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Nomad Boxing Club Brings South Seattle Spirit to Ballard

Coach Bumblebee’s Protégé brings his South Seattle spirit to Ballard

by M. Anthony Davis

In the midst of the bars, coffee, shops, and eateries that line both sides of Market Street in Ballard, is Nomad Boxing Club. On my first visit, it felt like I had been transported right back to South Seattle. That’s because Manuel “Coach Manny” Dunham, the founder of Nomad Boxing, is carrying on the legacy of South Seattle’s local boxing legend Willie “Bumblebee” Briscoray. Dunham, who had an impressive amateur boxing career, highlighted by a record of 56–14, three Pacific Northwest Championships, and a Golden Gloves win, was one of the last prospects to train with Briscoray. 

“Me and Coach Bumblebee, we have one of those Mike Tyson, Cus D’Amato relationships,” Dunham says. “I lived with him for seven, almost eight years. We would stay up all night and we would watch different videos of fights, breaking down footwork and head movements … He was a tough dude. I saw how he trained people and the impact he had on their lives. I wanted to make sure I was able to pass on the torch. Out of everyone at that gym, I was the last protégé, I was the last champion. He told me he wanted me to take over the legacy.”

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