(November 5, 2018) – On Saturday, November 5, 2018, ten members of Hartford’s COBA (Charter Oak Boxing Academy) gym made the five hour trek to Muhammad Ali’s famous “Fighter’s Heavan” training camp in Orwigsberg, Pennsylvania. Commonly referred to as “Deer Lake” Ali used the camp from 1972 until his final retirement in 1981. Many famous fighters were invited to use the facilities over the years alongside Ali, including the likes of two-time U.S.A. Olympian Robert Shannon, world light heavyweight champions Eddie Mustapha Muhammad and Matthew Saad Muhammad and future world heavyweight champions Tim Witherspoon and Larry Holmes.
Mike Madden, son of NFL coaching great John Madden, relatively recently purchased the camp and is in the process of having it restored close to the condition it was in when Ali trained there in the 1970’s and very early 1980’s. Added features include video monitors inside the gym and cabins showing Ali films and interviews from back in his years using the camp. The famous camp was constantly visited by countless media, fans and celebrities from all over the world including the likes of Andy Warhol, Howard Cosell, Kris Kristofferson and The Jackson 5.
Members of Hartford. Connecticut’s COBA (Charter Oak Boxing Academy) gym pose at various spots at Muhammad Ali’s famous “Fighters Heaven” Deer Lake, Pa. training camp on Saturday, including Georgie Gonzalez, Gabriel Huertas, Velynn Huertas, Gabe Cruz, Zak Perez, Damani Williams, Orell “OJ” Coley and Jeremy Rivera. Along with coach John Scully and driver Steve Ike.
– Inside the ring in the newly renovated gym.
– At the famous Muhammad Ali Training Camp sign
– Outside Ali’s mosque
– Identical photos inside Ali’s personal cabin, 40 years apart
– Surrounding the boulder dedicated to legendary Hall of Famer Willie Pep (other similar rocks on the grounds are in honor of the likes of Angelo Dundee, Jack Johnson, Jerry Quarry, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson).