Second World Gay Boxing Championship To Be Held In America

Second World Gay Boxing Championship To Be Held In America
Image: Diego La Velle Cevallos-Garzon (Left) and Martin Stark (Right) bring the World Gay Boxing Championships to Chicago. Images: Instagram, Supplied

The second World Gay Boxing Championships take off to America in 2024, following the competition’s inaugural success at Sydney World Pride earlier this year.

Sydney World Pride saw the first queer-inclusive boxing championships ever held, with people from all over the world competing in the event. Following its success, the second iteration of the WGBC has been announced and will be held in Chicago, Illinois.

This round will be driven by two trailblazing boxers, WGBC founder and Sydney boxer Martin Stark and bodybuilder Diego La Velle Cevallos-Garzon.

Making Boxing More ‘Inclusive And Diverse’ 

Speaking with Star Observer, Stark expressed his anticipation for the overseas competition and continuing to provide avenues for more LGBTQI boxers within the sport.

“Taking WGBC from Sydney World Pride to Chicago demonstrates there is a growing interest in boxing from the LGBTQ+ community and allies,” said Stark.

“Boxing is the toughest sport in the world to change, and I know what can be achieved.”

Now taking it all the way over to the windy city, Stark and Cevallos-Garzon are excited to continue to bring more queer representation within the sport.

“Diego and I are committed to making boxing more inclusive and diverse while increasing LGBTQ+ participation in the sport,” Stark continued.

“I am thrilled the Championships are taking to the United States and can’t wait to see sporting history happen there!”

Martin Stark

The Sydney boxer grew a strong passion for boxing in 2018, joining BX1 in Neutral Bay. However, Stark sought for more queer visibility within the sport.

Previously speaking to Star Observer, Stark noticed how there were less than 1000 posts on Instagram with #gayboxing, in comparison to the 20 million posts under #boxing.

 

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A post shared by Martin Stark (@martin_stark_au)


“This made me more determined to share my boxing journey, communicating how I have found the sport to be welcoming and inclusive while demonstrating that equality for LGBTQI people is more than equal rights, but the right to enter the ring and compete,” said Stark, at the time.

The first championships at Sydney World Pride saw people from any level allowed to join, and was open for anyone apart of the LGBTQI community to compete in.

With the WGBC being one of the biggest sporting events at Sydney World Pride, Stark aims to continue the competition’s legacy in providing avenues for queer people to be celebrated within the sport.

Diego La Velle Cevallos-Garzon

Along with Stark, he was joined by Cevallos-Garzon, the owner of Strong Hands Gym and ex-boxer.

With over 15 years of experience in boxing, winning over 100 amateur fights and once ranked number 19 in America, Cevallos-Garzon opened Chicago’s first queer gym.

As a bodybuilder and personal trainer, Cevallos-Garzon aims for the gym to provide a community space for queer athletes and trans youth.

 

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A post shared by Diego Garzon (@cevallosgarzon88)

“I wanted to create an open-minded, judgement-free zone for the LGBTQ community to indulge in weight training, boxing, martial arts… to feel inspired, to see results, to just be themselves,” said Cevallos-Garzon.

With both of the sportsman’s long history within the boxing industry and their determination for queer visibility, it can be expected the WGBC will continue to grow with its second international competition.

The second WGBC will be held at Strong Hands Gym in Chicago, starting from June 20, 2024.

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