing business landscape, tests the commitment of its fans like no other sport. It doesn’t help that so many fighters create more drama outside the ring than inside it. This being the case, it’s always refreshing to learn about the people, places, and associations that are working for the betterment of the sport and the communities that they serve.

K & A Boxing Club at 3017 F Street in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood and its head trainer Timmy Sinese (pictured below with one of his students) is an example of one of these refreshing cases. While it is important to note that, yes, the gym is right across the street from McPhearson Square (unofficially known as “Needle Park”) in one of the worst open air drug neighborhoods in the country, what Sinese and the Philadelphia Pugilistic Association are doing for the youth in that area goes beyond the familiar story of a gym being a haven for at-risk boys and an alternative to a life on the street.


This Saturday (May 1), Sinese and company are putting on their first amateur show at Our Lady of Port Richmond (3233 E. Thompson St.). “All the proceeds from this event are going to kids that are talented but lack the resources to be seen. These kids can fight and without the kids there would be no pros,” states Sinese. A Kensington lifer, he would know about that neighborhood and the talent that it harbors.

Sinese is a veteran of the U.S. Navy where he spent four years learning how to box. Upon his return to the city, he spent years learning how to train fighters at famed gyms like Harrowgate and Rock Ministries. (Harrowgate was the childhood home gym of heavyweight Joey Dawejko and Danny Garcia.) As for his own boxing career, that was cut short when he was stabbed multiple times during a run-in with a motorcycle gang.

After the pandemic he was approached by a friend, John Goodwin, about becoming the head trainer at a new gym that Goodwin was planning on opening. Once the old after-hours club was transformed into the gym bearing the name K & A (an iconic local abbreviation for the Kensington and Allegheny intersection), Sinese went to work on transforming lives. Except one thing has gotten in the way at times.

“It’s hard to water the seeds that we have planted at the gym with the youth,” says Sinise. “We’re trying to help build better citizens at the end of the day. It’s a shame cause we’ve seen friendships and support systems being forged organically between these kids. It’s tough when they can’t afford to see their aspirations of a better life through boxing come true cause of not having money to jump-start [the process]. That’s why Saturday is important.”

One look at the USA Amateur Boxing rankings highlights his point. For the first time in generations, there are hardly any fighters ranked in the top ten of any weight class, both male and female, from the Philadelphia region.

“It’s absolutely a shame that this great fighting city isn’t represented on all levels of the sport anymore, but ultimately, we’re about building better and stronger youth for our community. If these kids can deal with the ring, they can deal with life.”

$35 and $50 tickets will be available at the door for Saturday’s show with the opening bell scheduled for 1:00 PM.


King’s Promotions returns this Friday night at Live Casino in South Philadelphia. Bantamweight contender and the always popular Christian Carto (21-1, 14 KO’s) fights for the second time this year in the main event of a seven-fight card. He takes on the durable Jesus Martinez (35-20-1, 16 KOs) in an eight-round bout. Carto, who is trained by Bozy Ennis, looks to stay sharp by staying active as he looks to get into top form before challenging for a world title.

Also on the card is light heavyweight Atif Oberlton. A former amateur standout and Philly native, Oberlton (9-0, 7 KOs) meets Mexico’s Juan Francisco Lopez (8-1, 4 KOs). As I’ve stated before, King’s Promotions always puts on entertaining shows with well-matched fights and this card looks to be no different. Tickets are available through and at the door.


Matchroom sent out a press release announcing that Jaron “Boots” Ennis will make his return to the ring at the Wells Fargo Center (home to the Sixers and Flyers) on July 13. Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) will defend his IBF welterweight title against his mandatory challenger Cody Crowley (22-0, 9 KOs) in a bout geared towards accomplishing two things: shaking off any ring rust that might have accumulated after a 12-month layoff while providing proof that Ennis can sell tickets, which will benefit both Matchroom and Ennis in future negotiations.

Ennis signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Matchroom on April 10. Eddie Hearn isn’t wasting any time getting his new young star back into the limelight.