City shuts down Palm Springs Boxing Club

The club where boxing champ Timothy Bradley got his start is closed.

POSTED: 05:54 PM PDT Mar 22, 2013    UPDATED: 03:17 PM PDT Mar 23, 2013 

The club where boxing champ Timothy Bradley got his start is closed. The City of Palm Springs shut it down and changed the locks.

"It's always been there for me," said aspiring boxer Steve Barrientez Jr. "I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for the boxing club."

Barrientez started boxing at the Palm Springs Boxing Club 7 years ago. He brother also boxes at the gym.

"I can see the difference in them.  When they weren't in boxing, their behavior was out of control and this teaches them discipline and keeps them in line," said Steve Barrientez Sr.

But right now the club sits empty, the doors locked up by last week.

Steven Quinonez, the gym's owner and coach, said, "They changed the locks, nobody told me a thing, nobody called me and gave me any notice."

It turns out the liability insurance for the club lapsed.

"There is no insurance for the children, no medical insurance for the children, no insurance to cover the city in case of a liability and we asked him to hold off and he could not be able to continue that kind of activity until the insurance was in place," said City Manager David Ready.
Quinonez says he got a new policy on Monday, but the city didn't accept it.

"They kept giving me the runaround, 'Well this policy is not right,' how can it not be right?  It's the same policy you accepted last year," said Quinonez

"The city attorney, I believe, has spoken with the insurance broker and indicated what it is that we need, so hopefully we can get that next week and move forward," said Ready.

But Quinonez says that situation got corrected Thursday, but the gym remains closed. We talked with the insurance agent dealing with the policy. She said she was told by the city attorney's office as of Thursday that the policy was OK. She was surprised to learn the gym hadn't been reopened.

"I was told that we would have word today (Friday) that if it's going to be open today or its not.  I just left several messages for the representative to find out what is going on; he hasn't called me back," said Quinonez.

Ready says that is not true, he says there is no communication problem.

"We explained that to him, he has been very helpful and he's done this program a long time and we are working to get him back in business," said Ready.

But it may not be as simple as getting the correct insurance policy.

"There is also issues with the building that we have to deal with, and that is why we are also looking at moving to the community center," said ready.
Those issues are the $8,000-$10,000 Ready says it costs the club to keep the building running.  Ready says moving to the community center would eliminate that cost.

"We are looking for solutions for them so it's a win win for everybody," said Ready.

But Quinonez doesn't know when that will happen and doesn't want the gym closed while it gets sorted out.
"I just want to get this place open for the kids."

Quinonez says the reason the club's insurance lapsed in the first place was because the organization's board is no longer active.  He wasn't aware renewing the insurance was part of their duties until the city closed the gym last week.