Goodman Sr. paves way for new Patriots Boxing gym

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 10:25 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford has produced some incredible boxers over the last 40 years, but maybe none of them would have accomplished what they did without the help of one man, whose son is now carrying the torch for him.

“If it wasn’t for my dad, I don’t think there would be boxing in Rockford right now.”

The last time Jimmy Goodman Jr. opened up a new gym for Patriots Boxing Club, his father, Jimmy Goodman Sr. was by his side.

But not this time.

His dad passed away in October from kidney failure and Goodman says this latest accomplishment would not be possible without him.

“From when he had it back at his barn, he kept it alive,” said Goodman. “Dad would never agree with that. He’d just smile, but I believe my dad was the backbone of Rockford boxing. He kept it alive.”

Patriots Boxing Club has some humble beginnings.

Long before the original gym was opened on 7th Street, Goodman Sr. was training local athletes at their home.

Goodman Jr. has fond memories of seeing his dad hard at work.

“There wasn’t a time we’d come home and there weren’t guys training at the house because dad allowed them to,” said Goodman. “From there, we opened the gym back up in 2003 when I came back from the military and he gave me the reigns and I took off running with it.”

Patriots Gateway Executive Director Michael Thomas surprised Goodman with a plaque for the new gym, honoring his father.

Goodman says that was never his dad’s style.

“He never wanted any publicity or credit,” said Goodman. “He’s a real humble guy. I know he’d be smiling.”

With Goodman Sr. watching with a smile on his face, he’s getting the credit he so rightly deserves and so are all the volunteers who dedicate their time to Rockford’s young athletes.

“Coming from where we were at from a barn to a little bitty garage, you understand the hard work has really paid off from the team that’s helped put this club together.”

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