Boxers who want to get out of the shadows

Shadow Boxing is a Limassol club with many champions but limited due to lack of sponsors

John Ioanow

In a humble basement below a clothing store on the edge of the Polemidia refugee housing complex west of Limassol, shadow boxing is one of the island’s biggest successes on the competitive boxing circuit.

Run by coach Mike Karaiannis, the club has long been a favorite retreat for children from the estate and neighboring Agios Ioannis and Omonia. Fully accredited and regulated by the Cyprus Boxing Federation, which is regulated by the International Boxing Association (IBA), the club focuses on pure boxing without diluting it into remil-type box-fit classes.

As a veteran boxer who competed in England’s college regulars as a student, he discovered the club a few years ago and resumed training to stay fit after a 20-year layoff. The atmosphere is always friendly and respectful, and Karayiannis combines energy and cheerfulness with the ability and authority expected of him from one of Cyprus’ top coaches.

“Many local kids come looking for a place to focus their direction and energy. Boxing teaches them self-control and discipline. They learn to respect others and understand the value of hard work.” I will learn.”

The club teaches students of all ages from 4 to 50+ in a variety of groups, and newcomers are guided by Karaianis to build a solid foundation before moving forward.

“Anyone who is serious about learning boxing is welcome,” says Karaiannis. “We always have a strong focus on safety and structure beginner sessions that focus on sound technique and good defense. Working on conditioning, drilling and pad work.”

Long in the game, Karayiannis started boxing at the age of 15 at a local club run by former professional boxer George Iannini. Karaiannis wandered off to get into shape and was soon hooked, training daily and going on to fight in over 50 matches in Cyprus and abroad before becoming a coach.

“After so many years, boxing has become a way of life,” says Karaiannis. “And there is no better way to live for me.”

Undoubtedly, Karaiannis is very devoted to his sport and to his students. He often takes fighters to other clubs for sparring sessions on weekends. Shadowboxing is a regular presence on the island-wide circuit and has produced many local his champions, including winners in the boys and girls category and multiple weights senior tier in his group He Fighter.

Panciprian Championship to feature John Kiriaki Caralambas and Mike Karayannis
Kiriaki Charalambas and Mike Karaiannis at the Panciprian Championships

Karaianis is also recognized as a pioneer of women’s boxing in Cyprus and has trained several successful amateur female fighters. The Cyprus Boxing Federation lists only about a dozen female boxers between the ages of 14 and her 21 on her list, and has competed annually compared to ten times as many male boxers as her. increase. Karayiannis’ recent standouts include his junior bantamweight champion girlfriend Kyriaki Charalambous and his daughter Eleana, a coach himself and currently the island’s junior featherweight champion.

“Our women boxers train alongside men and there is no discrimination. Of course we have to take into account the difference in power and strength, but we are one club, one team, one One family,” says Karaiannis.

Achievements that any boxing club would envy. Nonetheless, Karayiannis believes that with the right help and support, shadow boxing can be even more successful.

“We have had a lot of success over the years in the Pancyprian Boxing Championships and in IBA competitions abroad, where our fighters have proven to be the best and most dedicated to come from Cyprus. But like many amateur sports clubs, it suffers from a lack of resources,” says Karaiannis.

“To take us to the next level, we need to find private sponsors, mainly to help cover travel costs to IBA competitions abroad. We entered the competition and paid for the flight, equipment and apparel ourselves.”

He says there are many international competitions they can participate in, but clubs have to be selective. They have to pay all costs.

“This in itself shows the dedication and sacrifice of our players,” said Karaiannis, adding that with sponsorship, the club would really spread its wings and boxers would be able to compete on the Pancyprian circuit rather than being restricted to competing. , added that it can move forward internationally.

“We feel we are just at the beginning of what we can achieve. We have achieved so much through commitment and determination alone. We can step out of the shadows and show Cyprus and the world what we are really capable of.


Shadow Boxing is located at 37 28th Street, Polemidia Refugee Housing Complex, Limassol.

Coach Mike Karayanis runs two sessions a day, Monday through Friday at 5:00pm and 6:30pm. Beginners welcome. We also offer private lessons.

Coach Eleana Karayanis runs classes for kids on Tuesdays and Fridays at 4pm.

Interested sponsors can contact Mike Karaiannis at: 99405202 and email

Facebook: shadow boxing Boxers who want to get out of the shadows

Show More
Back to top button