Jesse Finney is having a good year. The Crestwood mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and gym owner is being inducted into the St. Louis Boxing Hall of Fame, and his martial arts gyms are expanding.
Finney gained some prominence in the St. Louis area last December for a different sort of physical altercation when he took down and subdued a suspected shoplifter at the Schnuck's Market in Crestwood and held him until police arrived.
Finney is the founder and head coach of Finney’s MMA, 9744 Watson Rd., Crestwood, and a former boxer, kick boxer, mixed martial arts fighter and promoter. As a promoter, Finney brought USA Boxing to the Ritz Carlton and was the first to combine boxing and MMA in one event. Finney has trained multiple USA Boxing competitors and Golden Gloves champions.
On Apr. 18, Finney will be inducted into the St. Louis Boxing Hall of Fame by the St. Louis Gateway Classic Sports Foundation. The ceremony will include a gala banquet and open bar, the induction of 13 Hall of Famers, live auctions and several amateur boxing matches. Tickets for the event, which will be at 2012 Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Louis, are $50.
"I feel honored and very lucky to be part of this," said Finney, who compiled a 23-0 record as a kickboxer.
As for his MMA gyms, Finney's MMA is growing, with locations in Granite City, Crestwood, Overland Park, KS and his newest gym, to open Apr. 8, in O'Fallon, MO.
At Finney's gyms, he trains dozens of amateur and professional fighters in mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling. The club also offers classes in yoga and zumba, a boot camp challenge and children's classes.
Finney says he's looking forward to the Hall of Fame ceremony where he will be inducted along with 12 others.
For more information about the Hall of Fame ceremony, call 314-621-1994 ext. 201.