Jimmy Lange, Retired Pro Boxer, Motivational Speaker
About This Episode
Jimmy Lange, retired pro boxer, shares some amazing stories about his experiences both in and outside the ring. Jimmy talks about his toughest fights, starring in the hit TV show “The Contender” and life after boxing. He’s now a father, motivational speaker, and helping youths find their way. Don’t miss this amazing episode of the Go With John show.
[00:00:02] Welcome to another episode of the Go John Show, I’m John Jorgenson, and today I’m sitting here with Jimmy Lange. He’s a former pro boxer with roughly 50 fights and 26 knockouts under his belt. Now, he’s a father, a motivational speaker and an entrepreneur. Today, we’re going to talk about his amazing boxing stories, some of the places he’s been and the people he’s met along the way, as well as what he’s up to today. So, Jimmy, welcome to the Long and Foster Studios in McLean, Virginia.
[00:00:33] Thank you very much for having me.
[00:00:35] So tell us, first of all, let’s talk about boxing, because that is your passion in life.
[00:00:44] Greatest, greatest sport in the world, one on one. And it’s just. From the very first day of stepping in into a boxing ring as as a small child, I’m not talking about just me, I’m talking about everybody. Right. You know that you go in that that gym and it’s it’s it’s like hallowed ground. And the culture of boxing really has helped to raise so many. Just very strong, well-rounded young men, right? And it saved a lot of lives, right?
[00:01:23] Well, so how did you get into I mean, what was your first memory of boxing or wanting to be a boxer? How old were you?
[00:01:29] My first probably my first memory of of boxing. I was going to date myself, but my father used to take me to the fights and and he took me to this big. Place that, you know, he kept telling me about it and we’re going to go and we’re going to see this scenario. And to me, I had no idea what I was in for, but he was where he was taking me. We were getting on the train. We were going to Madison Square Garden, and we were going to see Roberto Roberto Duran in a comeback fight against Davey Moore and. It was a zoo, it was it was an absolute zoo, and I saw a replay of a replay of it recently. And it’s funny because your memories kind of you look back and when you see it again, it’s nothing like you remember. But but. It was exactly like I remember it was a sold out just I’ll repeat zoo. It was it was I mean, when Duran got in the ring, it was just insane. And and he dismantled this this opponent, and it was like a king walk. And I’m I don’t think they carried him out of there, but they might as well as they might as well have. I mean, he was he just was top of the world. Right. And that’s that’s my first memory, I think. So how old were you? Do you think you were when I would have been about seven, six or seven. That’s pretty young. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, it was part of my life as a spectator. Right. Very young. And and I was put into a gym. I wasn’t I don’t think I was necessarily put into a gym to become a pro fighter, you know. I don’t think it was written in the stars. It was it was an activity. Right.
[00:03:33] And and so who put you in the gym? My father.
[00:03:36] And how how old how old were you when you hit the gym?
[00:03:38] It was around that time. I realize it was around I was about six or seven. Yeah. And it was a little gym down. And it was in Falls Church, Virginia. I was called Olympia Boxing Center and I just took to it and.
[00:03:59] That’s what I ended up doing as a as a life wow. So now why did your dad put you? I mean, it’s it’s not every day that a father takes his kid and puts him into a boxing club, more or less at seven years old.
[00:04:14] Right. Was there some reason that your dad did that were you know, I wish I could tell.
[00:04:19] I wish I had an interesting story about being bullied or, you know, and that and that was going to teach being a fighter. I think he intended on doing that the day I was born, but the day that he saw that that I was a boy.
[00:04:36] And I think that was his intention because his passion was because, like I said, for some people there is boxing is the ultimate.
[00:04:47] Right. Right. So so let’s fast forward. So seven years old, you’re in the gym. How did it all evolve, your boxing career?
[00:04:55] It it evolved very slow. Right. And that’s why so many people are impatient and everybody’s impatient.
[00:05:04] Everybody’s impatient.
[00:05:06] You know, the some of the biggest things in boxing. And I would I would parallel that to any kind of success is the ability to just hang in there. Right. Because you don’t get better each day. Right. It’s it’s weird. It’s it’s like you go at the same and you just can’t get it. You can’t get it. And all of a sudden you get it. Right now, boxing gains for the normal guy.
[00:05:38] Now, I’m not talking about the freaks of nature, OK? You know, the the Mayweather and the Alli’s and those kind of I can’t speak for them, but for a regular fighter like me.
[00:05:53] I was. I really had to hang in there and not see progress for a long time, right.
[00:06:03] You know, long spells a time where I just felt like I was treading water and I wasn’t getting it and I wasn’t getting better. And and then all of a sudden, boom, something happens and it’s like a light goes on and and now you’ve conquered that, that we’ll call it a level. Right. You know, and now you’re on a different level. Now you’re up here. Right. And now you’re going to have to be at that level and get better from there.
[00:06:29] So it’s it’s it’s not your you were well, I’ll get better every day I go to the gym. You do. You just don’t know it. So and your mind kind of plays tricks on you, the work you’re putting in on a daily basis.
[00:06:43] Yeah. So Brian Tracy used to say I actually was Jim Rowe and I believe would say you have to pay for your success in full in advance.
[00:06:53] Pay your dues.
[00:06:54] Yeah, exactly. That’s what we call it. Yeah. Yeah. He’s paid his dues.
[00:06:57] Yeah. So let’s talk about what was the first time do you remember the first time you ever got in the ring to fight competitively.
[00:07:06] Yes we were, we were. I was probably about 11. That’s pretty young. Well it’s young but you got guys out there. Six, seven, eight years old and their role in uppercuts like Muhammad Ali, I mean, they are they are really because they’ve been doing it since literally the day they’re born there, you know, and the first week we were somewhere down in Northwest and they had a. A smoker. They call them and, you know, I got matched up, I did well, yeah, I don’t think I want I think I lost, but it was it was a good learning experience. And from then I, I was thrown into a little more into that culture. Right. Of, you know, swimmer drowned. Right. Which. That’s pretty harsh, but it’s also essential. The the you got to go. It’s like you got to you got to beat the best to be the best, right? And and you’ve got to be around the best. You had to train with the best. You got to fight the best. Yeah. Or you’re you’re never going to you’re never going to grow. Yeah. And there’s a big mistake with today’s boxing is. Just frankly, boxing is an inner city sport, period, it’s it’s a sum for a lot of the greatest fighters. It was a sport that they you know, they used to eat. You know, they they were poor kids from poor neighborhoods and it was their only way out.
[00:09:01] And now it’s it’s the the combat sports are much more mainstream. And and you’ll get you’ll get guys that are just. Crushing these.
[00:09:19] I don’t know how politically correct this show is, but we’ll call them yuppies young and they just beating the hell out of all these young yuppie kids that are fighting.
[00:09:29] And they take one trip over the bridge to where the real gyms are. And, you know, they just they can’t hang even close. And it breaks a lot of a lot of these kids spirits. Whereas if they were in there from the beginning. Right, it it they they would have been brought up in that culture, in that culture, with that with that level of competition.
[00:09:59] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Makes total sense.
[00:10:02] So so let’s talk about your professional boxing career. So what, what, what, what are some of the highlights of. Oh so what are some of the highlights of your pro boxing career?
[00:10:15] Some of the most exciting moments for you had a very, very solid pro career. My one of my very top, when it comes to exciting moments was my my very first fight.
[00:10:26] My first professional fight. And who is that? It was gosh, it was Robert Ghuneim. Robert Hunt. OK, I see. OK, and it was just such a long time coming and the place was packed. We were at the D.C. Armory. Yeah.
[00:10:44] The place was packed and.
[00:10:47] I got no respect. Yeah, it was it was it was funny because the guy came in to the dressing room and, you know, when I say dressing room, I might as well say bathroom stall. Right. You know, that was where I was changing.
[00:11:02] And and he says, a white boy, what you music, music. And you walk out music. And I didn’t even know we were supposed to have music, you know, so so he said I said, I don’t have any music because you got to bring it and give it to the deejay. Yeah. And I said, I don’t have any music.
[00:11:28] And so he goes. He says, well, he had look through this book and I didn’t I 99 out of 100 of the songs I had to choose from, I didn’t recognize.
[00:11:41] So what I did recognize was Aretha Franklin. Yeah. Respect. Yeah. And so I come in. So I said, do that one day.
[00:11:52] So that was my first entrance song. Yeah. And I came in and they find this white boy to the lions.
[00:12:01] Yeah. Is pretty much the attitude.
[00:12:04] And about halfway through the first round I hit this guy with a right hand and buckle him and.
[00:12:10] Whoa, whoa, my God, did you see that.
[00:12:13] And it was it was, it was quick. Yeah.
[00:12:17] But it was a good little scrap and I end up knocking the guy out and then.
[00:12:21] And then then all of us away. You can fight. I didn’t expect that. And it was just it was it was really good. Good feeling and a fun night. Yeah. And.
[00:12:36] Great start to a to a career. Yeah, it brings you back for sure. Yeah, that’s awesome. It was a lot of fun.
[00:12:42] I was on I was on the the those they call a reality show when it was the most unrealistic show possible for about boxing. Right. But Stallone and Ray Leonard, would they put them together, teamed them up to to do this NBC The Contender and I mean what an experience when.
[00:13:11] So you were on the show, The Contender. Yeah. The first the first year of the big year with with Stallone.
[00:13:16] It was on NBC and then it faded off in into like ESPN and then Effexor, someone out off into the night. But our our year was the big year.
[00:13:28] Awesome. Well, let’s take a quick break. And when we come back, we’ll talk about your time on The Contender.
[00:13:34] OK, if you’re interested in expanding your audience and growing your business, consider being a sponsor of the Go with John show if you’re tuning in. So our potential customers head on over to go with John Dotcom and one of our media experts will put a tailored package together that will meet your advertising needs. Again, that’s go with John Dotcom.
[00:14:11] All right, so, Jimmy, welcome back. So so let’s start I want to hear about your time on The Contender, but first tell me, what was your absolute toughest fight you had? Let’s talk about that real quick.
[00:14:24] You know, that’s that’s a question I get so often. There’s so many tough fights, but I’ve I’ve narrowed it down to one fight, OK? And it was a guy named Fontain Cabel. It was for the I believe was a USGBC, which was the last step before you get to a world title. Right. And one of the very few guys that I didn’t like and I don’t like. Right. I mean, I’m I’m dear friends with 99 percent of my my, my, my opponents. Right. But I got hurt real bad in the very first round that we had. We had previously fought to a draw I didn’t think was a draw, but the judges did. And that’s all that counts. So and like I said, we didn’t like each other. There was a lot of bad blood and. I go in now, great shape, ready to go. I was going to knock this guy out and damn if the within the first 45 seconds I had tore my rotator cuff and I mean, it was bad that the doctor didn’t know how I I didn’t just quit right then. And you can see it on the tape. It’s almost like a Theismann type of thing when he comes over top and and just wrenches my arm and just proceeds. I mean, I can’t I can’t lift my arm. So I’m basically a one on one handed fighter. Right. So round two. Round three, round four and. You know, you never really you don’t like to everybody say, oh, I’ll never quit, I’ll never quit, but.
[00:16:14] You do think about it, you know, you do think about it, and I was getting I was cut real bad and he was he was talking to me a lot, you know, talking to me. I mean, real vile stuff.
[00:16:28] I mean, which part of the game that goes on? No big deal. But and, you know, every time we got in a clinch, I mean, he was real rough, you know, and his words are rough with everything.
[00:16:41] With everything.
[00:16:42] And I mean, I was I was getting hurt, you know, and I hurt beyond, you know, I was physically and mentally.
[00:16:52] No, no, no, no.
[00:16:53] I mean, I was I was damaged. Was being the worst this arm got. Yeah. It was damage was being done. Right. And I remember and Angelo Dundee was in my corner, OK, we he had come in, he worked with me for about five years and this is one of the fights he was working. And I don’t know, is this a rated R or whatever?
[00:17:20] Can I just you go right ahead. The problems.
[00:17:24] So I took my very first step. The only time I’ve ever, ever done. I’ve never quit. I never quit. But I took my a step towards quitting. Yeah. No. And I said, Angelo, I can’t feel my arm. Yeah. Because what I wanted him to say was, oh I mean if you can’t feel your arm give me one more round and we’ll see, you know, you know, start to justify.
[00:17:48] And he smacked me in on the side of the face. Yeah.
[00:17:52] He said your arm you see you ain’t got hurt is no worse than you already are. Now, he said, get your ass out there.
[00:18:00] Yeah. And this Angelo Dundee. Yeah. Telling me, you know, this is like Vince Lombardi. Right. Boxing. Right.
[00:18:08] And I went out and I started to when we would get in the clinches. I started to this guy wasn’t you know, he might be wearing down because he’s not as rough as I remember, I said to him, I go, man, but this is a hell of a fight, isn’t it? And he said, It sure is. And I knew I had it because all that piss and vinegar was gone, you know, because if I said that to rouse before would have been right.
[00:18:37] If your mother, you know. Right. Right. Right.
[00:18:39] But but it was and I knew I had him and broken down a little more than I think it was. It was a seventh or eighth round.
[00:18:47] I end up knocking him out and, you know, went in the next morning to get my arm rebuilt and. It healed beautifully, and when I had several more big nights, I wondered what that was. That was a real tough, grueling fight to get through.
[00:19:05] Yeah, yeah. Does this do you still feel the pain today when you talk about it? Do you still get butterflies in your stomach or not?
[00:19:14] Really. I miss I miss it. I miss the life.
[00:19:22] No, you can’t do it forever, you just can’t.
[00:19:24] Yeah, yeah, that’s right. All right. Tell us about The Contender.
[00:19:28] The contender was it was I remember being in the in the dressing room. There was a fight.
[00:19:36] And what was the guy’s name? His name was Sammy Sparkman. And this guy was a journeyman, you know, supposed to blow this guy out. I remember being in the in in the dressing room and someone came in and said, hey, Ray Leonard’s here. And with the with Stallone’s brother, Frank, I said I said, really? I didn’t know why they were there. Yeah. And yeah, they’re they’re they’re not in the audience. So I go out and this this guy who’s he’s got like a he’s probably 25 and 15, you know, which is not a stellar record, you know, and I’m supposed to blow this guy this guy beat down on me for ten rounds.
[00:20:25] I mean, just I was sick on top of it. Yeah. Some kind of flu. Yeah.
[00:20:30] And I remember I knocked him down in the first round and he just came back and for ten rounds just a really, really gave it to me. I just now I won the I did win the fight I want you know, so I guess he couldn’t beat me up. Too bad. But there was doubt with the decision.
[00:20:49] It was just a real lackluster performance by by me, you know. And so they they came the official game. He said they want to come in and talk to you. And I wouldn’t talk to nobody. I was all beat up. And and I just said I’m. Not talking to anybody, right, and. I found out that they had been there to scout me for this big show that was coming up this big box and show, and I didn’t want to do it.
[00:21:26] Yeah, you know, I didn’t want to do that because the word reality show was. In my mind, I wasn’t going to make a joke out of the show and most reality shows I had seen were a joke, right? And so. I agree, I agreed to go and.
[00:21:50] Quotation marks try out and and that was in L.A. and and.
[00:22:00] Even though I never had any, and even if they picked me, I wasn’t going to do it, you know, and it was down to the last 50 people out of thousands of of tryouts and everything.
[00:22:11] And I remember you, we were all sequestered. We couldn’t see or me or know each other. We had to train in private for the for the people that were casting. We had to interview in private. Everything was private. I remember I get a knock knock on the door. Were there something like four or five days?
[00:22:29] Right. Completely sequestered. And it’s a knock on the door and it’s sly. And you call him Sly. You don’t call Sylvester. He don’t like that. Yeah, but. And it’s Sly and I’m I mean, that’s Rockie, man.
[00:22:44] He I mean, he said I had never met him before and he’s standing at the door, say, I want to talk to you. How are you doing.
[00:22:53] And I remember it was funny because I was watching On the Waterfront and he I, I brought it, I brought it with me and I, I had like 50 movies that I brought because I knew I was going to be waste time. He says I he and he tells me that story.
[00:23:15] He says this guy here see him, his name’s Lee Jacob. So it’s OK, he says, I wanted him, he was my favorite actor coming up, he says, and I wanted him to be the promoter and Rocky and.
[00:23:34] He agreed and we sat down and some. He used a bad name, but casting director asked him to read. This part and. I could have killed this guy because Lee Jacob, he says, look, I never read for a part of my life.
[00:23:56] He says, take your movie and stick it. Yeah, he looked at me. Good luck. And we lose. You know, we lose this guy who was my it was a dream to be in the same movie as this guy, you know, and on the last day of shooting.
[00:24:14] His brother comes over to me, he says Lee Jacob just died. And it was like this eerie feeling, this is Stallone talking.
[00:24:23] It was it was like it. My whole body went cold. He just got out. It’s just that missed opportunity. And because that was a dream, you know. So I was a little behind the scenes tidbit about, you know, that the the the making of Rocky and the comparing it to the on the waterfront and so on, so forth. But, you know, he said, you know, you don’t you don’t want to be on this show. Why wouldn’t you want to be on the show with all the opportunities? I said I said, I’m doing OK now and I’m not going to stand as much as I love boxing. I’m not going to go in and and make a joke of it in a reality show.
[00:25:05] I said, these reality shows are ridiculous, you know?
[00:25:08] And they they. They.
[00:25:12] They make people look ridiculous in them, and I’m not going to do that to boxset, and he says, well, you know, this is different. And I’m, you know, what boxing has done for me and I love boxing and so on. So and he he talked me into it. And I mean, I agreed with I mean, it is. Rocky Balboa, Sin City, you say no to Rocky, you know, you know.
[00:25:38] And so, you know, I agreed to go on it and and that was it.
[00:25:45] So how much time did you spend? So. So how much time. Yeah. How much time did you spend on that show. God, you said it was one season or two.
[00:25:54] Well I was on I was on one season, OK. The next season it didn’t get picked up by NBC, ok, it was I forget what they call it was some kind of artsy word they use. But but it was it was very, very successful that one season I, I got fan favorite and I was voted fan favorite. They had an open, open voting. Yeah. What did you get for that? I got to fight the second place. Fan favorite.
[00:26:29] OK. At Caesar’s Palace.
[00:26:32] OK, at the at the finale which I won cise and that was a pretty large purse that I was, I won for that fight. And, you know, the whole thing was just it opened a door out West that I had never seen and and the connections and the contacts and the stories that that that that open for me are priceless.
[00:27:04] Wonderful. I don’t think there’s enough time on this show to tell them all.
[00:27:09] But, yeah, you know, it was just it was it was a great experience. I made made some money. It put me in.
[00:27:18] An international living room instead of just east coast in the United States living room and that and that was reflected in the crowds that after the the I mean, of course, we use it as a promotional tool afterwards. Right. And, you know, the crowds grew and popularity grew. And it was it was good all the way around. Wonderful. Unfortunately, I didn’t I didn’t win the whole thing, but I wouldn’t trade it.
[00:27:51] No doubt. No doubt. Yeah. Never turned down a meeting is what I say.
[00:27:55] Right. Not a story about that. All right.
[00:27:58] So tell us about you’ve got a really somebody told me to ask you about because I don’t know this story, so I have no idea what’s coming. But you had a you had a phone call with a famous boxer. Do you know who I’m talking about?
[00:28:13] Yeah, I know what you’re talking about. There’s actually if you turn that over that calendar.
[00:28:19] So I’ve got a calendar you brought in for the folks to turn over.
[00:28:23] OK, so that that is Jimmy Glenn, OK, not Jimmy. Glenn is is an old school all time great cutman. All right. Unfortunately, he he was one of the casualties recently of covid. Oh my God. At 90 years old that’s all. But he’s got a place he runs a bar in Times Square. OK, and and you know, just one of the closest guys in my as far as my career, he was probably. You know, top one or two guys as far as relationship, me and him, and he used to come here to train and, you know, for cancer, when I would have him here, I’d go up to New York and I remember he he came here one time. So he’s sitting there and he’s a talk talk loud all the time. And he’s talking to this one and yelling at that one. And and it wasn’t he was never yelling and he was just talking loud. And he was sitting on the couch and and he’s talking to some guy. Oh, I mentioned that he had a little bar. Right. He owned a little bar in New York. So there was a guy he had a bartender named Mike, who I, I really like Mike Brown. But it was it was like I would always mess with him. Yeah, I would I would always I’d come in and shoot the breeze and we would bust each other’s hump, you know. Right. Right. And so he’s talking on the phone and I mean, he’s talking to Mike like you would talk to a guy that works for you. Yeah. And.
[00:30:09] He’s I can’t find I think the number’s in my pocket. Hold on. Talk to Jimmy Lange. Talk to Jimmy Lang right now. I think I’m going to get the number. Talk to him for a minute. Yeah. So. So. And he keeps saying, my mind, my hands, me the phone, I say, hey, man, what are you doing? Hey, how are you doing? And my dumb ass, I didn’t recognize the voice. I say I said, what are you over there drinking up all the profit? Yeah. I don’t know what to. Nice to talk to you. Yeah. And I just I kept on it probably about 90 seconds of making fun of Mike Tyson thinking it’s Mike the bartender. Right. You know, and is and so he goes, I found the number. Give me the phone. And so I, I handed back the phone and it’s I I’ll see you next time I’m up there, you know. All right. God bless.
[00:31:12] And Mike wasn’t a God bless guy, you know. Right. And Mike the bartender. Right. And and I had I had in the back and said, are you sure that was Mike? It was Mike Tyson. And Zeke is back on the phone with Mike Tyson. And I said, Jesus Christ, man, I hope Mike Tyson never meets up with me and realizes that I was the little skinny little jerk that was messing with him, you know?
[00:31:42] But he’s got a sense of humor right here. I’m sure he does. But, you know, it depends on what mood Moodies in. Yeah, that’s true. You know. That’s right.
[00:31:50] Every time I’ve ever actually met him, I couldn’t be a nicer, humble guy. Yes. When I’ve heard, you know. Yeah, yeah. But that’s pretty. So many of those guys in boxing, man, there’s so many guys that get a bad rep because they’re their personality in the ring that they used to sell tickets is different than their real personality. Right. I mean, of course, people don’t judge Anthony Hopkins on Silence of the Lambs, you know. Yeah, but they’ll they’ll judge a fighter and a sports figure who has to have a certain person. I mean, you got to put that. They say if you don’t put asses in seats, yeah. You ain’t going to do nothing. Even if even if your skill warrants it, it’s still entertainment. You got to sell tickets.
[00:32:47] Right. Right. And I think I think that, you know what? You’re what you’re you mentioned earlier that you’re friends with a lot of your your your opponents. And I think I think in life, in many professions, you know, you get to lawyers that go into a courtroom and they go at it hard sometimes for weeks and weeks and weeks in a trial, and they come out and they shake hands at the end of it. It’s the same with boxing.
[00:33:09] And they have and they have a drink at the club.
[00:33:12] Exactly. You know, yeah. It’s it’s no different. It’s very, very similar. Yeah. Fantastic.
[00:33:18] I love your stories. They’re really amazing. So listen, let’s take another quick break. And when we come back, I want to hear about your motivational speaking business and I want to hear some of your thoughts on what it is to be a father. Sounds good.
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[00:34:15] So, Jimmy, during the break, you told us about an experience you had with Ryan O’Neal, so can you share that story with us again?
[00:34:27] Yeah, we this has been this could be 15 years ago, 10, 15 years ago. Yeah. I got a call to do a charity. And box Ryan O’Neal. Yeah, so I had heard of Ryan O’Neal and I’m a movie movie buff and so I say, sure, yeah. So I go out and, you know, I’ve done these things a few times, like I did one with Mario Lopez and. You would have thought he was going to the to the gallows. He was he begged her, please don’t you know don’t you know I’m not a professional yet, but I’ve got to make it look good, you know what I mean? Anyway, but Ryan O’Neal, I’m sitting in the dressing room and I hear. You Lang. And it’s I look up at him and I say, how are you doing? I just want to come in here and see who’s kicking today.
[00:35:32] And I’m telling you, he was serious.
[00:35:35] And how old was he at the time, do you think he was? He was about 70. Yeah. And how old were you and he 30 and your 30 year old professional basketball. And he couldn’t give a.
[00:35:47] Yeah, he was in and he loved boxing. It’s the head game though. And he lowered its head the confidence and. Yeah. And I’m thinking to myself, God, you know, he’s he’s funny guy, you know, and and and we go out and we put on a good show and he hit me with everything he had and didn’t take a backward step. Yeah.
[00:36:08] And we made it look great. It was a great performance and the crowd was pleased with it and and it was a really, really good night. Yeah. But it just struck me because these these, you know, a lot of these actors, these these tough guys and everything, they’re not real tough guys. Yeah.
[00:36:30] And but but he he he what. There was no fear. There was no fear. No nothing. And, you know, he didn’t take it easy.
[00:36:39] His people didn’t ask me take and it was just it was a good experience. And he comes in the dressing room afterwards and he says, hey. If you ain’t got nothing to do tomorrow, come on over the house, we’ll have some lunch. Yeah, and I saw I went over there right right on the ocean in Malibu. And it’s him alone. Yeah, he’s making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And he took me up and showed me the the fair, the Farrah Fawcett painting. The Andy Warhol. Yeah. And we just sat and talked box and for a few hours and I left. But it was there was, you know, no airs about him. It was he was just he’s just a man’s man, you know, passionate about.
[00:37:29] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:37:30] He loves boxing. Yeah. And we were we compared knowledge and trivia and everything else and had to it was really fun.
[00:37:38] Yeah. And you guys have been friends ever since.
[00:37:40] Yeah. Yeah. He call whenever there’s a big fight. We usually, we usually talk on the phone about it and make our predictions. And you know right now he’s locked away which I guess being locked away in Malibu. But because of the covid, you know.
[00:37:57] Right. Right. He’s not in jail. He has a lot. We’re locked away like the rest of us are.
[00:38:03] And I can’t wait to get out there and and see him again.
[00:38:07] Yeah. Awesome. That’s a wonderful story. All right. So let’s talk about let’s talk about your dad.
[00:38:14] So you have five kids? Yeah. Yeah. Two sets of twins.
[00:38:18] Yeah. We we got I didn’t realize what kept causing all these kids. And finally, listen.
[00:38:29] I know, but yeah, we got lucky.
[00:38:34] Eighteen year old boys, yeah, twin twins, yeah, I got a little. She’s a little to me, but she’s not little anymore, 16 year old daughter, right, single, and then a 10 year old boy girl twins. Yeah. And, you know, it is just how it sounds. It’s a it’s a beautiful chaos.
[00:38:56] Right? Right.
[00:38:57] You know, they’re all, for the most part, different. So, you know, it’s it’s. Isn’t that amazing. A lot of fun. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. Yeah. The twins you think are going to be like, yeah, the twins are nothing alike.
[00:39:10] Yeah. So I have twins either. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. They’re completely opposite. Yeah. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. So how many of your kids box.
[00:39:22] Well, the baby’s right. The baby wants to, but so how old is the building? Well, the baby, by one minute there’s 10 the 10 year old twins, OK.
[00:39:33] OK, but you start to box when you were seven.
[00:39:35] Yeah. Yeah. I’m not sure how it’s you know, I think it’s custom. Yeah. You’ve got to customize it. They’re they’re not ready yet. You know some guys are, some guys aren’t right. But the older boys are Boxun and they’re pretty good.
[00:39:54] They’re they’re kind of taking the same path that I took. Mm.
[00:40:02] Got I mean, it’s crazy because I move around with them a little bit, yeah. And I can’t really do that anymore because they hurt me. And I mean, and the only and the only way to keep from getting hurt is to hurt them. Right. And what that tells me is, is I ain’t that much better than them anymore to where I can just control them. Yeah. I mean, they really, really hit hard, you know, I think a lot harder than I did. And there’s no way to know how hard you hit, you know. Yeah, but it’s funny watching these these little things that you met and they were six pounds old and. Yeah. And they were helpless and now they’re they’re driving and they’re kicking your tail, kicking everybody’s tail. That’s amazing. You know, and they. Yeah. I mean this sounds stupid, but, you know, when did you become a person. Yeah. It’s, it’s amazing. Yeah.
[00:40:58] Yeah. So so what do you love most about being a father.
[00:41:05] That’s a good question.
[00:41:07] See, that’s my that’s my whole goal. You want every if I could do you want to give me you want to stop me in my tracks?
[00:41:14] I think. What do I love about being a fighter?
[00:41:16] Yeah, I love my kids. Yeah. You know, it’s not a you know, I don’t I don’t wear the I’m a father as a badge of honor because just because you got that title doesn’t mean nothing, you know, and I don’t say I’m a good father. I don’t say I’m a bad father. That’s for my kids to judge. And the game ain’t over yet when they’re you know, maybe when I when I go or, you know, maybe in 20 years, 30 years, they could say, hey, the old man was was OK or the old man was a piece.
[00:41:50] Either way, you know, the. The kids are the ones to judge whether or not you’re a good father or not, whether he did right by him, right.
[00:42:01] How important is it to you that they continue their boxing career? Is that important to you or you want them to chase their own dream or not at all?
[00:42:08] Not at all. I don’t. I don’t. Matter of fact, I don’t have a whole lot to do with their boxing, OK? I don’t train them. I mean, I’ll I’ll train with them and show them stuff. I talked to them a lot about it, but. But I don’t train them. It’s not a father son thing. Right. I don’t personally like seeing them get hit. Yeah, I don’t want them to have some of the some of the physical damage that I am still dealing with today, right now, having trouble putting your pants on, you know, because you can’t lift, you know. Yeah. You know, and, you know, with hip injuries.
[00:42:47] And I don’t I don’t know somebody who’s been through it, I don’t think is is real gung ho about their kid, someone they love, you know, going through it. Surely one of those one of the boys that that box that boxes when he was playing football, he played high school football. Yeah. And it was it was like watching a car crash. I hated it. Yeah, I hated it.
[00:43:15] Yeah. And.
[00:43:17] But it’s not familiar to me, boxing is familiar, so I know that certain things that may look bad aren’t bad still, you know. Boxing is not a nice thing, it’s not like it’s not a nice business, it’s not even a nice it’s it’s it’s rough. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s Ross. It’s a very good sport. Mm. OK, it’s not a real good business and it’s not a nice sport. Yeah. Know so you know I’d like to kids. I’d like the boys to be. Something, you know, something that’s not going to rattle their brain. Yes, as Ali as Ali said, yeah, yeah, no doubt. Just you can’t be more honest than that. I mean, yeah, it’s it’s, you know, gives you some pride to see a kid up there doing it. But if I had a choice, I’d say no, I’d rather them take a different path.
[00:44:14] So you didn’t encourage him and you didn’t discourage now. OK, now, OK, that’s a good father right there.
[00:44:19] You’re letting them chase their own rather anger. Stop them. Yeah. If they if they want to do it. Yeah. Yeah. They know I don’t want them to do it. Yeah. Yeah. But I, you know, they give me, I give them the respect just the same way my mother gave me my mother.
[00:44:37] I know my mother didn’t want me to box but she never told me that. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. You know, which is you know, in that nice that you don’t have your mom constantly giving giving you the. Oh, how could you do this crap?
[00:44:50] Yeah, she was great. And she was she was ringside for every fight over how, you know. Yeah. And probably felt just like you feel like she hated watching it. Exactly.
[00:45:00] Exactly. Exactly. Cool. All right. So let’s let’s talk about life after athletics. So we were talk a little bit also on the break about just in general, when you’re a pro athlete and the lights go out, life is generally not kind to retired athlete. So what are your thoughts on that?
[00:45:22] Yeah, I think it’s I think you put it very mildly.
[00:45:31] Not to be cynical.
[00:45:33] But just through experience, both personal and observing, very close.
[00:45:42] Friends in the business and I’m going I’m going to say I’m not going to say the boxing business, I must say the entertainment business because. Sports is that’s an entertainment business and and Hollywood, things like that, I mean, even what you’re doing is in the entertainment we so so and some say the entertainment business. Right.
[00:46:09] It is an absolute what have you done for me lately? Business. And it is a die. You get diehard.
[00:46:21] People that love you to death. And literally.
[00:46:30] Forgot your name the next day.
[00:46:33] Yeah, well, they love you to death and they leave you to die, right?
[00:46:37] Perfect. I’ve never heard that. I’ve never heard that, but I just made it up. I’m going to steal that. I’m going to steal. You should. You should, Patinack. That is exactly. They love you to death, but they leave you to die. Yeah. Yeah. And like I said, it’s pretty cynical, but I’ve seen too many guys on top of the world and.
[00:46:59] Then, you know, it’s lose my phone number when you can’t produce those thrills for these people, right.
[00:47:06] You know. Right, right, right.
[00:47:07] So so what do you what do you what are your thoughts about that? I mean, what can be done or what should you do or what what are you doing? You know, life after being a pro athlete, what is your mission?
[00:47:20] Well, I have you know, you don’t you don’t just have one, right? You have, you know, a long time. And this has evolved quite a bit in all kinds of different ideas. And that is to run a gym. Yeah. And to run a gym is putting it lightly.
[00:47:42] You know, there there’s so much more than than running a gym, owning a gym.
[00:47:49] But I think that. With my experience.
[00:47:57] I know what it takes to run a gym. I know the kind of gym.
[00:48:04] That reaches all walks, you know, because.
[00:48:11] The kind of gym that that people want to go to and train. Sometimes ain’t the kind of Jim I came up in, right? So you got to give you know, you’ve got to give. Different, different choices and, you know, I don’t want to give my whole idea sure. On on this show here, but but I think I think it involves my ideas have evolved for for 20, 30 years. You know, I mean, I still think that stuff I thought when I was 15 years old is maybe work, maybe work more now than it would then right now.
[00:48:52] But like I said.
[00:48:57] The prep is not there because you get in this mindset when you’re an athlete. A lot of athletes like. All I got to do is my roadwork, all I got to do is work on that jam, all I got to do is win all I got out of this and that. And they don’t plan for the future because the future’s now. Yeah, the future is winning and the future is being in and maintaining the physical level that you’re at and. I swear to God, you never think the day will come where you can’t do it. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. You never think the day will come and that amazing and.
[00:49:43] The day not only comes, it comes real quick.
[00:49:47] Mm hmm. So.
[00:49:51] A lot of guys have got have got got and taken care of.
[00:49:57] Money wise and investment wise, but. Twenty times that have been taken advantage of.
[00:50:05] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Joe Gibbs has a charity, Youth for Tomorrow, and I’ve been to a couple of those charity events and he talks about, you know, the original Redskins, you know, the Joe Jacoby, the John Riggins and Dexter Manley. A lot of those guys who made made the sport never made the money. They never had the opportunity on the front end to get paid. Sure. You know, to invest it. So it’s. Yeah, no, it’s definitely it’s definitely a tough gig.
[00:50:34] So what else are you doing. You’re doing some you’re doing some motivational speaking. Yeah. And you got it.
[00:50:40] But you also you also have a charity for four youths.
[00:50:46] A tell me it’s it’s more like a mentoring mentoring program. OK, and you know, I go around to different schools all the way from D.C. up into West Virginia and. Talk to these kids, usually they’re they’re like at risk type of schools, right, and you just do your best to to to connect with them. You know, you go big group where you go real small groups and. You interact with them and you try you’re not going to you’re not going to reach them, all right. And you go into it knowing that.
[00:51:26] Yeah, so you try to pique interest there and then identify that and follow up with it. Yeah. You know, to get these kids into something. Into a diff, onto a different track than they’re already on, which is usually the track on his way to drugs and jail and everything else, you know, and. If you can, you know, anybody can go up in front of. Five hundred people make a speech and go home and whatever and not really not really make a difference, but if I think if you can do it. One at a time, too, at a time where now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going up and making a speech in front of one guy. Right? Well, I’m saying where you are today.
[00:52:20] Well, listen to that.
[00:52:23] But it it’s. You use that initial.
[00:52:31] Presentation as a. As a tool to kind of. Open open up with these kids and get them to open up to you, right, and. As a result. You know, there’s there’s been a difference made with a few few kids, some kids that I thought. I was really doing something for really, really making a difference.
[00:52:59] I didn’t, you know, so you can’t really. You can’t take it personal, right? Or else she quit.
[00:53:08] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:53:11] So what got you started in that what got you in front of the kids to begin with?
[00:53:15] Gosh, you know, I was still fighting. I had a a teacher named Ari Klein, and I don’t even know it’s got to be. Fifteen years ago, and she wrote me a letter and and she was up up towards the Leesburg area, which I live in Leesburg now, but back back then I was still in Arlington and that was a drive.
[00:53:47] And there was nothing between when you passed Sterling. There was nothing until you got the iceberg.
[00:53:52] Yeah, except the zero Tysons Corner was Woods. Yeah, exactly.
[00:53:56] I mean, I think I’m going back. I think I’m Tysons too. Is certainly would.
[00:54:02] Yeah. Tice’s to was worth anyway.
[00:54:06] She wrote me a letter and I.
[00:54:10] Saw that she was close and she said she was having some real problems with some real dangerous type kids and I said.
[00:54:22] I’ll come out there and I’ll I’ll talk to these kids and.
[00:54:27] You know, I was a lot younger, a little I was a little more of a hothead, too, you know, and shocking, and I always remember how I was remember a story about Sinatra would go to boys clubs, you know, reform schools. Yeah. You know, and he he would. He would tell you any any young punks want to take a shot at me, come on up. Yeah, and I always had these visions of saying that he’s real tough. I mean I mean, these are these are these are no joke. Little gang bangers. Right. Right. And I always had this, you know, this visions I hanging from these little you know, I’m a tough love and everything else and but shell. Nothing but respect. Yeah. Nothing but decency. Yeah. My my my dream of B of pulling a Sinatra never came true. And you make real friends and you don’t. The dividends aren’t paid, the dividends are paid.
[00:55:29] When you see these these, these gangbanging kids. Yeah. Ten years later at the mall walking with their family. Yeah. Their kid and their wife. Yeah. And and and they got a job. Yeah. And and they, they made good instead of you. You lost another one right now. Right. Right. So yeah. That’s kind of the, that’s kind of the, the, the way that’s gone. I’m still, I’m still very good friends with the lady I mentioned Arnie Klein, and she’s still in the in the system and she’s still having having these guys that are that are it’s mostly guys that are, you know, tough guys that that they’re really they’re really benefit by being around a tough guy. Right. And seeing what a real tough guy can do. Right. You know, instead of a guy with a gun. Yeah. You know. Yeah. And and, you know, sometimes it makes a difference and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the mentoring type of type of part. Part of what I do the and then sometimes it has nothing to do with kids. You know, I’ll get a company who who likes my message, but they want it a different way.
[00:56:49] Right. And they you know, they’ll they’ll have me talk at one of their expos or something like that. And it’s just a different everybody loves boxing. Everybody want you know, it it’s something that they couldn’t imagine doing. Right. Who what kind of moron goes in to a to a ring?
[00:57:15] To punch a guy and get punched in the face, I’m not going to comment because, you know, I still take it out. No, no, I shouldn’t say more. I shouldn’t say more than I should say. What kind of crazy? Yeah. I mean, yeah.
[00:57:28] And so people don’t people don’t connect with it like they do other sports.
[00:57:33] I know. I never I never understood. I mean I can appreciate a fight. Right. I think we can all appreciate a fight. But I never did understand the the mentality of somebody who wanted to do that professionally. You know, it’s it’s and that’s one of the reasons why, you know, the funny thing, chat with you about it.
[00:57:51] You know, the funny thing is I don’t necessarily understand it. Yeah. You know, I don’t besi if besides ego, you know, besides enjoying the attention.
[00:58:06] Right. I don’t know. I’m not sure I understand it either. It’s a different. Type of a presentation, it’s a I’m a different kind of a of a guest, yes. And it’s it’s more cutting edge. So. So companies that want to kind of mix things up for their employees and things like that will bring me in. Yeah. To give a presentation. And it’s a real mix up, right. It’s a real shake up because people don’t understand a fighter. And I said, yeah. What kind of a moron. I didn’t mean that. But you don’t understand this guy. I mean, I don’t I personally I don’t understand a lion tamer. Why would you want to go in? You know, so to me, that’s kind of fascinating. Yeah. Yeah. We’re no different than that lion. We’re going in to hurt and get hurt. Yeah. Legally. Yeah. And win and win.
[00:59:07] And I think that’s probably the parallel because as I’m sitting here as a business owner and as a salesperson my whole entire life, I hear so many parallels about, you know, when you talk about training, there’s nothing there’s nothing better when it comes to parallels.
[00:59:22] You can parallel any any situation in real life.
[00:59:26] But you you talked about getting to the plateau in boxing. You do that in your career, right? No matter what your career is, no matter what you if you want to be a rocket scientist, a salesperson, a business owner, an attorney, you know, you learn and you train and you get to this plateau and then you’re stuck there for a while and you keep learning training. Then you get to the next level and it’s and you’re doing it physically and mentally because you’ve got I mean, Ryan O’Neal came in and he dropped the mental game right on your lap, you know, and he certainly got your attention, you know.
[00:59:58] And you mentioned the other fight. Go ahead.
[01:00:01] And this was a 70 year old guy who I was doing a favor for. Right. OK, right. And he still had me thinking, am I gonna kick this guy’s and so on, you know, and and how good is this guy or how crazy is this guy? Really what’s really going right?
[01:00:20] So, yeah, he he put that mental game on me and it you know, it turned out to be fun and it’s all memories and everything. And I got a good friend out of it. But but yeah, they both sides of it. And the parallels to to real life. Yeah. Because business. Yeah. Because it ain’t real life. Right. Right.
[01:00:41] That squared circle eight is not real life. Right. But there’s a lot of parallels that are that hundred yard football field is not real life. Right. That movie you’re watching up on the screen is not real life. Right. But you know, it certainly mirrors that.
[01:01:02] Yeah. And I can certainly see why corporations would want to have you come in and tell your story and talk about winning and tenacity. And, you know, you know, it’s all it’s all it’s all the same thing. If you don’t have the will to win, you will never win.
[01:01:19] Simple as that, simple as that. Jimmy Lange, thank you for coming in. Great story. So before we wrap it up, is there anything you want to say to the folks out there? Do you have another story you want to tell?
[01:01:32] Do you have any any any? Let’s see what’s a good story?
[01:01:37] Yeah, give me a good story. You got one more in.
[01:01:39] I’m trying to think of the problem is that I forgot which ones I’ve told already. Which ones seedbox. I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you a good story. All right. And nothing funny about this. It’s just a feel good story from. My one of my probably top well, we just lost one of my top five or so favorite fighters and Marvin Hagler rest in peace, but it was a guy, another one it’s past. His name was Alexis Aguayo. If you know anything about he was a Nicaraguan, OK? And I mean, he was a superstar, right? Absolute superstar. Million dollar fighter who. When when he walked the streets, people grabbed that I mean, he was like, you know, he was like an Elvis Presley type, you know? Yeah. So we’re in in Madison Square Garden. You might have been Atlantic City, but. Incomes, Aleksandre. Oh, my God, look, it’s Selex Aguayo I can’t believe, and I used to all I all I used to do was run around and get autographs and stuff. So I see Aleksic. Well, I got a chance to meet him, but I can’t get to him because they’re mobbing him. Right. You know, and somehow you saw me and he made a little motion with his hand, like the part the Red Sea. And he did. And I walked up to him, you know, I was like one of the only kids, you know, so that’s why he did it. And he says, hey, come on, are you going to sit with me?
[01:03:20] And he let me sit next to him for about 15 minutes while we watched the boxing match and talked about the fights he gave me. And I’m not BSN. People think this is too crazy. He he he took out these glossy photos. Right. And he autographed it. And on the back he wrote his number.
[01:03:48] Yeah. And. I never I never called him right? You know, my father told me not to call him, you know, don’t bother, don’t bother him. But but. He just knew what it was about, man. You knew that, that.
[01:04:04] Five hundred of those people, those autograph people that make it a difference with that one kid who couldn’t get to him, yeah. Was much more important than all those other people getting their picture with them and and getting getting an autograph on their T-shirt, you know. Yeah, he knew he knew what was important. And I always appreciated him for that.
[01:04:27] Wow. Amazing. Great story. And you’re in you’re paying it forward.
[01:04:33] You’re paying it forward. If I. If I. Was ever called as significant as that guy or saw some of the guys that have done for me, I, I would I would really be happy to hear that. So I’m nowhere I’m nowhere near the league that Alexis Aguayo was in.
[01:04:57] So you’re still writing chapters in your trial? Yes, sir.
[01:05:01] We’ll see one day. Jimmy Lange, thanks for coming in. Thank you for having me. You got it.
[01:05:10] I like what you’re hearing on the go a John show.
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