ORADELL, N.J. — Ask Jimmy Wagner of Oradell, a former stockbroker, what finally coaxed him off Wall Street and he’ll tell you: Daniel Wilson, founder of Good Newz Boxing .
These days, Wagner, 54, a Westwood native, co-owns the program with Wilson, 38, of Hackensack.
Together, the two head coaches train some 100 people.
They do so with the help of assistant coaches with national and world-class reputations.
Good Newz trains adult men. Two — Michael Sebahie and Tom Stack — both won state Diamond Gloves competitions in 2015. Plus, Sebahie won in Golden Gloves last year.
But the program also trains youths and women.
“Historically, women were shunned from boxing gyms,” said Wagner, who trains 20 women and says they’re some of his best fighters.
He particularly likes training single-parent moms and their kids.
“I don’t know whose smile affects me more – the kids’ or the moms’,” Wagner said.
“The kids are smiling because they like it. The mom’s smiling because she’s doing something and somebody is helping her with her child.”
But he and Wilson both glow at every accomplishment any of their students achieve: a title, self-esteem, self-confidence, stamina.
When Wilson started Good Newz in 2007, he named the USA Boxing-registered program quite deliberately.
“I wanted to bring the good news about boxing back to the sport, the community and the kids,” he said.
He wanted to create a zone around the sport that was untainted by bad headlines, such as those about Don King and Mike Tyson.
The partnership behind Good Newz started with friendship, though: Wilson was Wagner’s first student.
“Jimmy and I would find places in the gym to box with each other,” Wilson said.
“We built a strong relationship over our love for boxing and the brotherhood we built after the fighting.”
Today, community has built up around their camaraderie.
Their professional coaches are no less than professional boxer Richard Pierson of Paterson and the world-renowned Mark Puttenvink, who works with world champ Yuri Foreman.
Good Newz Boxing also holds so-called Fight Nights, which are boxing shows, at various venues around Bergen County.
As for Wagner, he’s never looked back.
These days, the relationships at Good Newz Boxing are his assets and they’re paying dividends he never dreamed of.
Up until a few weeks ago, Good Newz Boxing was based in Paramus.
Temporarily, it’s based at ETS Fitness in Teterboro as Wilson and Wagner work on finding it a permanent home in the Pascack Valley.