Boxer Eddie Oakes Turns Injury Into Opportunity
By JULIE WENGER WATSON
After close to a decade on the rugby field, Eddie Oakes knows a thing or two about the downside of contact sports. In fact, it was a torn from a match in Memphis that first landed this 30-year old Tulsan in the boxing gym three years ago. What started out as a way to rehabilitate his knee post surgery has now turned into a serious pursuit of the “sweet science.”
“I’d always loved boxing since I was a kid, but I’d never really participated in the sport,” Oakes recalls. “After I tore my , it was my opportunity to get into something different. I wanted to try my hand at it and see where it took me. Once I started sparring, I fell in love with it.”
Oakes is currently preparing for an amateur fight on Nov. 17 at Greenwood Cultural Center in downtown Tulsa. On top of his full-time job as a building engineer, Oakes trains at the Engine Room Boxing Gym in the Pearl District six days a week. Soon, he’ll be adding an early morning run into the mix in anticipation of his upcoming match.
“I’ve always loved physical sports, and I really love the mental aspect of boxing,” he explains. “The biggest thing to me is when you’re in the ring, and you’re hurting or exhausted – or both – and your body is telling you to quit and your mind is telling you to quit, but you just keep going. It’s a great feeling, just the mental fortitude it takes to be able to compete in a sport like boxing.”
While Oakes isn’t sure where the sport will lead him, for now, he’s taking it one fight at a time.
“I was almost 28 years old when I first walked into the gym,” he says. “I never really had any expectations of fighting for a world title or anything like that. I just wanted to see how far I could take it and how well I could do with it. My whole goal behind it was to gain a better understanding of the sport.”
Engine Room Fight Night V
Friday, Nov. 17. Doors at 5 p.m. Fights begin at 6 p.m.
Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood Ave.