Hi my name is  Ken Cox, I have always been a fighter. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood, fighting was just a way of life. As an adult, I worked as a bouncer in bars and nightclubs, always enjoying the adrenaline rush of a good fight.

In 2016, I was faced with a series of difficult challenges. My close friend and mentor, the president of Hostirian, a company that Steve and I were the first two employees of and part owners, was battling cancer. It was heartbreaking to see someone who had guided and inspired me through my career go through such a difficult time. I had to step up and take over as the new president of the company, while at the same time, our largest clients were going through financial crises, leading to a stressful period at work. It was a difficult time, but I knew that I had to stay strong for both myself and the company.

On top of that, I was dealing with alcoholism and had to go to the ER one night during a power outage at my downtown data center. There, I was diagnosed with alcohol-related fatty liver disease and given a choice: keep drinking and have only 1 or 2 years left, or quit drinking and get help.

Our story

I chose to quit drinking and found a new hobby to occupy my time: boxing. I had always loved fighting and enjoyed the physical and mental challenges of the sport. As I trained and lost weight, I realized I wanted to do more than just get fit.

In 2017, I bought a TITLE Boxing Club and continued to build my small business while training and competing in the St. Louis Golden Gloves Heavyweight master division. I was an OK fighter with a lot of heart, and I enjoyed the sport immensely.

When COVID-19 hit and forced me to close my gym, I refused to give up on my love for boxing. I found a new location outside of our non-compete radius and started BOX STL. My wife Sarah and I designed a more amateur boxing style workout with the help of our friends and business partners.

Despite the challenges we faced, I was motivated by my love for the sport and the positive impact it had on my life. I saw BOX STL not just as a gym, but as a community of fighters who supported each other both in and out of the ring.

Today, BOX STL has grown to over 300 adult students and 100 youth students. Sarah and I have created a place where people can not only improve their physical fitness, but also their mental health and life skills. We have built an odd little family of boxers who have brought joy and purpose to our lives.

While BOX STL has become my passion, I still run Hostirian today. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve had a full turnaround, and the company is now back to operating in profit and growing the business.

For me, boxing and running a successful business have a lot in common. They both require hard work, discipline, and the ability to take a hit and get back up. I may be an OK fighter with a lot of heart, but I know that I’ve found my calling in life, and that’s something truly special.