BRIDGEPORT — Time Bomb is back.
Bridgeport boxer Frankie Scalise will soon open a brand-new boxing gym and training center at 3411 S. Halsted St. The 35-year-old fighter says he'll open the gym, called the Bridgeport Boxing Club, on May 1.
During a quick tour of the building, Scalise was all motion and energy, bounding around the empty 3,000-square-foot space explaining what's planned for the layout.
"There's the free weights and barbells and kettle bells and the ropes. There's going to be L-brackets here along the wall so you can get 360 degrees around the bags, like this," he said, delivering fake body shots while rotating around an imaginary heavy bag.
Work crews are now busy installing the free weight areas, a smoothie bar and boxing ring built high above ground level "so when a trainer comes to see his kid, you feel like it's real," he said.
Scalise got his start at fights hosted by the Old Neighborhood Italian American Club in Bridgeport and cut his teeth training at the shuttered Chicago Boxing Club just down the street at 3508 S. Halsted St.
Now, he and wife, Shawna, will run the show at the club, aided by a rotating roster of local fighters who will lead boxing and fitness classes.
But it won't just be a place of business. Scalise will be training there for his upcoming fights, part of a comeback campaign that started in 2012 after a 12-year absence from the ring.
Since then, the city worker and father of three has gone undefeated in four fights, leaving him with a career record of 7-1. All of his wins were knockouts.
The comeback was cut short in the fall when he suffered a shoulder injury a few months before he was scheduled to fight at an Indiana casino.
This time, the tattooed, wisecracking pugilist — whose fights always draw a big Bridgeport crowd — said he's coming back even stronger, especially if he's part of a planned fight night at U.S. Cellular Field this summer.
"I'll be back. And you know I'll bring like 1,000 people with me," he said.
Bridgeport Boxing Club is expected to open May 1. A grand opening party is scheduled for May 3.