by Rachel Swan
Just months after local hero Andre Ward took the Super Six Middleweight Title, a venerable boxing center in his home town might have to shutter. For 25 years, the East Oakland Boxing Association has provided free after-school programs for kids, teaching everything from nutrition to academics to sparring. But in the last few years the organization has been crippled by the deaths of four leaders — head trainer Paul Wright passed away in 2008, youth intern Phillip Wright was fatally shot the following year, founder Stanley Garcia died in 2010, and last year marked the death of board president and esteemed social activist Frank Rose. Diminished funding and a paucity of resources have only exacerbated the EOBA's woes and imperiled operations. The directors are now appealing to civic leaders and community members to come visit and support; they'll hold an Open House tomorrow, 1-3 p.m. at EOBA, (816 98th Ave., Oakland).