The Isthmus... Palea

May 5, 2016.

 Franklin Bodega is there every day of the week. He lives, eats and sleeps boxing. I've been visiting The Pedro Rokero Gimnasio since 2005. Every time I visit I get a welcome like "Norm" when he walked into the bar on "Cheers". Handshakes and hugs all around. Franklin lives in Chorillo but works in Curundu. He is the unofficial mayor the gym. He is an encyclopedia of boxing in Panama. 

Franklin and his protege, Corundum. April, 2016.

 Franklin has a way of teaching soft but firm. He nods his head points his eyes. Boxing is a sport of many a nuance. Just remember that The Rokero Gimnasio is hot, there is no A/C. It has a special scent of sweat and spit that I guess only a boxer can understand. Although through the years the gym has improved it's look and equipment. When I first visited boxers were using a sledge hammer for strength training and the entire gym was a drab, dirty grey. Now the gym is painted mostly blue and there are two rings instead of one. Furthermore there are some electronic exercise machines. For Franklin it's a second home. 

—Andrew Kaufman