KnuckleHeadz is a gym located in Ventura, California that specializes in both boxing and MMA training and is owned and operated by Joseph “Hoss” Janik who has been involved in the boxing world for over 30 years.
A longtime resident of Ventura County, Janik, as an amateur boxer, compiled an impressive record of 102-7 but when his debut as a professional fighter was canceled days before the fight, leading to a series of canceled fights, he grew frustrated with the sport and decided to hang up the gloves at the young age of 25.
Janik, admittedly, drifted in and out of trouble before he was reinvigorated, personally and professionally, by the birth of his daughter Justene in 1995. It was also around that time that Janik found his true calling in the boxing world, working on the other side of the ropes as a trainer of fighters.
Throwing himself headfirst back into the sport, Janik began to soak up techniques, training philosophies and strategies while working in and being exposed to training camps run by renowned trainers like Eduardo Garcia, Danny Smith and Buddy McGirt. Developing relationships with trainers like Freddie Roach and Jesse Reid as well as numerous fighters like former world champion, Fernando Vargas who gave Janik his popular nickname, “Hoss”, also contributed greatly to his knowledge of training.
With years of experience, and after training fighters at several different gyms that would often go out of business shortly after opening, he took on the owner and operator risk himself and opened up KnuckleHeadz as a permanent, stand alone, location in his hometown of Ventura.
Despite being located in the boxing hotbed of Ventura County, home to many current and former world champions, KnuckleHeadz is the only boxing gym located in the actual city of Ventura.
Currently Hoss trains multiple professional boxing and MMA fighters, including former WBC welterweight champion of the world, Victor Ortiz and former WBA international champion, Francisco Santana. In addition to his own stable, some of the biggest fighters in the world have traveled to KnuckleHeadz like Sergio Martinez and Sergey Kovalev for sparring and training due to the gym’s reputation, talent pool and ideal location.
KnuckleHeadz isn’t just a place for professionals though. The gym has a thriving youth and amateur program that Hoss has made completely free to anyone residing in Ventura County under the age of 18. In addition, anyone at any age or experience level is welcome to train at the gym. It’s a far cry from the professionals only, intimidating gyms that are far too common in the sport. Hoss has created a place where beginners just looking to get into shape can literally train alongside world class fighters and be treated with respect and encouragement.
As Hoss sums it up, “KnuckleHeadz is a family. We all have different backgrounds, different goals but we all have one thing in common, whether in the ring, in the cage or in life, we’re here to TRAIN, FIGHT and WIN!’
2062 Knoll Dr, Ventura, CA 93003