Elad Shmuel, a 26-year old welterweight from Israel, hasn't stepped into the ring in nearly three years. He continues to train at the Nakash Boxing Gym, which sits below the Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv.
At 22-2, Shmuel was an up-and-coming boxer with a four-fight win streak when his career abruptly stopped. It turns out, while running on the beach in training one day, his knee gave out. He attempted to recover, but the same knee folded while sparring with Danny Netzer.
When Elad's name was brought up to Netzer and Ran Nakash in Ran's office at the Nakash Gym last month, both had nothing but glowing things to say about him. They both repeated, "Great boxer!" It was no passing compliment; both men meant it. Shmuel trained a few yards away from the office out of earshot. When asked if Shmuel would ever get in the ring again, Nakash became sullen, "I don't think so."
Shmuel fought thirteen times in Israel, as one of the early pioneers trying to popularize the sport of boxing in the Holy Land. He also fought seven times in the famed Blue Horizon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.