BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO)-- Late one Tuesday night in a small gym off Russellville Road, a few WKU students are throwing punches, drenched in sweat, pushing their limits.
"There's nothing like getting punched in the face. You know, I mean it sounds funny but it's the truth and so it's learning how to deal with adversity, but it's in a controlled environment," said BGKY Boxing Trainer Chadrick Wigle. "If these guys never compete. If it's just real life and they have job interviews, I mean girls, whatever they think is adversity in front of them. They can handle it better because they can use that mentality and not be emotional. And it's fun. Once you get past getting punched in the face it's kind of fun."
Their goal is to begin a club boxing team at WKU.
"College boxing in the United States is through club sports and so that's next semester. We're going to be- we're going through the paperwork right now, the process. Club sports are student-run so we've got the guys here who are dedicated and investing their time and energy into it- they're going to be the ones that start it," Wigle explained.
"I think that boxing has gone under a lot of people's radar with the rise of MMA and everything so doing something to rejuvenate and bringing it back to you know, my own school is something I'm definitely very excited to be a part of," said Christian Grace, a WKU sophomore and boxer.
Different reasons got each of them into the gym.
"I just wanted to see how it was. I always wanted to learn how to box," explained Anthony Foster, a WKU grad student and boxer.
For Grace, a Louisville native, the boxing roots run even deeper.
"Being a part of the boxing community up there, it was definitely like, you know, Muhammad Ali, he came from Louisville. He boxed in the same city you are, so it's possible to become the greatest boxer."
They are trying to create their own legacy, but still drawing inspiration from the past.
"WKU there's a man 30, 40, 50 years ago who did boxing and was a Golden Glove Champion so it's those little kinds of things that I want to gravitate to," Wigle said.
And as for getting punched in the face?
"Most of the time, it's just a warning that, you know, you need to keep your hands up or something. But sometimes it feels like the whole room just got shook and that's when it's most important to keep your hands up and keep moving," Grace explained.
BGKY Boxing opened it's doors in January and welcomes WKU students of any experience level to join the team training.