What transpired in the life of boxer Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez last September surprised many, most of all Jimenez.
He lost a fight.
Jimenez, 26, was favored to stay undefeated that night when he met Derrick Findley at the Horseshoe Arena in Hammond, Ind. Findley, 29, had lost three of his previous four fights and wasn't considered that much of a threat. But Findley brought the heat and Jimenez couldn't adapt. The bout was stopped after the seventh round with Findley being declared the winner.
A few days after the fight, it was reported that Findley had tested positive for Tylenol 3, a banned substance considered a painkiller. Rumor has it that he was suffering from a toothache.
The match was declared a no-contest.
Jimenez was surprised when he received the news. In the aftermath of the fight, the Chicago native made no excuses, but was extremely disappointed with his performance. What surprised him most about the Findley bout?
"I think during the fight it was his constant, in your face pressure, that threw me off," Jimenez told this writer via email last week. "I trained super hard for that fight, but wasn't prepared properly for that. He also caught me with a big punch behind the ear that knocked my equilibrium off. That took a big toll on me.
"He was strong; he was tough and applied non-stop pressure. I think if I was prepared a little differently for the fight, I could have come out on top," he added.
Jimenez had breezed through his first 11 opponents, scoring eight wins by knockout. Does he feel that the medication Findley tested positive for helped his performance?
"Personally, I'm not sure. That whole situation was wild," said Jimenez. "But he's a super tough competitor. He was bringing it that night."
Findley has been fighting professionally for nine years. He's been in the ring with the likes of Andre Ward, Andre Dirrell, Fernando Guerrero, J'Leon Love, and Curtis Stevens. The guy can fight.
Jimenez knew he was stepping up to another level when he faced Findley. He took time off and returned to the ring last month, scoring a fifth round TKO over Skyler Thompson.
“I think I did well. It was my first time fighting since September,” Jimenez said. “I give myself a ‘B.” He was a difficult opponent to figure out. I knew he would come out strong. I stayed focused and remembered my training. I opened up a little in each round.
“I knew it was just a matter of time before I stopped him,” he added.
Jimenez returns to battle February 28 for the second time this year.
“I like to stay busy,” said Jimenez who also works full-time as an iron worker. “It’s definitely a huge plus to get fights. I wanted to start twenty fourteen hot.”
First and foremost a fighter, Jimenez picked up the moniker “Hollywood” from his good friend and fellow boxer, Don “Da Bomb” George. He likes to entertain.
“Yeah, I always come to fight,” said the good natured Jimenez. “I like to put on a show. I want the fans to get their monies worth. Some people say I’m not serious enough, but that’s it not at all. That’s just me. I like going out there and entertaining the crowd.
“I want to be the guy people can cheer for.” said Jimenez.
Though he’s moved on from the Findley fight, Jimenez hasn’t forgotten. He burns for another shot at the only fighter to ever hurt him.
“Eventually, yeah, of course I’d like to fight him again,” Jimenez said. “It’s not something I’m happy about. Down the road, I’d like to get another shot at him.