Rollins boxer Jesse Uhde made a triumphant return to the boxing ring recently after getting knocked out in November.
Uhde — a 5-foot, 10-inch, 160-pound boxer — won a four-round unanimous decision over Andrew Howk of Kalispell on June 8.
Uhde, 35, fought at 175 pounds. “I wouldn’t normally come up in weight, but I knew who this guy was and I knew I could win,” Uhde said. “I trained with him before. I knew what type of fighter he was.”
Returning to the ring after a knockout was a mental challenge, Uhde said.
Uhde fought at 160 pounds in November and suffered what he called a “pretty devastating” knockout at the hands of Spokane’s Dave Courchaine. It happened in Kalispell with a second to go in the second round. Professional bouts are usually four rounds, Uhde said.
“It wasn’t a typical knockout,” he said. “I was out cold for three minutes. A lot of times it would be a career-ending knockout. I got MRIs and debated whether to come back. I’ve had other concussions, but not that severe.”
Uhde said the Magnetic Resonance Imaging exams revealed no permanent damage.
Uhde is the single father of two daughters, Shawna, 11, and Jessy, 9. He talked to both of them before deciding to fight again. They both were OK with it, he said.
“They spend a lot of time with me when I’m training in the gym, and when I’m running hills in the park,” Uhde said. “I want to be there for them, but at the same time I don’t want to give up on my dreams.
“Even though I’m kind of old for my sport, I feel like I’m in my prime,” he said. “I wasn’t ready to give it up when it’s been my life for 20 years.”
Uhde began boxing as an amateur when he was 15, following in the steps of his father, Scott Uhde, 58.
Uhde fought as an amateur and a semi-professional before turning pro, where he is 3-3. He was 35-4 in semi-professional club boxing and won a regional 150-pound championship in 2003. The regional covers Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
Uhde said his dad didn’t want him to return to the ring after the knockout, but he’s been supportive since Jesse made the decision to come back. “He gets pretty nervous,” Uhde said. Scott boxed for “four or five years” when he was younger so he’s aware of the challenges.
Uhde is scheduled to fight again in Helena in September at 154 pounds.