Meet Caleb Grummet, assistant wrestling coach for Olivet College, former wrestler and teacher of physical fitness, and a nationally televised boxer.
Grummet, the 31-year-old assistant wrestling coach at Olivet College, was featured on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana Pay-Per-View bout against undefeated Andrew Tabiti (8-0) Sept. 13.
From fighter to coach, and back again
“I had been retired for about a year,” Grummet said about his call-in for the fight. “I was still active in fighting, but I had taken more of the element as a coach – just because of my time constraints. I’m a student, father, coach – it’s just a lot.”
Grummet had to lose 30 pounds for his fight against Tabiti – in only six days. In a sport where a boxer must train seven days a week – according to Grummet – the weight loss was extreme.
“It’s exciting to get the call to fight, but the weight cut scared me,” said Grummet. “I was 228 and they wanted me at 197. I’ve taken a lot of short-notice fights, but I knew that weight cut was going to be a bear. It was the most amount of weight I’ve lost in that period of time. That was scary.”
Teaching players about commitment
But Grummet didn’t lose the weight just for himself. Instead, he took advantage of his situation as a way to reach out to his players.
“Making that commitment was going to tell a lot to our athletes,” he said. “Never give up the fight. Never put in the doubts. Any time you start to see obstacles or doubts, you lose sight of your goal. I had to put what I was saying to the wrestlers in action. It was an exciting thing.”
The student-athletes noticed the work ethic Grummet displayed through his rigorous training.
“Seeing one of my own coaches fighting at the pinnacle of boxing is very inspiring,” said junior Tom Hall, who wrestles for Olivet at 197 pounds. “Grummet always preaches about being tough and working hard and it’s great to see him live by the same standard he holds us to.”
A nationally televised fight
The Pay-Per-View fight wasn’t the only time Grummet has been featured on national television. He’s also been featured on Showtime and ESPN, accruing a career record of 4-4-1 in four years of boxing.
Grummet has fought against Olympians, pro football players and Mayweather’s “guys.” He believes other boxers are afraid of his right hook, and says former boxers Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey are the types of boxers he tries to imitate.
“They (opponents) see my cauliflower ears,” Grummet said. “They want to see what this old wrestler can do.”