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Want to be a Boxstar?

L-R Mike and Drew

A new boxing-oriented gym has opened on Elmwood Avenue. It’s called Boxstar, and according to brothers/owners Drew and Mike Graziadei, there’s nothing else like it except for in a gym or two found in NYC. The gym is run by a family of fighters, including Justine Graziadei, who got turned onto boxing after watching Rocky when she was four years old. But it’s Drew who a lot of the boxing inspiration is drawn from. Not long ago, he was a kickboxing and jiu jitsu champ, winning the NYS Golden Gloves super heavyweight open class division twice. He also went to the Las Vegas Nationals. Drew started competing at 18 years of age, but after a long run decided to hang up the competition gloves to focus on his new career as a new age boxing trainer. Mike and Justine joined him for the ride, and in the process the trio has created a rockstar boxing gym unlike anything else that we have seen to date.

Drew started his fighting career at the age of 18 with Chris Herzog and Walter McDonald at Empire Academy in Rochester. Returning to Buffalo, he focused on boxing and kickboxing with the legendary Ray Casal of Niagara Falls and boxing coach legend Juan Deleon. 

According to Drew, the opening of Boxstar now puts Buffalo ahead of the curve when it comes to this specific type of workout routine and regimen. Along with Mike and Justine, Drew has created a zero contact boxing exercise program that is perfect for all ages and abilities. My wife took a class this morning, and said that it was one of the best workouts ever – she signed up for the program right after the class. The 45 minute long session flew by, she told me. She also said that it was an intense workout, but also fun.

Sparring with Justine (on left)

The “kick ass workout” took the students from station to station, ensuring that everyone got a chance to hit a variety of bags, including long bags and speed bags. “These are high intensity three minute rounds, with a one minute break in-between,” said Drew. “It’s timed like a round of a fight. While this is mostly boxing, we do change it up. Every class is different. Aside from the fight condition drills, we might throw in some rowing or tire flipping.”

Mike Graziadei started his career at Empire Academy in Rochester with Chris Herzog and Walter McDonald. He would later go on to work with the legendary Ray Casal in Niagara Falls.

According to a couple of the class participants, the Boxstar program is a great way to get one’s aggression out, while learning some new skill sets. The sessions are also a lot of fun, and not intimidating. Justine told me that after having her second child, she lost 100 pounds in six months via the intensive boxing routine. “We train people just like fighters,” Drew told me. “As if someone was going into the ring the next day. We offer eight different classes a day, so anyone can carve out a perfect time to attend. Some people do it for strength training, while others do it for weight loss. It’s an upper body and lower body workout that people get excited about.”

Drew and Mike looked for the perfect location in Buffalo for three years, before settling on Elmwood. Boxstar is a great addition to the street, and to the city. This is the perfect health training routine for people who want to get in and out of a gym quick, while optimizing their workout sessions.

The first class of the day starts at 6:30am, which is perfect for corporate types. Then there are classes throughout the day, and into the evening. There are so many reasons that this place rocks. Why not attend a class and find out what your strengths are when it comes to throwing a punch?

Boxstar Training | 512 Elmwood Avenue | Buffalo, New York 14222 | 716-882-1200 | Facebook | Lockers available

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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