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Champions | Art, History, and Humanity Collide in a Knockout Exhibition


Champions | Art, History, and Humanity Collide in a Knockout Exhibition

In the heart of Brooklyn, New York, where sweat and dreams have soaked the canvas for generations, Gleason’s Gym is set to host an unprecedented event. It’s a magnificent and unique amalgamation of boxing legends and fine art, and it’s christened simply as “Champions.” This gala, scheduled for July 8th, 2023, is a creative collaboration birthed by the visionary father-daughter duo, Donny and Bailey Lalonde.

Through the fledgling organization T.K.O.O. (Taking Kare of Our Own), the Lalondes intend to shine a light on the often-overlooked post-retirement struggles faced by boxers. With an ensemble of world-renowned artists and musicians providing the backdrop, the Champions event aims to contribute tangibly to these former fighters’ lives, fortifying them with purpose, wealth, and wellness.

Bailey Lalonde and Mark Whitfield
Bailey Lalonde and Mark Whitfield

In partnership with OCLESSE, an exclusive global network of luxury spaces, artists, and interior designers, Champions is poised to be an event for the ages. Its vibrancy comes from the deep interplay of artistic creativity and the raw essence of boxing. Anthony Haden-Guest, a curator of the event, astutely points out, “The ancient sport of boxing – it was in Greece’s Olympic Games in 688 BC – is more resonant with myth and magic than any other sport, however popular, and this powers the art.”

Renowned Sierra Leonean/Liberian photographer Mambu Bayoh leads an array of international artists, including the likes of Layla Love, Harry Benson, David “MrStarCity” White, among others. Each artist brings their distinctive perspectives to depict boxing’s storied champions. A surprise exhibition fight featuring a former WBC World Champion promises to add an unexpected thrill to the evening.

Anthony Haden Guest, Dennis Ramdahin and Bailey Lalonde
Anthony Haden Guest, Dennis Ramdahin and Bailey Lalonde

This night of VIP legends, fine art, and live performances is complemented by an unyielding commitment to wellness. In sync with the WBC Clean Boxing Program, the event is partnering with local health-focused vendors, ensuring a completely alcohol-free environment. The champions of the past will be saluted and celebrated through this fundraiser with a slice of the evening’s proceedings aiding their post-retirement lives.

To give you a taste of the artistic brilliance on display, two pieces – “KING” by Bailey Lalonde and “Golden Love” by Mambu Bayoh – offer a blend of vivid and evocative imagery that parallels the intensity and emotional depth of boxing. These, along with several other masterpieces, serve as a testament to the transformative power of art and its remarkable ability to echo the resonances of the boxing ring.

KING by Bailey Lalonde

Remember, this is more than just an evening of celebration. It’s a mission: to support retired boxers who, after years of throwing punches and enduring blows, often find themselves battling life outside the ring. The evening’s earnings will partly fund the Jose Sulaiman WBC Boxer’s Fund, benefiting fighters in financial straits. Furthermore, a portion of the proceeds will be shared among the honored champions in attendance, fortifying a dignified life post-career.

This is a call to arms for boxing enthusiasts, art industry experts, and collectors to converge at Gleason’s Gym, the cradle of many a boxing legend. Witness history unfold, lend support to the noble cause, and stand together with the champions who have graced the sport. An event, carefully curated and crafted with love, that promises a taste of the past, a celebration of the present, and hope for the future – that’s what Champions at Gleason’s Gym is all about.

For more information or to secure your spot at this unforgettable event, do visit or reach out at Because when the worlds of fine art and boxing collide, you want to be ringside to witness it.

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