Local boxer has his sights set high

By Taylor Moak

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­­On a recent Friday evening, Lexington Legends Boxing Club hosted several rounds of fights.

The gym was hot and people fanned themselves as they watched the boxers swing and punch, swing and punch.

Feet danced as the athletes bobbed and weaved, making the ring squeak.

Many members of Legends would step in the ring to fight that night, but Bo Biggers wouldn’t be one of them.

Biggers, a special education senior at UK and two-year member of the gym, couldn’t find anyone to fight him.

This isn’t unusual.

Biggers is a tough fighter.

Two of his first times in the ring, he knocked out his opponents.

“He hits like Hercules,” Jasper Scott, another Legends member, said.

But Biggers’ attitude changes when he’s not fighting.

“When he gets in the gym, he means business,” Scott said. “But when he’s outside, he’s really cool.”

Biggers said he had wanted to get into boxing since he was 8 years old. That year, he got a pair of boxing gloves for Christmas.

His mom’s father was a boxer, and he said he remembers getting some lessons from his grandfather growing up, such as learning how to jab and to keep his hands up.

He said boxing was always in the back of his mind, and before he even came to Legends, he would shadow box for an hour or two hours whenever he got home. When he was a high school senior, he would participate in “fight nights.”

“It’s a long story between me and boxing,” Biggers said.

His mom, Terri Biggers, said she and her husband, Andy Biggers, didn’t expect him to get into boxing, even though he grew up with boxing themes. The Biggers family’s first two dogs were boxers, one of which was named Tyson after boxing legend Mike Tyson.

Biggers played or tried just about every sport, his parents said, including swimming, soccer, tennis, rugby, basketball and football.

But his parents said boxing has the appeal of being casual and disorganized, with a certain camaraderie among the boxers.

“(It’s) a far cry form a country club swimming match,” Terri Biggers said.

Biggers’ parents said he found boxing at a time when he needed focus and direction in his life.

“Since he’s started boxing, he’s quit stumbling along,” Andy Biggers said.

In July 2009, Biggers was texting and driving and wrecked his car, landing on the interstate, his mother said. In the accident, Biggers was ejected from his car.

It was the summer after the accident, in August 2010, that Biggers began boxing at Legends.

“That’s why I say (boxing) changed his life,” Terri Biggers said.

Terri Biggers said her son sees the potential for at-risk kids in the gym.

“They all take care of each other,” she said. “They really do.”

Joe Nelson, 14, has been boxing at Legends since December.

Nelson’s mother, Pam Thurman, said Biggers has taken Joe under his wing.

Joe, a student at Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, an alternative school in Lexington, has behavior and authority issues, Thurman said, but he respects Biggers.

“It takes a lot for a grown person to get Joe’s respect,” Thurman said.

On any given night in the gym, Biggers can be seen helping other members of the gym improve in the sport.

“He keeps me and my punches straight,” Joe said.

Thurman said Biggers is not the pampering kind, but it’s in a productive way.

“The aggression is part of his craft,” Thurman said. “It’s not part of his person.”

At UK, Biggers is majoring in special education for students with moderate to severe disabilities. While in high school, he was a peer tutor for a special education class, and when he took his first special education class at UK, he realized the material covered topics he thought about every day.

He said a college degree really isn’t important to him, but it is to his parents.

“If boxing doesn’t work out, I might be happy being a special ed teacher,” Biggers said, “but pretty much all of my eggs are in the boxing basket.”

Every morning before the sun rises, Biggers gets up to run.

Then, he’s in the gym many times a week.

A typical workout lasts about two hours and includes shadow boxing, punching bags, sparring and ab workouts. The sound of a loud timer dictates what training the athletes do next.

William “Sarge” Farris is the director of the Legends gym and Biggers’ coach.

Farris said he can count on Biggers to help “keep things together” around the gym.

“He possesses all the qualities that a world champion should and is supposed to have in the ring and outside the ring,” Farris said.

He said he is tougher on Biggers than he is on any of his other athletes because so much is required and expected of Biggers.

Farris said Biggers has been able to bring some of his athleticism from other sports into his boxing. He’s what’s considered a boxer-puncher.

“He’s a great mover,” Farris said.

Biggers has earned a reputation among fighters in his division, the heavy weight division, as being a dangerous opponent.

He said he doesn’t really like that reputation because he would rather be able to find people to fight.

But, he said he does like the term “knockout artist” that has been used to describe him.

He said boxing is an exposé of a skill.

“It’s like being on the playground and showing someone who’s boss,” Biggers said, but he said he doesn’t

get mad at his opponents.

“He doesn’t judge people,” Terri Biggers said. “But he does knock them out,” Andy Biggers said.

Bo Biggers said he wants to go “all the way to the top” with boxing, which would mean going professional and winning “at least 10 heavy weight titles.”

His parents say they have told him they will support his boxing “as long as he stays healthy.”

He said his mom told him that if he got concussions that he would have to quit, but he said he wouldn’t let that deter him.

Farris said Biggers is the future of professional boxing and is on a path to make history in being the first white world heavy weight champion in 60 years.

“The only thing that can stop Bo is Bo,” Farris said.

The second weekend of October, Biggers fought in the National Police Athletic League Championships in Toledo, Ohio.

He said he entered as the favorite, but was knocked out of the tournament in the semi-finals.

Now, he said will turn his attention to preparing for the U.S. National Championships in February.

“He’s just a trouble, a problem for anyone who gets in the ring with him,” Farris said. “He comes to battle. He loves to fight. Seems like it’s in his blood, you know, and he demonstrates that in the ring.”