Once upon a time, the Clyde Iron Works made steel. Now, the newly renovated industrial building houses an ambitious restaurant and events center. Located on the west end of Duluth, the Clyde is one of the most unique buildings in the city of Duluth. Don’t let the brick siding and old school windows fool you as to what kind of beauty can be found inside.
The eco-friendly building is made up of tables from the original structure’s salvaged wood. With an upstairs and downstairs, the Clyde has the space to host a large number of people for concerts, a club scene on the weekends, or even pro boxing matches, featured recently.
Al Sands, a Duluth boxer originally from Proctor, Minn., attended the Tech N9ne hip-hop show at Clyde Iron Works last September, and first thing that came to his mind was what a great place the Iron Works would be to hold a boxing match.
Chuck Horton, the boxing promoter and owner of Horton’s Boxing gym in east Duluth, was thinking the same thing. And on Feb. 12, that wish will become a reality as Horton’s Gym presented “Clash at the Clyde,” which included five professional bouts.
R.J. Laase, a boxer from west Duluth, is one of the happiest to have boxing back to the west end. “It’s a dream come true! I grew up on west side of town! The last time I fought out here was on the amateur undercard of one of the first pro shows Chuck Horton promoted at Wade Stadium,” Laase said. “Now I get to fight as a pro in my own neighborhood that I grew up in. I believe the crowd is going be a big advantage for me. It's always a lot easier to do something when you have the crowd behind you.”
As most boxing fans from Duluth know, Grandma’s Sports Garden has been the main host for boxing matches. Chuck Horton said that Saturday’s bouts will not change anything as far as his relationship with Grandma’s and boxing. Grandma’s has been the host of amateur and pro boxing for more than three years, and Horton promises that will not change.
Horton believes this is a great way to spread the wealth and hopefully give other venues a shot to hold special events like this. Both venues hold about 1,200 people and there is not a bad seat in each of the two places. Horton believes “Clash at the Clyde” will be a sellout show that will give boxing fans around Duluth something to remember.
“Clash at the Clyde” will be the first boxing match ever held at the renovated Iron Works, and as much as this fight and venue has been hyped up the last few months, it will be hard for the people of Duluth not to come back to the west end to catch a show or heck maybe even an occasional boxing match here and there.
The Clyde Iron Works will also host fights on March 26 and May 28. For more information, contact Clyde Iron Works at 218-727-1150.
“It’s a dream come true! I grew up on west side of town! The last time I fought out here was on the amateur undercard of one of the first pro shows Chuck Horton promoted at Wade Stadium. Now I get to fight as a pro in my own neighborhood that I grew up in. I believe the crowd is going be a big advantage for me. It's always a lot easier to do something when you have the crowd behind you.”R.J. Laase