Recently I was in Chicago for Hits Thanksgiving Eve boxing fight night. There was a lot of upcoming talent there but one stuck out more to me, his name is Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez. This guy has is it all, the style, size, skills and ring smarts. Jimenez fought the crafty veteran Antwun Echols. I, as a writer try to be impartial to all boxers but he made me into a fan. So I caught up with the up and comer and asked him a few questions.
How a boxer finds the sport plays a big part into what kind of fighter he will become. Jimenez has his own unique story. “I was introduced to boxing through my Grandfather, who boxed back in his day, when he was in the Army,” Jimenez explained. “He’s about 86 and still gives me advice and pointers, before and after every Fight. He actually walked me into my last fight with my brother. Never seen him so happy, and I’m glad I could make him a part of it.”
Jimenez resides in Chicago, yet his nickname is Hollywood. I had to ask where the name came from. Jimenez laughed “(Laughs) Well ‘Hollywood’ came to be one day in the gym, when I was first starting out. My boy Don “DA BOMB” started calling me that one day. He said it was because I was always coming in the gym on my phone, looking in the mirror, just being Hollywood. And after that, it literally stuck and everybody started calling me Hollywood. A lot of people only know me as Hollywood; don’t even know my real name!”
Don “Da Bomb” George was yelling instructions at Jimenez during his bout with Echols, not that Jimenez needed them. After the fight George tweeted about Jimenez’ performance saying, “He has come a long way and is always improving. I’m very proud of him.” Jimenez explained further, “Yeah, we are together almost every day, training or hanging out. I see him as my big brother. I respect him very much for what he does and what he has accomplished thus far. He is like my 2nd trainer. He has always helped me out and given me advice. I’ve picked up a lot of things from him and I’m very grateful to have him as my friend and in my corner.”
Echols is a crafty veteran but Jimenez made it look easy. “I knew I had to be cautious about his punching power. Having ‘Da Bomb’ training with me I knew I’d be ready for it. His experience and slickness were going to be a factor too, he’s a tough veteran fighter,” Jimenez said. “I had to keep it high and tight, fight smart, and listen to my trainer, Mr. George.” With the way George, was yelling I think everyone in the Horseshoe Casino could hear his instructions.
Even though he had a great performance, he doesn’t feel like he could call out anyone. “I’m not the type of guy to call anyone out, at least at this point in my career,” Jimenez replied. “I’d like to just keep moving up and fighting better competition, and establishing myself. I’m happy with the way things are going this far.”
The way this kid fights I would say he is a future champion, no doubt in my mind but Jimenez has his own idea of what his future holds. ”I hope I’m one of the names people want to see, someone boxing fans get excited about. I like putting on a show, and giving the fans what they paid their hard earned money for. That’s where I want to be in 5 years.” Then he says something real Hollywood-ish. “In 10 years, let’s just hope I can keep this pretty face, and get lucky with a TV gig or something. That’d be nice.”
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