Bernie Lenahan was a rare breed by today’s boxing standards. Not only was he dedicated to the sport, spending countless hours at New York’s Mendez Boxing Gym, Lenahan was an honest family man that built special friendships with his fighters.
Having worked with various fighters in the Big Apple, Lenahan learned his craft by spending time around New York’s greats. He guided multiple fighters to New York Golden Gloves titles and played a key role during his four years as Boyd Melson’s assistant trainer and cutman. In multiple fights, Lenahan prevented tides from potentially turning by effectively closing Melson’s cuts between rounds. He was also in the gym guiding Melson as he prepared for battle.
Shockingly, Lenahan passed away last week, leaving behind a wife, daughter, granddaughter, two sisters and a brother.
“I spent more time with Coach Bernie these past four years than any other man on this planet,” said Melson. He made me his. My heart broke when I heard the news, and a part of it will be broken until my time is up in my own body. It wasn’t just because of how he loved me and how much I loved him that this hurts me so much, but it is because when Coach passed, hundreds and hundreds of people lost something very special.”
“Coach Bernie offered an unconditional kindness, acceptance and welcoming that you only find in children. When you see a child, you know that you won’t be judged, and you will be offered love for no other reason beyond that child just wanting to love you. At some time in almost all humans’ lives, we tend to lose this. We stop loving everyone, and we start judging everyone. With Coach though, we felt safe as seeing him put instant smiles on our faces because we always felt loved and welcomed. He made you feel that he truly wanted you there and really cared about you. I wish everyone alive on this planet could have met Coach Bernie to experience that feeling. At the end of every practice for the past three years, I hugged Coach Bernie, kissed him on the side of his forehead, thanked him for training me that day, and said I love you to him. He would smile and quietly say “love you too.” Forever and a day, I thank you Coach for this.”
Donations to the Lenahan family can be made by going to https://www.crowdrise.com/BernieLenahan/fundraiser/jamescoppinger