November 20, 2013

Steve Solloway: After Iraq, boxer Jimmy Smith racking up a victory

(Continued from page 1)

At Friday’s weigh-in, Smith told me his daughter would not be at the Portland Expo for only the third fight of his pro career. “She pleaded with me but I told her she couldn’t go.”

He didn’t plan on getting bloodied again but there are few assurances in boxing. She and her little brother, Domenick, 6, would have a baby sitter.

This time Smith had a story to tell them.

“I’ve been pretty grumpy the past few weeks,” said Smith. “I was the hungry-to-win father. The have-to-make-weight father.”

He and his wife bought a house in Biddeford recently. He works at a distribution center in Wells, adjusting to the fact he is no longer responsible for the leadership and safety of 30 fellow Marines. Now he’s a newer hire, the guy who must work on holidays and draw the tasks others may not want.

“That’s OK,” said Smith. He learned a long time ago you have to earn your way.

Monday was the first day of practice for the Biddeford High wrestling team and Smith is its new assistant coach. He didn’t know if any wrestlers were in the big crowd.

A small group did approach former Marine Sgt. Smith at practice. Thank you, they said. Thank you for your service to our country.

Cheers on Saturday, appreciation on Monday. Smith will remember both.

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

ssolloway@pressherald.com

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