Brian McIntire simply loves to compete.
He’s been everything from a high school standout athlete to a First Team college football All-American. After that it was arena football for six years, helping the Sioux Falls Storm win four championships. But when a serious knee injury sidelined him in 2011, it was time to retire.
Sit down? Step away from competition? Hardly.
In 2012 he began looking for something to help him stay in shape and boxing caught his eye. It wasn’t long before the activity became something more. It was a chance to get back in the game.
“My first fight in 2014 was at the Golden Gloves and I won as a novice fighter,” said McIntire.
He went on to win more Golden Gloves titles, including one this month in the Open Division finals. His win at the 2017 Iowa Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament, held at the Val Air Ballroom in Des Moines April 15, has qualified him for the National Golden Gloves in Lafayette, La., May 1-6. Winners from every state which holds a Golden Gloves competition are invited to attend. McIntire will compete in the Under 201 pound class, open to those 179 to 201 pounds.
Despite his limited formal fight experience, McIntire, who is now 34 years of age, is considered among the favorites to win a title.
“The person who has beat me the most— at the Golden Gloves and the Ringside National Tournament, was rated number three in the nation and he is now a pro. Last year I finished second to him at Ringside,” he said. “I guess I have a puncher’s chance.”
In preparation for the national bout, McIntire is continuing to train at the Elite Boxing Academy in Mason City three times a week and traveling to Waterloo, Iowa once weekly to spar with Greg Sykes, a professional boxer and fellow Golden Gloves title holder. He also helps in his alma mater’s weight room four times a week, inspiring Clear Lake student-athletes to dedicate themselves to being the best they can be.
“I’m a bit nervous,” McIntire admits while looking ahead to the National Golden Gloves Tournament. “I’ve really only had 15 fights. Iowa is not a very big boxing state and I’ve had to go a ways to look for some club fights.”
But those who know McIntire know he will be ready.
He’s a competitor.