KEANDRE GIBSON GETS A SOLID WIN IN MISSISSIPPI
By Doveed Linder
In this interview, Keandre Gibson (8-0-1, 3 KOs), a junior welterweight from St. Louis, discusses his background in boxing and his January 26th fight with Boyd Henley (10-2-1, 9 KOs) in Tunica, MI, a fight that Gibson won via unanimous decision.
DL: When did you first put on the gloves? How old were you and what were the circumstances?
Keandre Gibson: I was eight years old when I first started. I was living in the projects down near 12th & Park (recreation center). I was real close friends with Deandre Latimore (former junior middleweight title challenger). I used to see him come home with trophies and belts and stuff and it made me want to start boxing. My dad talked to his dad and they told me to come up to the gym and start training. I went to the gym and there were a lot of little kids up there and I just fell in love with it, training with the kids who were from my neighborhood.
DL: Were you already a fighter outside the ring? Did you already have a mentality that was suited for boxing?
KG: Yeah, I had temper problems. I was fighting in school and getting into trouble and all those types of things. When I started boxing, it was good for me. I wasnít quick to fight nobody once I started boxing, because I worked all my anger out at the gym. Once I got home, I didnít have anything to be mad about.
DL: Boxing is a sport that makes and breaks a lot of kids. You could have a tough kid on the streets who doesnít necessarily have what it takes to get in the ring and fight. Once you started fighting in the ring, did you ever question whether you had what it took?
KG: Yeah, I questioned myself about it a couple of times. My dad was training me at the time and he was really hard on me. I won my first thirty fights when I was an amateur. When I was getting ready for my first Silver Gloves tournament, my first national tournament, my dad was just training me and working me so hard, making me get up in the morning before I went to school to run. One day we were at the gym and I told him I wanted to quit boxing. He told me that I couldnít quit something just because it was hard, so I was forced to do it until I got older. When I turned sixteen, I was sparring pros like [ex-world titleholder] Freddie Norwood and Leon Bobo and I was giving them a run for their money. Leon Bobo was undefeated at the time and I thought that if Iím doing good with him and heís a professional, maybe I could be a good pro. At that point, I started taking it real seriously.
DL: Tell me about your last fight.
KG: I fought Boyd Henley out of Kansas City, MO. I was actually scheduled to fight him before on ESPN [in 2011] on the swing bout. At the time, he was like 8-0-1 with 8 knockouts. They were telling me that the kid was just a straight forward fighter and that he was real tough. He was a tall and lanky kid. I was like, sure, Iíll fight him, but he ended up pulling out. This time we fought in Tunica, MI and he was just what they said he was. He was a straight forward fighter. He was a real tall kid and he came to fight. He tried to out-box me the first few rounds, so I started cutting him off and going to his body. I saw him getting fatigued and thatís when I really started letting my hands go. Around the sixth or seventh round, he couldnít keep up with my pace anymore, so I started hurting him real bad. I thought the referee shouldíve waved it off. I thought the referee let him take a beating, but he stayed in there.
DL: What does 2013 hold for you?
KG: Just to be more active. I want at least six fights this year. Iíll be 13 or 14-0 and by 2014 and Iíll be looking for a bigger fight. For my fans and supporters who want to follow me, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at Keandre ďThe TruthĒ Gibson.