INDIANAPOLIS — These are busy and exciting times for Anthony Sims Jr., as the 19-year-old has embarked on two long-awaited professional journeys.
Last month, Sims made his pro boxing debut in Indianapolis, a unanimous-decision victory. On Saturday, he celebrated the opening of his new Sims Boxing Gym on Indy’s Eastside.
“This is more exciting for me than winning my pro debut,” Sims said. “All these years I’ve been having problems at boxing gyms, and now I have one and all those worries are gone.”
Sims' problems were never major, just annoying.
“Now there’s nobody to tell me to put my shirt on, or stop playing Smokey Robinson all day, or that I make too much noise and bark too much,” Sims said.
Sims' gym is at 4615 East 10th Street, across from the Emerson Theater. To decide on a location, Sims asked a variety of people if they knew where a lot of kids are looking for things to do. Feedback led him to the Eastside, and to a former sign shop.
“I came over here and started looking at buildings with my mom, and we found this one and said, ‘This is the place,’” Sims said. “The way it looks now, we made it from scratch, from floor to ceiling.”
Team Sims put in six months of work to turn the property into a functioning gym. In addition to new equipment, they reached out to others in the sport across the region for used items.
“We went to Jerusalem and back to get equipment,” Sims said. “You never burn bridges in boxing, even if you have bad business with somebody. We never really had problems with anyone in 13 years, so when we told them we were opening our own gym, a lot of them were happy to give a bag, gloves or headgear. It all just came together.”