The gloves come on

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Russ and Cheryl Williamson opened the Denton location of Title Boxing Club in December.
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Boxing club offers another route to physical fitness

Grab your own bag and start kicking, jabbing and punching.

Denton is now home to a new Title Boxing Club, which offers workouts like its one-of-kind Power Hour, designed to help people burn up to 1,000 calories.

“We have 55 bags here. It gives everyone the opportunity to have their own bag,” said Cheryl Williamson, who co-owns the new franchise location with her husband, Russell. “People watch boxing on television, and they wonder, ‘What is this life, what is it all about?’”

The 6,000-square-foot club is located at the Denton Square Shopping Center, off Interstate 35E at Teasley Lane. It offers more than 40 total workout classes in a month, as early as 5 a.m., all designed by professional boxers, kickboxers and mixed martial artists.

“It is really amazing,” said Troy Ballenger, the Williamsons’ contractor, who decided to try the club and now visits three times per week.

“On the days I go to the 5 a.m. class, I have increased energy all day long and stay more focused at the office,” he said in an e-mail.

Ballenger said he likes that the instructors motivate him to keep moving during the workout.

Another club member, Michelle Buggs, joined Title Boxing Club even before it officially opened in December.

“A friend of mine went to one in Dallas and she told me about the one opening in Denton,” Buggs said. “I needed something with some structure and I like the classes. … The bags are a lot of fun, and the coaches know what they are doing.”

Before settling on opening their business, the Williamsons did their research.

“From a fitness perspective, [the city] it has great health care facilities between Denton Regional and Presbyterian Denton. However, the opportunity to do a lot of intense workouts were limited,” Russell Williamson said. 

He and his wife said they wanted to fill that gap by offering a facility that can help clients become healthier.

“We did a lot of analytics. What I have observed in my studies is that what makes a business successful is filling a true need, and we felt Title Boxing could do it for the Denton community,” he said. “Our ability to identify the right location with the right demographic and find a community we felt we could pour ourselves back into would make a winning equation.”

In addition to the Denton location, the couple also owns the franchise rights to four other Title Boxing clubs in Austin, Cheryl Williamson said.

The Denton club has eight trainers who are certified with the Title Boxing franchise to teach the classes, which are said to provide overall muscle strength and tone and also help improve cardiovascular health. Members are provided a skills assessment before they continue with any workout at the club.

Membership is open to children ages 8 and older. So far, 17 families have joined the club.

The owners also offer a workplace wellness program, in which they hope to partner with local businesses to help their employees become physically and mentally fit. 

With his 20 years of health care experience, Russell Williamson said he always wanted to find a way to improve health care by shifting the mindset from sick care to well care.

“Certainly fitness is part of the well-care aspect of it,” he said.

The 45-year-old joined Pfizer Inc. in the early 1990s and held many positions in the pharmaceutical company, from sales representative and district hospital representative to becoming regional manager to vice president of sales.

Born in Washington, D.C., Williamson was encouraged by his mother to become a business owner. He left Pfizer a year ago and devoted himself to creating his own vision. He opened 924 Sports, a sports management company, and was searching for another business to complement it when he found Title Boxing.

“It is sports learning, and it answers my call from the health care standpoint and I could give something back,” he said.

Both he and Cheryl Williamson, 46, a native of Savannah, Ga., are devoted to giving back to the community.

Their first contribution to the community was donating an item for the Denton Go Red for Women Luncheon on Feb. 8

From the time members walk into the club, Cheryl Williamson shares their philanthropic causes and provides members with booklets on ovarian and prostate cancer and heart disease.

Cheryl Williamson is the executive director of the Elizabeth Ann Williamson Foundation, a nonprofit that supports research, education and treatment for ovarian cancer.

“I wanted to give back; I want to be in a position to give more, and do more philanthropic work,” she said. “That is vital to who we are, and who we serve.”

Russell Williamson is president and CEO of the Health Industry Council of North Texas, an organization formed last year to connect with health care professionals locally.

And he is no stranger to boxing.

He used to box as a college freshman at the U.S. Military Academy. When he was 18, he said, his mother told him to focus on his academics rather than considering football or boxing as a career.

“It was a long conversation, over many multiple conversations,” Russell Williamson said.

The Williamsons have lived in Flower Mound for the past 10 years and have three children ages 19, 15 and 12.

On Thursday, the Denton location celebrated its one-month anniversary. And during the month of February, a portion of the member fees will be given to the American Heart Association.

“With our health, we can do other things,” Cheryl Williamson said. “We can be healthy together.”

KARINA RAMíREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is kramirez@dentonrc.com.

 

TITLE BOXING CLUB DENTON

Address: 725 Interstate 35E, Suite 152

Phone: 940-293-5060

On the Web: www.titleboxingclub.com/denton-tx, http://on.fb.me/YIIJJ5ý


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