Clinton Magazine Fall 2022 | Page 11

decision based on the desire to challenge himself , a deep love of competition , and to prove wrong those who doubted that he could do it .
Castro ’ s opponent outweighed him by about 100 pounds .
“ It happened when I was boxing a 275-pound guy ,” Castro recalls , “ and he was getting the worst of it , but I was eating some too , and that ’ s when I learned just because I can fight a 275-pound guy doesn ’ t mean I should .”
He won the match by majority decision , but was told he ’ d never fight again , “ and that ’ s a big blow to me , you know ? There were some tears that day .”
Surgical reattachment was successful , however , and Castro did not lose all vision in the eye . His doctor told him to be careful , and even with the fact that the injury happening once makes it more susceptible to happening twice , Castro
Photos : Above : Jeremy Castro receives a hug from his father after his match . Submitted Photo . Left : Jeremy Castro raises his arms after winning an MMA match . YouTube was back in the boxing ring for his most recent match seven months late in April of 2022 . There , in Dubuque , Castro fans vocalized their enthusiastic support of him , making it a significant moment in Castro ’ s career .
Castro now works at West Carroll Middle School in Illinois as a Student Services advisor , a sort of counselor to the students there . A lot of his time is spent talking with them , They love to see the championship belts he has up in his room .
He ’ s also taught cardio kickboxing classes at the Iron Horse Fitness Club in Clinton on Saturday mornings for the past three years , a venture that initially made him deeply nervous .
“ I ’ m an MMA fighter ,” he says . “ I think I ’ m pretty well-rounded out , but I came up as a wrestler . I wasn ’ t confident that I could teach people to kickbox .”
The students he ’ s taught in this class , though , came in with no experience whatsoever , and now they train like professionals .
“ It makes me so proud ,” Castro says with a smile .
At 46 years old now , his MMA record boasts 30 wins , six losses , and 25 draws . His new boxing record shows three wins , two losses , and one draw . And he finds fighting to be exhausting and nerve-wracking , in part because of just how much pressure he puts on himself to succeed and put on a great show for everyone .
“ Almost every time ,” he says , “ that day and the night of , I ’ m like , ‘ Why do I do this to myself ?’”
Yet , he ’ s nowhere near ready to give it up .
There ’ s no question he has the ability to compete with fighters in their 30s , but he realizes retirement may be approaching . Still , he ’ s just waiting for the right opportunity to fight again .
Castro did find the right opportunity , recently accepting a fight against Michael Roberts on Aug . 13 at The Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque . Castro said that with such a good opponent and in his favorite place to fight , it was just too good to turn down .
“ I ’ ll be back out there one way or the other ,” he says , “ I ’ m not giving it up yet . I just can ’ t .”
Fall 2022 Clinton Magazine 11