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88-year-old ringside doctor returns to hometown for Golden Gloves championship

'It’s his passion'
Posted at 10:10 PM, May 17, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit has been front and center this week in the world of amateur boxing as the Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions is underway at Huntington Place.

It’s the first time in more than 20 years that Detroit has hosted the event.

Sitting ringside is a Golden Gloves Hall of Fame doctor just shy of his 89th birthday. He's an Air Force veteran who graduated from Cass Technical High School, Wayne State University and Howard University College of Medicine.

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Glenn Bynum, a doctor who has been volunteering for more than five decades at the Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions. (May 17, 2024)

For more than 100 years, the top amateur boxers in America have battled to be crowned Golden Gloves champion. Dr. Glenn Bynum has been ringside for the majority of those tournaments.

“Fifty-seven years," Bynum said of his time volunteering with Golden Gloves. "Feels like yesterday.”

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Glenn Bynum, a doctor who has been volunteering for more than five decades at the Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions. (May 17, 2024)

Since 1968, the former family physician has volunteered his time as a ringside doctor while living and working in Chicago. However, his love for boxing began long before that as a kid in Detroit.

“I grew up in Detroit. Joe Louis was my hero," Bynum said. "Listening to the radio with my father.”

Bynum was just 3 years old when Joe Louis knocked out German boxer Max Schmeling in the first round of a title fight in 1938. In the years since, the sport became part of his life.

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Glenn Bynum, a doctor who has been volunteering for more than five decades at the Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions. (May 17, 2024)

“Growing up in Detroit in a poor neighborhood, boxing gave me opportunity to go to different places," Bynum said. "I traveled to many different cities, and that was a great thrill to me.”

Bynum's daughter Dana says she’s always known what the sport means to her dad, but at tournaments, she’s seen what her dad means to the sport.

“I see like it’s a mentoring opportunity, too. I see that he’s inspiring to the young people too, and that’s really great,” Dana Bynum said. "I'm glad he still has this — I really am.”

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Dana Bynum, the daughter of Glenn Bynum, a doctor who has been volunteering for more than five decades at the Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions. (May 17, 2024)

At 88 — soon to be 89 this summer — Glenn Bynum knows his time at the ringside might soon be coming to an end. However, this weekend he’s back where it all began still doing what he loves.

“If he’s alive, he’s going to do it," Dana Bynum said. "It’s his passion.”