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Teaching Boxing Lessons: Jimmy Holmes Plans to Bring Jimmy Lange to School

Exclusive interview by Marc Anthony

“It’s going to be interesting.” – Jimmy Holmes

A lifestyle with a mixture of pugilistic and scholastic endeavors, Jimmy is truly living his dreams. As his nickname would suggest, Jimmy is a school teacher, but it doesn’t stop there. He is also a boxing coach who gives kids, who otherwise would be playing video games or getting into trouble, an opportunity to let out some energy in a positive way. He believes in that vision so much at his gym, “The Demotte Boxing Club,” that by keeping it open it is losing money.

That fighting spirit has translated well in his boxing career. Out of his nineteen professional fights 10 of them haven’t gone passed the fourth round in favor of Jimmy, by stoppage. Blessed with a powerful punch and a “never back down” style, he won the Indiana State Middleweight Title against Nathan Wilkes on August 7th of 2005. And now Indiana’s fan favorite is set to face the Contender’s star Jimmy Lange as the Main Event Showdown on March 12th at the Patriot Center.

Tickets, priced at $35, $50, $75, $125, $200, $300 and $500 (plus applicable service charges), can be bought through all Ticketmaster outlets including the Patriot Center box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com and via phone charge at 703-573-SEAT, 202-397-SEAT and 410-547-SEAT. Accessible seating is available for patrons with disabilities by calling 703-993-3035.

MA: This is the first time in your pro career that you will be fighting outside of Indiana, where you are the fan favorite. How do you feel going to enemy territory?

I am excited to go… I am excited to travel. In the amateurs, I fought in the national tournament which was in Denver, so I got to travel a little bit back then. But, I don’t mind being the underdog. I kind of like being the underdog. I am excited about it all and looking forward to it. It will be a good experience.

MA: Thoughts on your opponent Jimmy Lange?

I watched him back when he was in the “Contender” show. I sent my tapes in but I didn’t get on the show (laughter), but I watched him back then and he has always had a nice aggressive style. He likes to come forward …he throws a lot of punches. I went on YouTube and watched him a little bit too to refresh my memory. I think we have a few things we can look at.

MA: Still a teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Demotte, Indiana?

It’s in Roselawn but it’s still considered “Demotte.” It’s only a few minutes from Demotte. I teach P.E here… kindergarten to sixth grade. I was a classroom teacher but when they started to cut classes, I offered to take P.E. I have been here about ten years now.

MA: When you head into training camp, does the school allow you to take time off?

Well, I have a gym here in Demotte. I actually own and run the Demotte Boxing Club. So my training camp stays here in Demotte just because I have so much going on around here. We bring in sparring partners … we bring in my trainers. Everything comes here, and luckily, my trainers live five to ten minutes from the gym. We try to keep distractions at a minimal though.

MA: You are also a coach? How do you get kids motivated to do sports in the age of computer games?

Well, I think with boxing, you get a lot of the kids that don’t fit well with teams. It’s more of an individual type of sport. One thing that we do at our gym is we focus a lot on the fitness aspect of it. Just to try to get the kids in to do something. Our gym isn’t funded by our town, but we keep our prices extremely low just so kids have a place to go. At our gym we lose money (laughter). We don’t make any money but it’s for the kids. We have some adults that come in here too but basically we try to spread the word any way we can and let them know it’s good for your body and if you don’t want to get in there and fight, you don’t have to. It gives the kids something positive to focus their attention on.

MA: How many kids do you have at the gym training?

It’s a month to month type of deal but we usually have twenty-five to thirty kids in there a month. It’s not a huge club but we get a good size group. I think, last year, we sent to the Indiana Golden Gloves Tournament about fifteen kids. So half the kids were competing that were in the gym. We have a good coaching staff in here.

MA: Were the kids nervous going up there to compete?

Oh yeah, definitely, especially the ones that were competing for the first time. They were pretty nervous. But we do in-house sparring and we bring a crowd so they get to spar in front of everybody. So it helps elevate some of that tension. Nothing really prepares you except for just doing it. Yeah, you kind of throw them in.

MA: Out of your 19 fights 10 have ended in KO’s. Is this something you actively look for?

The KO is not something I look for. The problem is when I go into a fight and I look for a knockout then it doesn’t happen. So, if I go in and just put my punches together it seems like it happens real well. I hit pretty good for my size. Actually I have two or three disqualifications from guys getting disqualified. Those guys were ready to be knocked out but they wouldn’t let me knock them out. They fouled enough to get disqualified. I think if I go in and put my punches together hopefully the knockout might happen. I have been fortunate with decent punching power.

MA: In your last fight there was a bit of controversy during the physicals. Can you talk about what happened?

Oh, it was crazy. The last fight the doctor was running late. He finally ended up showing up but he was in no condition at all to check anybody out. They used that doctor before and he has been fine but I think he was going through a lot in his life. He was mentally not ready to be there. Physically he looked like he was sick. So, they ended up bringing another doctor to take his spot and everything turned out good. Show started a little late but everything turned out good.

MA: Are you having the same photographer going to your fight? He takes some real nice pictures.

Matt Mengel, he is not going be traveling with us. His dad is my original coach Jeff Mengel; he started me out back when I was in high school. I don’t think he is going be able to travel to the fight. He does take real nice pictures.

MA: How would you describe you style of boxing?

I am a boxer-puncher. I can box if I have to. I do like to stand there and slug it out which could make for an interesting fight with Jimmy Lange there because he likes to do that too. I look for openings…I like to counter-punch a little bit. Just a little bit of everything.

MA: I am guessing it’s going be pretty exciting since both of you guys like to go forward.

Yeah, exactly…we both go forward. They say he is six feet tall but I am not sure. A lot of the stuff says six feet but they exaggerate that a little bit to make people seem a little bit bigger. But, we are both about the same size I am just a hair over six feet tall. It should be exciting; I am looking forward to it. We have been training now for three or four weeks and we have six weeks to go so it should be real good.

MA: Do you do fight predictions or you prefer not to?

Predictions? I am not one to really predict…if I was betting on it? I would bet a knockout late in the fight for me. I think I will stop him. I am looking for it. I am going try to win every round the best I can and if I can catch him… I can catch him. This is definitely a good step up for me. We’re both about the same, I am 33 years old and he is 35 years old. I think it’s going be a good fight…it’s going be interesting.

MA: Good luck too you! Do you have any final words?

I thank you guys for doing this interview and I thank the local support I have around here. I have quite a few people that are going to be traveling to see the fight. It’s a great opportunity for me and I plan to make the most out of it.

Jimmy Holmes
Nickname: “The Fightin’ School Teacher”
Division: Super Middleweight
Professional Record: 19- 1-2, 10 KO’s

2010-12-17 Joseph Harden Hammond, Indiana W KO 1 6

2009-01-23 Tyrone Dowdy Merrillville, Indiana W UD 6 6

2008-02-01 Tyrone Dowdy Merrillville, Indiana W DQ 4 6

2007-11-16 Chad Taylor Merrillville, Indiana W KO 1 6
2007-06-08 Travis Loveless Gary, Indiana L TKO 1 6
2007-04-20 Dean Nichols Merrillville, Indiana W KO 1 6

2006-11-17 Brooke Wellby Merrillville, Indiana D MD 8 8
2006-07-14 Vance Garvey Merrillville, Indiana W UD 8 8
2006-04-14 Jesse Barbot Merrillville, Indiana W TKO 3 8
2006-02-24 James Rice Hammond, Indiana W UD 4 4

2005-09-30 James Morrow Merrillville, Indiana NC NC 3 8
2005-07-08 Nathan Wilkes Merrillville, Indiana W DQ 4 8
Indiana State Middleweight Title
2005-05-20 Chris Patterson Merrillville, Indiana W DQ 4 6
2005-03-25 Chad Taylor Merrillville, Indiana W UD 6 6

2004-11-19 James Rice Merrillville, Indiana W UD 4 4
2004-09-26 Travis Moore Gary, Indiana W TKO 2 4
2004-07-11 Reggie Strickland Gary, Indiana D MD 4 4
2004-04-30 Matt Short Hammond, Indiana W DQ 2 4
2004-03-19 Tony Kern Gary, Indiana W TKO 3 4
2004-02-13 Robert Smart Merrillville, Indiana W KO 2 4

2003-11-15 Charles Daye Hammond, Indiana W TKO 2 4
2003-10-10 Stacey Fuller Jr Gary, Indiana W TKO 1 4
2003-08-22 Wayne Bogard Gary, Indiana W TKO 3 4

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