‘Saturday Night Fights’ return to Imhoff School of Boxing

Event on Saturday includes registered amateur boxers at USA Boxing.

HAMILTON — Hundreds of locals are expected to turnout for an amateur Saturday night boxing event in Hamilton, called “Saturday Night Fights.”

“This will be our fourth event. We are hoping to do this on an almost monthly basis,” said Michael Imhoff, owner and coach at Imhoff School of Boxing.

Presented by Imhoff School of Boxing, “Saturday Night Fights” will be at 7 p.m. Saturday. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youth, ages 16 and under. Spectators may purchase tickets online at imhoffschoolofboxing.com or at the door the evening of the event.

“I’m originally from Hamilton, and I know Hamilton has some pretty deep roots with boxing…So, I know there’s an interest there,” Imhoff said.

Previous events were held in January, February and April on Friday nights at The Benison Events & Coworking Center.

“We have five or six boxers at least, right now, who are registered amateur boxers at USA Boxing, and last January, we started putting on amateur boxing events,” Imhoff said.

Sanctioned by USA Boxing, the two-hour event will feature 4-7 bouts with a referee, judges and a ring doctor. For this event, the participating boxers will be male adults. In the future, Imhoff said the events may be expanded to feature women and teens.

“The demand is there, and the interest is there. Boxers want to be able to do this and fans want to be able to watch it. So, we’re just trying to provide a stage for this to happen in a safe and entertaining way,” Imhoff said.

Imhoff, a Certified USA Boxing Coach and a retired school psychologist has decades of boxing experience. He and his longtime friend, Jeff Baker, a two-time national amateur champion and former professional boxer, started boxing in the schools around 2001. In 2005, they started training small groups of boxers. Imhoff School of Boxing was founded around 2015. In 2018, the business partnered with Elite Performance & Wellness and started offering classes out of the facility at 190 N. Brookwood.

Imhoff and Baker still work together to train boxers – Men, women and children. Last spring, Imhoff School of Boxing trained more than 70 boxers. Local moms have also taken and interest in the sport. The business is largely promoted by word of mouth.

“The idea gets out there that boxing is a good thing. People learn that it’s not about promoting violence, where people are bashing each other’s brains out. It’s not about that. Most people are not interested in the competition. They just want to have a sense of being able to defend themselves when they need to, and to teach their children to be able to defend themselves, if necessary,” Imhoff said.

Imhoff School of Boxing provides one-on-one coaching or instruction for boxers. Those who are interested can schedule a training session online. There aren’t any contracts or membership fees. The cost is $20 for a training session. Participants can decide when and how often they come in for training.

Imhoff School of Boxing has continued to grow. The school effectively teaches boxing techniques and skills, but they also educate participants about the value of self-confidence, and how to protect themselves. Only a handful of people who train at Imhoff School of Boxing spar. (A spar in boxing is to fight using light blows or to make motions of defense.)

‘We’ve been able to offer the community a high-quality product. We learned to box from professionals. This is good boxing. Secondly, we offer a good community of people, and thirdly, we’ve done a good job of helping kids, boys and girls, deal with bullies. It’s amazing how effective it is. That’s huge. There’s a lot of bullying that goes on in our culture, not only at schools, but at work,” Imhoff said.

Once people learn self-assertiveness, they are confident enough to take care of themselves, he said, and they can convey that non-verbally.

“It’s how they carry themselves and it changes everything for them. We’re proud of that,” Imhoff said.

There are also benefits of the workout itself, including conditioning, cardio and strength training, he said. The training also helps with the treatment of psychological issues such as anxiety and depression.

“Probably what we provide that’s unique and most striking to many people is a sense of empowerment. It’s the ability to know that you can defend yourself, whether it’s in the boxing ring or on the street, and we teach people how to do that in both places,” Imhoff said.

The boxing training tends to offer participants protection from people who are aggressive, or people who are bullies, Imhoff explained. If a person makes eye contact, or lets a bully know they are not intimidated, the bully will move on.

Imhoff School of Boxing teaches people they don’t have to be afraid and that they can take care of themselves, and they learn how to back somebody down. Imhoff said, “It works.”

“It really changes people’s worldview. Now, they are not worried, anxious, or afraid of a confrontation. They know how to manage confrontations, how to avoid them, and protect themselves, and if they need to, they know how to stop someone from physically harming them. And that’s important to a lot of people, women, children and men. They all get a sense of ‘I can take care of myself now,’ and that’s profoundly important to people,” Imhoff said.

Imhoff School of Boxing also teaches adaptive boxing and has started a nonprofit called The Iris Project. The Iris Project provides adaptive boxing lessons to those with physical, emotional, social disabilities. The experience provides participants with a fun, hands-on experience, while boosting confidence.

“If someone wants to box and there’s some kind of barrier to it, we will do everything we can to adapt the boxing, so they are comfortable coming in to box,” said Imhoff.

Overall, he said, most people want the training and conditioning, and they desire to be a part of a boxing community.

“We have a lot of good people that are part of our community, including boxers and coaches,” Imhoff said.

How to go

What: “Saturday Night Fights” presented by Imhoff School of Boxing

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday; doors open at 6 p.m.

Where: 190 N. Brookwood Ave., Hamilton

Cost: Tickets are $15 for adults or $10 for youth ages 16 and under. Tickets are available online or at the door.

More info: www.imhoffschoolofboxing.com. Donations will be accepted to support The Iris Project.

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