Former SD Boxer Still Performing In A Ring
by Jill Johnson
February 07, 2013 9:32 PM
Jeffrey LeMair is one of the best boxers to come out of South Dakota, but that career has long been over. So now, he is trying to keep his drive alive and is going about it in an unusual way. Just another reason why Jeffrey LeMair is 'Someone You Should Know'.
It may seem like a scene out of Rocky, but one day, each week, it's a part of Jeffrey LeMair's life. At the age of 59, with nine district Golden Gloves titles and six Midwest Region titles behind him, this former boxer, is still wrapping them up and lacing them up. The only thing that's changed, instead of fighting world-renowned boxers like Sugar Ray Leonard and performing on a national stage, LeMair's matches take place in his friend's basement.
LeMair said, "No offense Ozzy, but the basement is kind of small, it looks more like a trailer."
It may be small and a little dark, there are no ropes and someone has to guard the T.V., but LeMair says there's still a ring and a ding.
"We just get together and spar and have a blast, you know, we're careful, we wear equipment and we cut the rounds a little bit shorter than official," said LeMair.
Just LeMair, his buddy Ozzy and whoever else shows up, going round for round. But the South Dakota Sports Hall Of Famer says it wasn't until a few years ago that he got back into the sport.
LeMair said, "One of my buddies, Ozzy, said 'Why don't you come over to one of my nights? We box once a week in the basement?' so behold I'm back doing it."
Before then, it had been 30 years since LeMair put on a pair of boxing gloves.
LeMair said, "Maybe once with Jerry James while he was pursuing the Olympic Trials, I did spar with Jerry James. Boy was that a mistake!"
But make no mistake, LeMair wasn't, and still isn't, ready to call it quits.
"You always have that little bit of a competive drive," said LeMair.
Evident in the little basement he fights in today.
"The competive adrenaline kicks in, so certainly, there's a few times, yeah, there's a few times we've gotten competitive there!" said LeMair.
LeMair has two jobs. He not only works with at-risk youth at the Minnehaha County Juvenile Detention Center, but he's a salesman at Scheels All Sports. He plays recreation hockey and since the 1980's, he's completed well over 30 marathons.