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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 05 2010

Outside the ropes: Fergus Falls boxer Kolle returns closer to home tonight with better knowledge of business side of sports

The sport is boxing and nobody ever told Andy Kolle it would be easy. Politics, as he has found out, are not reserved for politicians.

The Fergus Falls, Minn., fighter will take the stage tonight at Scheels Arena as part of the undercard for the ShoBox: The New Generation fight card. It’s another step in the 28-year-old’s quest to eventually fight for a world title.

He’s seen all sides of the sport and one of his two losses is proof.

“You really have to play your cards right to get to the top,” he said.

A 2008 bout against Paul Williams in San Jacinto, Calif., was a good lesson. Kolle said he was flown to Los Angeles on Sunday night and got to his hotel at about 1 a.m. Monday.

He was awoken around 5 a.m. and spent the next 13 hours going to a place in Los Angeles for a physical and what he said “was other stuff.”

“They kept us going, we couldn’t get our sleep,” he said. “They really don’t treat you very well. They give you every disadvantage you can possibly think of.”

Disadvantages, he said, like coming into the locker room for the fight and telling him he’ll be on in a half hour. It was only about 10 minutes, leaving him no time to warm up, he said.

“I’m like, ‘Man, you’re killing me here,’” he said earlier this week. “But that’s the way it goes. You know other guys who got to where they are now went through the same thing. Now I’m more prepared for it and more ready for when it comes.”

He’ll be virtually at home tonight. A former North Dakota State student, he currently trains in Duluth, Minn. The event begins at 7 p.m. and the ShowTime network fights hit the air at 10 p.m.

The Kolle-Francisco Osorio junior middleweight fight is expected to start at about 9 p.m.

The 154-pound class is a new weight for Kolle, who previously fought one class up at middleweight. At 6-foot-1, he said dropping the weight is no problem and the extra reach should give him an advantage.

“I just noticed a lot of fighters at middleweight walk around at about 180,” Kolle said. “And I walk around at about 162 and thought I should try and give myself the extra advantage. I’ll maybe sit in a sauna for 20 minutes and make that weight no problem.”

Kolle, 22-2, has won five straight since that first round knockout defeat by Williams. His fight tonight is scheduled for eight rounds.

“I just have to keep winning, especially with this new chapter at 154,” Kolle said. “I think I have a lot better chance to make it.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia