Two Lives in Boxing
McGuire started the nonprofit gym in 2005 as a way to help keep area kids off the streets. "The best way that I know that I can help somebody is to teach them a skill that I know, which is boxing," he says. McGuire more or less grew up in the gym. He first remembers going to the Ann Arbor Boxing Club at age eight and faking his age to fight a year later-at the time the minimum age in Michigan was ten (today, it's eight).
"My memory is that Eric was even younger," his older brother Walter says. "I think he might have been six or seven when he started boxing."
The assault that ended his career happened in the summer of 1988, right before his senior year at Pioneer. He and some friends were jumped by a large group of kids in Willow Run.
"I was in the hospital for close to two months," McGuire says. "Initially it was about making it through the night, and then being able to move, and then being able to walk again. It was a long process."
He eventually returned to school wearing a metal "halo" that held his head motionless. When his neck healed, McGuire returned to the gym, but his injuries affected his right hand and ended his hopes of turning pro.