KENNETH SIMS JR. AKA "THE BOSSMAN"
Former amateur standout and current WBA Intercontinental Super Lightweight and WBC USNBC Junior Welterweight Champion, Kenneth Sims, Jr., didn’t initially love boxing. His father, Kenneth Sims, Sr., took an eight-year-old Sims to the gym to make sure he would know how to defend himself if needed. He remembers initially disliking the gym (and the sport). However, young Sims soon realized that when he won his fights, he got a trophy and that kept him in the gym throughout the early years.
His lukewarm feelings about the sweet science continued through much of his childhood until he truly hit his stride in the sport, around the time he turned 16. Sims began testing out the open division where he would be facing off against grown men. He quickly saw he belonged, winning the National PAL Championships, an Olympic Trials Qualifier at that time. Sims would go on to compete in the 2012 Olympic Trials where he lost a one-point decision to eventual Olympian and future world champion Jose Ramirez.
The 18-year-old Sims made the decision to remain amateur following the 2012 Olympic Trials and won the 2013 U.S. National Championships to earn a spot on the USA Boxing national team. He was soon traveling the world with his teammates, visiting locations such as Ukraine, Ireland, Chile and Puerto Rico, culminating with an appearance in the 2013 World Championships in Kazakhstan.
Ultimately, Sims determined that the right path for him was to join the paid ranks as a professional fighter in 2014. He made his pro debut in March of 2014 and reeled off 12 victories before running in to some challenges in his boxing career. Resulting in two losses and a draw.
Following his second loss, Sims and his team did some serious reflection to determine what was causing his challenges. While he admits that no athlete wants to lose, he acknowledges that his losses were beneficial as he and his team learned a great deal and ultimately made the changes he needed to turn his career around and hit his stride again.
One of the biggest elements was health related. Sims had previously been diagnosed with the sickle cell trait but didn’t realize how impactful it had been on his training and fights. In 2018, Sims and his team researched the condition and made significant nutritional changes during training camp and his rehydration to ensure that he would be able to train and perform at the highest levels.
He also made a key addition to his training, bringing on 2016 Olympic coach and highly regarded professional trainer Kay Koroma. The two had known each other previously, but Sims officially added him to his team after he got the chance to train with him for a short period in Virginia.
It was important to Sims to treat his career as professionally as possible, and this coaching addition was the final piece to the puzzle. The two began training together in late 2018 and Sims traveled to Koroma’s various locations in Colorado Springs, Houston, and Las Vegas ahead of his fights. He has rolled off six straight victories since making those changes.
Sims’ breakout performance came against the previously undefeated prospect Elvis Rodriguez. He had been offered the fight before, but only on super short notice. Now with ample time for a proper training camp, Team Bossman accepted the bout. Sims, his father, and Koroma honed in on the perfect game plan to pull the upset. Sims recalls seeing the +1200 betting odds on the fight in Las Vegas and understandably viewed it as disrespect. The bout took place on May 22, 2021, and Sims capitalized on the moment he’d been waiting for, outboxing Rodriguez on his way to a majority decision.
The upset win was huge for Team Bossman and their confidence reaffirmed what Sims and his team believed he was capable of. The win awarded him with his first professional belt, the WBC USNBC Junior Welterweight Championship.
Sims says that the Rodriguez fight put him in a zone that he hasn’t felt before as a professional fighter, and he has remained in that zone since then. He scored a TKO victory over Cristian Ruben Mino in his last fight in August 2022 and notes that while he is not known as a power puncher, sitting down on his punches is something that he has been working on. Stylistically, he views himself as a “thinking” boxer and says that his opponents rarely rush in on him anymore so his efforts on increasing his power are working. Sims was awarded his second belt, the WBA Intercontinental Super Lightweight Championship Belt.
As he looks toward the future, Sims plans to continue to rise through the rankings and position himself for a title shot at the 140-pound weight division. He knows that opponents will likely have to be forced to fight him and plans to capitalize on every opportunity he is given. He believes the world has yet to see the best Kenneth Sims, Jr., and can’t wait to shine on the biggest stage. Sims plans to return to the ring in December and close out the year in style.
Outside the ring, Sims and his fiancé Jailyn live in the Chicago area with their one-year-old daughter Nova. They are expecting a baby boy in late February. Sims has loved every second of being a father and says that it provides a whole new motivation to be successful so he can provide for his growing family.