OLYMPICS: KWWL's Rick Coleman takes on boxing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

OLYMPICS: KWWL's Rick Coleman takes on boxing

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

As part of an Olympic challenge to the KWWL anchors, Sports Director Rick Coleman looked to a local boxing expert to get a lesson in the ring.

Boxing came relatively late to Waterloo's Greg Sykes who took up the sport at 19. A cousin persuaded Greg to come with him to the Cedar Valley Boxing gym on East 4th Street. After a couple of visits, Sykes became hooked. He discovered boxing is more than punching someone's lights out - it's a thinking man's game.

"When I came down and learned how to box it was totally different than what I expected. Boxing is totally different than fighting," Sykes said. "When people see two guys in a ring with gloves and trying to punch each other they see it as a fight."

"It's so much more than that. It's so much more than physical. It's more of a mental, getting somebody in the right position to where you want to hit him, sucking them in and setting traps, it's more mental to me than a physical thing."

During his eight year amateur career, Greg Sykes had a lot of success; winning State Amateur titles and competing in the National Golden Gloves. While he has scored his share of knockouts, Greg's greatest assets in the ring are his boxing skills, his ability to avoid punches and his excellent physical conditioning.

And then came the moment of truth, as Rick put on the head gear and climbed into the ring with Sykes for a light sparring session.

It was Rick's first time in a ring, and he said Greg Sykes' experience was overwhelming. Even in this light sparring session he was a man with a plan, while Rick was simply looking to survive.

Rick made it five minutes in the ring with Sykes before calling it a day.

In June, Greg Sykes gave up on his Olympic Dream when he turned pro and won his first fight by knockout. But he says the dream is still alive.

"I want to be a world champion. I want to get a couple more fights in the Midwest or Iowa to build a fan base, then go to bigger cities and do bigger things," said Sykes.

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