Victor Bruno is back in business doing what he loves the most.
Bruno has operated Bruno's Boxing Club in Carson City for 12 years, but was forced to leave the state-owned Stewart Gym late last year. Now, since the beginning of the month, the club has been boxing in a 2,000 square-foot facility at 411 Hot Springs Road.
"It was really difficult finding a place," Bruno said.
But thanks to the building's landlord, Sherrin Inc., Bruno said his boxers again have a facility that's affordable for the club.
Bruno said no less than 40 boxers - boys and girls - come through the facility on any given night. The facility is equipped with a 20-by-20-foot boxing ring and punching bags. There's an upstairs area that has some training equipment.
"When we didn't have a gym for a couple of months it was really a hassle," said the 15-year-old Miguel Cortez, who has been boxing for about a year-and-a-half.
Bruno charges his boxers $25 a month, although many of them can't pay. "There's enough that have paid," Bruno said. "It's been pretty much a balancing act.
"I haven't had to tell anyone to leave. The kids have been taking it real seriously."
And Bruno takes it as seriously as ever, doting over his boxers like a Mother Hen taking care of her chicks.
"Don't be hitting the bag like that," said Bruno to a girl hitting the punching bag. "What's that? Don't do that."
The next step for Bruno is to find a place big enough where he can offer a boxing card featuring many of his boxers as he has done in the past.
"I've got 20 boxers that are ready to box at all times," said Bruno about the number of boxers he could put on a card.
Despite being forced out, Bruno still has a goal to return to Stewart Gym where he would like to put on a boxing event.
"We want to get boxing back into Stewart," Bruno said. "People want to get to Stewart to see boxing again."
But as far as where his club works out, Bruno said he's happy where he is right now.
"In the long run, it's been better for us to be here," he said. "We have a lot more freedom. We have a lot more time here."
Bruno has gone without sponsors until now. The Carson Horseshoe Club has donated $500 to his cause thanks to the efforts of Horseshoe owner Jeanette Blankenship and Horseshoe employees Kim Ramirez, Patrick Finnigan and Wally Blankenship, who's a USA Boxing official himself.
The club also couldn't be possible, Bruno said, without his assistant coaches, Guy Broyles and Jose Elizondo.
"We couldn't provide the boxing I provide if it wasn't for these two guys," Bruno said. "They helped so much to get set up here. They devote a lot of time to this place."
Bruno said another advantage to the facility is the location, as it's within walking distance of many of the kids who want to come.
"I allow them to make the decision whether they want to be here," said Bruno about the kids who come to check out the club. "They're going to change their lives if they stay here."
Among those who made the decision to come was Jeremy Kump, 18, who after graduating from high school in North Carolina moved to Carson a few months ago. Kump found out about Bruno's club on the Internet and then ran into Bruno while working out at a local gym. "The day I started talking about the guy he shows up," Kump said.
Cortez, a freshman at Carson High, got hooked on the sport as soon as he picked it up.
"I just wanted to try it and started liking it," he said. "It's been a really fun sport."
Those wishing to become involved in the club in anyway can call 888-6806. The club is a nonprofit organization so any donations made to the club are tax deductible.
"This spot was Godsend," Bruno said. "It's in the right place. This isn't about me. This is about a lot of other people."
• Charles Whisnand is sports editor for the Nevada Appeal. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 881-1214.