By Oliver Chan
(Full disclosure – one of the staff members of Wai Kru is a family member of mine)
By now, we have all seen the tragedy in Boston. We have all seen their faces on the news. And we have all seen the tremendous acts of heroism, patriotism, and humanitarianism that reminds us that when it comes to good vs. evil, good shall always prevail. I grew up in Massachusetts, so it’s safe to say this had a surreal effect over me.
As Seth’s piece pointed out (not that it matters) one of these d-bags had previously trained at Wai Kru in Allston Mass. While MMA gyms are popping up all over the country at an alarming rate, this one is something to note as it is where former UFC fighters, John Howard and Sean Gannon currently train. Head trainer, Kru John Allan, who is currently in Thailand, sent this statement out when reached for comment via Facebook message:
Wai Kru MMA would like to first take the time to say our hearts go out to the victims and their families of this horrible tragedy. Tamerlan Sarnayev was not now, or ever a member of the Wai Kru MMA facilities. He was a local golden gloves boxer who came into the gym to spar from time to time. Wai Kru has been working closely with the FBI & Homeland Joint Task Force all morning to provide them with any materials that might be useful to bring these people to justice for their heinous crimes.
Several employees of the school supported the statement when asked about his relationship with his gym. “He came in for cross-fit, mostly… And occasionally sparred. But he was not a member” stated one employee who asked for his name to be withheld. Another employee stated he had not been present for over 4 weeks and even then the employee wasn’t sure if Tamerlan really had much of a presence at the gym.
Most likely, the only reason why Wai Kru is even being mentioned in the conversation is because photos do exist of him wearing the school’s shirt. An employee of the gym explains that “he’s a good boxer and sometimes we give them free sh*t”. As far as his interaction with other members, that same employee stated that he “kept to himself” and reinforced that Tamerlan only appeared for the occasional sparring session.
Former UFC welterweight John “Doomsday” Howard recently took to his Facebook page to offer a similar message. While Howard remembers sparring with Tamerlan, he reiterates that neither one of the Tsarnaevs were regulars at the gym.
Julie Goldsticker, head of public relations for US Boxing, confirmed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was registered as an amateur fighter at Summerville Boxing Gym in 2003, 2004, and 2008 and registered at South Boston Boxing Club from 2009-2010. However, when asked about any gyms he was currently registered, Ms. Goldsticker did not have any information that pertains to his current registration status and was unable to confirm or deny if he has updated his registration with any gym.
It looks like a few pictures of this BOXER surfaced on the web with him wearing some Wai Kru apparel and the certain websites were quick to associate the school and the terrorist because of it. Like Falvo said, so they trained in various forms of hand-to-hand combat. So did this guy … And he beat the terrorist… TWICE!