A Salmon Arm resident returns home a world champion for the second year in a row.
Whether it is his determination, skill, or pure luck, Mickey Sims certainly has what it takes to make it in the tough world of the boxing ring.
Sims headed back to familiar rings in Kansas City, Missouri, Aug. 2 to compete in the World Champion Boxing Tournament – a competition Sims describes as the largest amateur boxing competition in the world.
“The Olympic fighters are normally in attendance as well,” says Sims, however, none were in present this year due to the London Summer Olympics.
The Salmon Arm fighter has trained for months through extensive routines, sparring with other masters in the area, and sticking to a strict dietary regimen to prepare for the Senior Masters Middleweight World Championship.
Just days before heading into the competition Sims had said he felt he was in better shape than he was the year before and was hoping to prove himself right in Kansas City.
There were only four competitors in Sims’ weight category and weight class this year. This meant he would only need to win one bout before being sent to the finals.
Sims explains that the day before his fight he was speaking to a fellow fighter whom he had fought the year before.
It was during this conversation that Sims met his first opponent.
“He had asked the other fighter who he was fighting, and he said ‘some Canadian guy,’” said Sims.
When his opponent learned that the Canadian guy was Sims and that he was the reigning world champion, Sims says he became somewhat frazzled.
“He kept saying, ‘Oh you’re the champion, you’re the champion.’ I tried to say no, I was the champion last year, this year I am just a fighter.”
Sims describes waking up early the next morning for the weigh-in the day of his first fight, after which he immediately began to get himself pumped up for the five o’clock fight.
He warmed up around three, got his hands taped and gloves on, and then finally headed for the ring.
He admits to being a little nervous, but still remained quite confident in his abilities.
In the ring, the officials inspected his gloves while waiting for his opponent to make his way down.
When his opponent still had not shown up, the officials called out his name one final time stating if he did not make it to the ring, he would be disqualified.
Soon after this final call, Sim’s opponent stepped into the area, but instead of sporting his mandatory headgear and gloves he was wearing his street clothes.
The other fighter claimed to be sick and backed out of the fight. Sims still thinks there was more to it than the fighter simply being sick.
The referee walked Sims to the middle of the ring and held up his hand. Sims was automatically sent to the final round.
“It was disappointing really. I was expecting to fight and had worked myself up to do so. Instead I had to go and workout afterwards in order to release some of the adrenaline that had built up.”
In the final round Sims was up against an opponent who was substantially taller than him. He explains that while this gave his opponent a definite advantage in reach, he still had the advantage in power.
Sims had to figure out a method that would make it difficult for his opponent to take advantage of his extended reach, and so he started with a number of low shots which forced his opponent to drop his hands. Sims followed this with a number of higher shots, leading his opponent into a seven count in the first round.
The rest of the bout, Sims explains, consisted of his opponent staying on his feet and backing around the ring.
When the final bell went, Sims was relieved to have his arm raised in the centre of the ring. “There was me standing next to this giant, and it was my hand being raised.”
While Sims enjoys boxing and always wanted to have three belts, he is unsure at this point if he will be returning to the sport next year.
“It is very time-consuming,” says Sims. “I will speak to my wife and kids and see what they think and go from there.”
“For now I just want to relax, spend some time on the lake and have some barbecue.”