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Jonathan Kolowich is the kind of fitness trainer whose Instagram videos make you say, “Wait, whaaaaaat?” We’re talking about moves like Turkish get-ups with a heavy barbell or plyometric push-ups that jump from benches to the floor and back. These kinds of physical feats take practice, strength, and stamina, but Kolowich has to think about, monitor, and manage his blood sugar.
Photographer David Zeiger started work on a documentary about Doraville, which became PBS’s Displaced in the New South, and discovered the diverse Doraville Boxing Club tucked away in a strip mall. “In the gym, you learn to respect each other—otherwise you’re gonna get your ass kicked,” says Cesar, the boxer photographed “Over here, we don’t look at color. We don’t look at race. We learn to respect each other with these gloves.”
The notion that Muhammad Ali—a conscientious objector who was a member of the Nation of Islam—would make his comeback in the deep South at the height of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War seemed laugh-out-loud ridiculous. But thanks to one fortuitous telephone call to a local businessman—and the political savvy of State Senator Leroy Johnson—Atlanta stunned the world by granting Ali a boxing license and playing host to his return on October 26, 1970.