Away from Hawaii’s stunning natural landscapes, delicious food, and floral shirts, there’s a vibrant boxing scene. We reviewed the best boxing gyms in Honolulu so you know where to go for top quality training in Aloha State. Let’s dive in…
|Name||Summary||District||Google rating||Pricing||Big Right Boxing rating|
|Kaka’ako Boxing Club||An authentic pure boxing gym with a long history and big heart||Kalihi-Palama||5.0||$80/m||10/10|
|PearlSide Boxing||A top class real-deal boxing gym with a great community atmosphere||Kapolei||5.0||$150/m||10/10|
|Nito Boxing||Get fighting fit and learn proper boxing in this top quality gym||Waialae – Kahala||5.0||$199/m||10/10|
|Palolo Boxing||Humble, mighty, experienced authentic boxing gym||Wilhelmina Rise||n.a.||n.a.||9/10|
|Kalakaua||Under-the-radar old school boxing gym run by former pro||Kalihi-Palama||n.a.||n.a.||9/10|
We’ve focused on gyms in Honolulu that specialize in boxing, rather than general gyms that also have a few punchbags. This way you know that every gym on this list is all about the Sweet Science.
Our 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. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve learnt that picking the right gym can literally change your life and want to help you do the same.
The 5 Best Boxing Gyms in Honolulu🥊
Kakaako Boxing Club is exactly how a boxing club should be: nothing fancy but full of passion for the sport and rock solid values of community, hard work, and positivity. It was founded back in 1932 so it has nearly a century of experience under its belt and is the oldest boxing gym in the USA!
Kakaako is proper boxing gym, you won’t find any boxercise here. They’ve coached local and national amateur champs, so you if you want to learn the true art of boxing then you’ve come to the right place. Boxers of all skills and ages are welcome here, though. And they have beginners classes, kids classes, womens’ classes, competition training classes and general adult classes.
This is a non-profit gym that has a big focus on providing a space and support for underserved and at-risk youth and young adults. Members describe this place as a family and it prides itself on its respectful and friendly atmosphere.
Kakaako is humble but mighty. No doubt one of the best boxing gyms in Honolulu. Highly recommended.
2️⃣ PearlSide Boxing
PearlSide Boxing isn’t strictly in Honolulu (it’s a 25 mins drive away in Kapolei) but it’s a top class boxing gym and very worthy of this list. It’s impossible to find a bad word said about it. Members are full of praise of the friendly atmosphere, the quality coaching, and the fitness results.
They have classes here in the evenings Monday through Thursday for beginners and advanced boxers. So no matter if you’re training for a fight or if it’s your first time, you can be sure that Coach Eiichi (a former US national boxing champion) will take good care of you.
To make it even better, they have very strong community values here, including offering classes for those with Parkinson’s disease.
The facility itself looks awesome. The walls are covered in old boxing belts and posters of the greats. And the space is full of well-worn boxing bags and sweat. Just how it should be. Certainly one of the best boxing gyms in Honolulu. Get down there now!
3️⃣ Nito Boxing
- Summary: Get fighting fit and learn proper boxing in this top quality gym
- Address: 4400 Kalanianaole Hwy
- Google rating: 5.0
- Opening hours: M-F: 7-10am & 4-7pm, Sa: 7-11am
- Pricing: $199 / month (unlimited classes)
- Best for: fun loving and fitness junkies
- Online: website, Facebook, Instagram
Head coach and founder Carlos Nito Tangaro used to serve as a sparring partner to the one and only Manny Pacquiao. So it’s safe to say you’re gonna learn proper boxing skills here.
The classes combine conditioning with boxing technique instruction including partner and bag drills. They make sure to mix up the classes so you always get something different. Although some things are guaranteed every time: one hell of a workout and great fun.
They work hard here, running up to 7 classes every weekday for you to choose from, as well as classes on Saturday morning. They have specialist classes for kids too. Members can go to as many classes as they like, or you can drop in and take a one-off class.
The facility itself is clean, modern, and full of great equipment. The atmosphere here is also extremely welcoming and friendly, highly recommended.
4️⃣ Palolo Boxing
- Summary: Humble, mighty, experienced authentic boxing gym
- Address: 2007 Palolo Ave
- Google rating: n.a.
- Opening hours: M, W, & F: 4-7pm
- Pricing: n.a.
- Best for: advanced competitive boxers
- Online: Facebook
Palolo Boxing club is another low-key but passionate, old school boxing gym in Honolulu. They also don’t have a website but share some information on their Facebook page. After nearly three years out of action due to Covid, Palolo reopened its doors in Feb 2023 and is steadily reintroducing it’s group classes, three days a week.
They take their boxing seriously here and train their members for championship matches. They also host championship fights in the gym. Don’t let that intimidate you though, they are very welcoming to beginners so long as you are willing to put the work in!
Coach Joe has been training students for over 20 years now at Palolo Boxing and places a big emphasis on helping its members to develop values of self-esteem, respect, and hard work.
5️⃣ Kalakaua Boxing Gym
- Summary: Under-the-radar old school boxing gym run by former pro
- Address: 720 McNeill St
- Google rating: n.a.
- Opening hours: n.a.
- Pricing: n.a.
- Best for: advanced competitive boxers
- Online: Facebook page
They’re so focused on their boxing here that they don’t have a website and their Facebook page is barely used, but Kalakaua is an old school boxing gym led by former pro-boxer Michael Balasi. Balasi was undefeated in his 17 bout career so expect the real deal when you train here.
It looks like they train three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the evenings. The facility itself looks like it’s from a movie, with two boxing rings, and flags and boxing memorabilia all over the walls.
My guess would be that this isn’t the ideal place for beginners given that they are relying on word-of-mouth to bring in new members. Or maybe they aren’t even looking for new members…
Other than that, information is pretty scarce so head over to the gym on McNeill Street to learn more.
How to pick a Honolulu boxing gym❓
- 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 – this is key. 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 gyms have a free trial class so you try before you buy. This is a great way of assessing whether you like the coach, the vibe, and the focus of the gym. It’s always worth asking for a free trial class if you’re not sure whether it’s offered.
How much do boxing gyms in Honolulu cost? 💰
- Monthly memberships: ~$100-200 per month. Most places offer unlimited classes to their members. Be sure to check for this.
- One-on-one personal training: This varies a lot but usually costs around $50 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 🔔
With some great, authentic boxing gyms in Honolulu like Kakaoko, Nito Boxing, and PearlSide, you’ve got everything you need here to get stuck into some proper boxing training. Perfect if you can tear yourself away from those legendary beaches…
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face” — Mike Tyson