Boxing Gyms in Chicago – Reviewed [Top 8 in 2024]

Chicago is full of world class boxing gyms. This is a boxing town, through and through. Royalty like Jack Johnson, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Louis all spent crucial parts of their lives living and training in The Windy City.

Let’s take a look at the best in town:

Click to explore…

My preference is always for those rare, pure, old school boxing gyms, free of ego, and full of passion for the sport. But sometimes I include the odd boxercise place because I know that not everyone wants the nitty gritty of actual combat.

Why listen to me: I’ve been boxing as an amateur for 6 years and trained in countless boxing gyms around the world from Seattle to Spain. I’ve learnt that picking the right gym can literally change your life and want to help you do the same. Learn more about me here.

PLEASE leave your own opinions and experiences about Chicago boxing gyms in the comments at the bottom and I’ll continuously update this page to make it as useful as possible!

The 8 Best Boxing Gyms in Chicago🥊

1️⃣ Oakley Fight Club

Oakley boxing gym in Chicago

This place is awesome. A true, old-school, pure boxing gym. No bells, no whistles, no boxercise, just passionate training in the Sweet Science.

This is a real boxing gym, with real coaches. OFC describes its boxing classes as “hardcore” and promises to push you to the limit, whether you are a first timer or a pro.

Once you’re ready to get in the ring and fight, they have dedicated sparring sessions for you practice actually hitting someone and getting hit back.   

They’ve coached plenty of local and national amateur champions, and several pro-fighters have also broken a sweat here. I think it’s pretty save to say they know what they’re doing. If you want to learn to box, then Oakley Fight Club is for you.

No doubt one of the best boxing gyms in Chicago. This is the first place I’ll go next time i’m in town.   



2️⃣ Sam Colonna Boxing 

Sam Colonna Boxing Club Chicago

This place is one of Chicago’s most famous boxing gyms and is known as the “training ground for champions”. Its reputation is, in large part, thanks to the man himself, Sam Colonna.

Colonna has been training everyone from kids off the street to champions for 30 years. He’s been in the corner of the likes of Andrew Golota, Angel Manfredy, and Angel Hernandez.

He even once bonded with Mike Tyson over the fact that both men raised pigeons. He’s described as honest, dedicated, and giving to anyone that is serious about training. 

Colonna’s is all about boxing. There’s nothing fancy here but if you want to learn the art of boxing under the watchful, dedicated eye of someone who knows better than most, then this place is for you. Great environment, great coaches, and great passion. 

Also at just $60/month it’s one of the best value boxing gyms I could find in Chicago.



3️⃣ Knuckleheads

knuckleheads Boxing Club Chicago

  • Summary: Friendly, experienced, fun. Knuckleheads has it all. 
  • Address: 633 S Plymouth Ct (South Loop)
  • Google rating: 4.9
  • Opening hours: M-F: 6:30am-8:15pm, Sa: 8am-3pm
  • Pricing: $99 / month
  • Best for: beginners, families, kids, friendly types
  • Online: website, Facebook, Instagram

Knuckleheads has only been around since 2020 but has quickly established a great reputation and a loyal membership.

Go check out the Google reviews, everyone is raving about this place. Here’s an example: “I could absolutely write a novel on how much I love and cherish this gym”…

It seems to tick all the boxes: great facility, amazing atmosphere, experienced staff, good value for money, lots of classes to choose from. 

Coaches Marty, Darian, and Alex are extremely experienced, with illustrious pro fighting careers, so you know you’re in very capable hands. Get yourself down to Knuckleheads, this place looks awesome.  

One of Chicago’s newest boxing gyms has quickly become one of its best.



4️⃣ Unanimous

Unanimous boxing gym in chicago

After the success of the first location in Logan Square, Unanimous opened up gym number 2 in West Loop to cater for its growing fanbase.

It’s hard to find bad words said about these gyms (other than one or two complaints about being charged after cancelling memberships), with most members praising the large, clean facilities and the quality of the classes which focus on proper boxing technique while also giving you a seriously intense workout.  

These gyms are boxing-passionate enough for the hardcore fighter, yet not intimidating for those who are new to the support. They have a great atmosphere where everyone is made to feel welcome the moment they walk through the doors. 

Both locations offer between 4-7 different classes every day for you to choose from or you can go workout in the large and well kitted out gym if you don’t fancy joining a class.

I’d love to train at these places. For sure they’re among the best, if not the best, boxing gyms in Chicago. 



5️⃣ Windy City Boxing

Boxing classes at Windy City boxing gym in Chicago

Owned by former Olympic and pro boxer, Montell Griffen, Windy City Boxing’s goal is to “bring boxing back to a state of prominence in Chicago, similar to how it was in the 1920’s and 1930’s”.

Griffen’s father set up the original, legendary Windy City Boxing Club back in 1973 and even trained the GOAT, Muhammad Ali, on several occasions at the gym.

This place is seeped in boxing history and today it is as passionate and dedicated to pure boxing as it ever was.   

Their website is pretty sparse on details, I guess they’re too busy training to worry about marketing, but it’s safe to say that if you want to learn proper boxing from coaches who really know what they are doing then Windy City Boxing Club is a great option for you. 



6️⃣ Body Shot Boxing / Rick Ramos Boxing

Rick Ramos boxing gym

Body Shot Boxing is owned and run by Rick Ramos who has over 20 years experience in coaching and managing some of the biggest names on the Chicago boxing scene. He lives and breathes boxing and expects the best from his students – there’s no slacking off in Body Shot!

If you’re serious about your boxing training then Rick and coach Jessica will help take your game to next level. If you’re looking for selfie opportunities and super food smoothies then move on. 

While Body Shot Boxing is serious about its training, it has an extremely welcoming and respectful environment for boxers of all ages and levels. If you’re willing to put the work in then this place will treat you like family.

Only downsides are that there is no “open gym” and they only seem to offer 1 or 2 classes 4 days a week so it might not have a class that fits your schedule. 



7️⃣ Franklin Street Boxing 

Boxing classes at Franklin Boxing Club in Chicago

Owner Ray Pace and Jimmy Mango have been training all types of boxers for a combined 30+ years, following successful amateur careers of their own. Franklin Street Boxing is an old school type gym that focuses on hard work and dedication.

But don’t let that put you off if you’re a newbie to the sport – Ray and Jimmy have created a great atmosphere where all are welcome.

One member even commented that it’s the sort of place where if you left your wallet lying around, you could come back two weeks later and find that someone had stuck $5 in it for you. 

It’s all about atmosphere and passion when it comes to boxing gyms and Franklin Street clearly has buckets of both.  



8️⃣ Hammer Fitness and Boxing

Hammer Boxing classes in Chicago

Hammer F&B is a real boxing gym with trainers that genuinely care about helping you achieve your boxing and fitness goals.

This isn’t an Instagram gym where you’ll just hit bags under strobe lights. The trainers Johnny, Robin, and Brian do a great job focusing on developing real boxing technique.

There are no egos or cocky attitudes here, it’s welcoming to all. There are only good things said about this place. Well worth a visit. 

They have 3 classes a day Monday through Friday (7am, 6pm, 7pm) and one class on Saturday (10am). At other times it’s open gym so you can come in, use the equipment, and get to work with whoever else happens to be in the gym at the same time. 

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How to pick a boxing gym in Chicago❓

  • Coaches – an experienced, motivating coach makes all the difference. Not just when it comes to improving your technique but also in encouraging you to keep coming back time and time again. Becoming a good boxer takes a long time and so it’s important you find a coach that you click with if this is something you want to do for many years. Reviews will often focus on coaches so try looking for those for some insights.  
  • Convenience of location and class timings – for me this is so important. My boxing gym is on the same block as my home so I have no excuse not to go almost everyday, even if I’m not feeling up to it. Finding a gym that’s close to home or work will make your life much easier and help to make going to boxing training a habit. The same applies to class timings, if you have to massively disrupt your day to get to a class because it doesn’t fit your schedule then you’re going to be less likely to go.  
  • Gym focus – I don’t have a problem with boxercise classes, but make sure you know what you’re signing up for if you join one of these. Boxercise is very different than actually learning how to fight and getting sparring experience. If you truly want to learn how to box then you need to box. That involves punching other people and getting punched yourself. 
  • Trial class – most boxing gyms will allow you to have a free trial class so you can get a feel for the place before you sign up. This is a great way of evaluating whether you like the coach, the energy, and the focus of the gym. Always worth asking for a free trial class if you’re not sure whether it’s offered. 



How much do boxing gyms in Chicago cost? 💰

  • Monthly memberships: ~$75-150 per month. Most places offer unlimited classes to their members. Be sure to check for this.   
  • One-on-one personal training: This can vary a lot but expect to pay around $75 per hour as a minimum. 
  • Drop-in boxing classes for non-members: ~$15-$30 per class
  • Initiation fee: not all places make you pay one of these (and I’m not a fan of it) but those that do usually charge a one-off fee of $50-$100  



12th Round 🔔

Chicago is spoiled with a great selection of top quality, authentic boxing gyms to choose from. I envy anyone who gets to pick from this bunch! No matter your style or preferences, Chicago is the place for you if you want to learn how to box.  

Happy fighting!🥊🥊

“My punches are just as hard in Chicago as in New York.”  — Sonny Liston

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