Former Gym Named for Iconic Boxer

As the work nears completion on the former PAL gym at the Truman Waterfront, the City Commission, in a resolution proposed by Commissioner Clayton Lopez, has named the facility the Kermit “Shine” Forbes Building.

Shine Forbes – who died in 2000 at the age of 84 – was a renowned prize fighter whose home on Fort Street had walls full of portraits of famous fighters of the 20th Century.

But locally, Shine’s claim to fame was his role as a sparring partner for writer Ernest Hemmingway when the author was in Key West.

The building, part of what has been termed Phase 1b of the Truman Waterfront Park, will include a new multi-purpose field. The Shine Building will house a concession stand, public restrooms, the police horse stables and storage for park maintenance.

Photo courtesy of the Kevin Crean estate.