Most days, you'll find Brad Carlton at his gym, Neutral Corner, training boxing champions. A national boxing champion of his own, Carlton unexpectedly innovated training in the ring. “25 years I’ve been in the business, and you changed the game,” said Sergio Garibay, a Los Angeles mitt manufacturer who helped Carlton bring the patented Versamitt to life.
“For 85 years, it only had the one side,” says Carlton, as he shows me how the Versamitt differs from the original boxing pads. The idea was to alleviate injuries for trainers, but it also became a training tool that many professionals have now started using. The dots on the center of the mitts have added a tool to help with landing punches and proper trajectory.
Boxing has very little room for innovation…speed bags, punching bags and dumbbells are pretty much all boxers need to train. But his idea for the Versamitt took off, and production is rapidly expanding. “I’ve been invited to work in Los Angeles, and Las Vegas and other big markets. And I just love Tucson,” says Carlton.
But his long-term goal, was to serve his community. “I run a business because I serve my customers. And that's what I want to do. Ultimately, it comes down to serving people.”
Yes, he says the mitts have helped him from having to explain a lot in training, but with Versamitt's success, more resources means helping more people. “10 years I’ve been here now, in business. And I’m really very proud of what's happened here. And I would invite people to come and enjoy it.”