Marciano, Ali, Foreman, Sugar Ray Robinson, Duran - when you talk about the all-time greats of boxing, you have to mention G&S. Some of the best fighters in the world wore the equipment made and sold by Izzy Zerling and his wife Betty - right in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Izzy came to the United States when he was 8 years old. He was the son of poor Jewish immigrants from Estonia, and he quickly learned how hard he would have to fight to make something of himself in the streets of New York. He officially began boxing at 10 years old after a coach heard about the tough kid who was winning fights out on the concrete.
Afflicted by a heart murmur, doctors refused to grant the young boxer clearance to fight in the Golden Gloves. He fought over 50 “bootleg bouts” before finally getting the permission he needed to compete. He had a professional career consisting of around 37 fights before deciding to open a sporting goods store in his home neighborhood at 43 Essex St. It would be called G&S. He lived above it with his family and outfitted the talent of the day with handmade gloves, trunks and headgear.
Izzy was also an accomplished trainer, and wanted to help the youth community in New York City that sorely lacked the opportunities to succeed. He opened the Izzy Zerling Youth Recreation Center in 1968, designed to get kids off the streets and learning how to box- teaching valuable discipline skills along the way. Izzy also managed and trained Flory “Non Stop” Goldberg - the woman who became the first professional female boxer in history.
G&S is steeped in the traditions of fighting: hard work, grit, courage and determination. With a foot in the past and a fist in the future, when you wear G&S you are punching with the weight of history.