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Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. A world champion wrestler, now a champion for Christ. Once the Russian nightmare, now the devil's worst nightmare. And your tag team partner, Nikita Kolov. It's time to man up. Well, welcome back to another edition of It's Time to Man Up.
With Nikita Kolov, once the Russian nightmare, now the devil's nightmare. And man, do I have a special guest on the show today. This man is a boxing legend.
I'm talking about, he's accomplished so many things, it would take about 10 shows really to cover it all. But that said today, Homer Lee Gibbons, welcome to It's Time to Man Up. Well, thank you very much, sir. I'm greatly appreciative. Well, I appreciate you setting aside some time and just giving us an opportunity to hear a little bit about your story. Homer, let's just kind of jump in on this for our listeners. Give us a little back story, a little backdrop on who Homer Lee Gibbons is. Where did you grow up? Tell us a little bit about that.
All right. Well, I grew up here in Atlanta, Georgia. You guys are basically the reason I'm in boxing. You know, I grew up watching wrestling.
Loved it. Yeah. And as a six-year-old kid, I wanted to try everything that you guys did in the ring. Did you hurt anybody, Homer? You didn't hurt anybody, did you? No. The brain buster was moving out. You got on the top ring rope, you jumped off, sailed through the air, headbutted Hoover on the mat. Oh, I think that was A.R.
Anderson's move, maybe. Yeah, the brain buster. Okay.
The brain buster. And I saw my dad come home from doing construction, laying on the floor, and I'm like, oh, it's the perfect time. No. What'd you do? I got on the back of the couch.
I sailed through the air. I headbutted him. He's like, oh, oh. And he got up, and that was a Tuesday. And he said, he told my mom, he said, I'm taking him to the gym tomorrow. I'm going to get his butt whooped, and he's going to teach him how to box, and he'll get out of this craziness.
That was in 1976, and I fought from 1976 as an amateur to 1990, and then went professional under my friend Evander Holyfield, and from 90 to 2007, fought professional. Well, we're going to get into that. Hold off on telling us any more stories that circle around that, because we will cover that.
I'm excited to talk about all of that. So you're a wrestling fan, or as they say in the South, a wrestling fan, right? I'm a wrestling fan, and I love you, wrestlers.
So you're in Atlanta. I mean, that was the mecca for a long time with Ole Anderson and Georgia Championship Wrestling, and so many legendary guys there. Tommy Rich and Wildfire, Tommy Rich.
Who are some other guys you maybe remember from back in those days? Ric Flair. You wrestled Sting here in Atlanta, and I cheered for you the whole entire time. Did I win? Did I win? Tell me I won. I hope I won.
I can't remember if you won or not. All I know is the lady got up from her seat and told me to stop cheering for you or Sting was going to beat you if she poured a beer on me. No, she did not. Oh, she threatened to.
She threatened to. Stop cheering for the Russian, or I'm going to pour a beer on you. That is hilarious, Homer. Did you stop, or did you keep cheering for me? Oh, I cheered louder. You cheered louder. I love it.
I love it. Was that at the Omni, I wonder? Yeah? Yes, yes, at the Omni. The Omni in Atlanta. I know that place is no longer there, but man, there is a lot of classic matches back there in those times. Anybody else you remember from back in those early days? Gene Ollie Anderson, Tommy Wildfire Rich actually lives here in Griffin, not far from where I live now. I was trying to think, you know, the Junkyard Dog.
JYD, yeah. How about Buzz Sawyer? Remember Buzz Sawyer?
Buzz Sawyer. Yeah, remember that name? Mr. Wrestling, number two with the Tom McNeely list. Mr. Wrestling, and then you know who made really their debut there was a couple guys with some pretty rad haircuts and a little paint on their face. Any idea who I'm referring to? The Ultimate Warriors.
Well, you got half of it right. The Warriors. Road. The Road Warriors. The Road Warriors. The Legion of Doom, right? The Road Warriors.
Yes, sir. They actually debuted there in Georgia Championship Wrestling before they went on to win just about every accolade in tag team wrestling that you could win. So you grew up in there in the Atlanta area. Brothers and sisters? Yeah, I've got a younger brother and a younger sister now.
They're eight years apart from me and my brother and then 15 before my sister came along. Okay. It's kind of a different, you know, my parents after having me said, we have to wait a while. Well, I guess so.
If you're doing flying head butts off the couch and I mean, yeah, I can see why they're like, hey, let's chill for a while here before we have any more children. But well, that's amazing. So you grew up in Atlanta and, you know, you grew up a wrestling fan and so outside of the boxing ring, and we're going to get to that. We're going to get to your boxing story because that's such a highlight. But you've accomplished quite a few things outside of the boxing ring. I was looking at some of your accomplishments when I was preparing to chat with you.
Homer, let's go back to high school where you were an accomplished artist who won the National Art Symposium in the 11th grade in 1988. What's that all about? Tell me about that. Tell us about that. You know, God blessed me with good hands.
Okay. I've always been a dramatic. I had a flair for that. I love the arts. I could draw and paint. Of course, my mom, she's like, you can't say you draw that. You know, you have to say you traced it.
I didn't trace it. I drew it. Wow. No, you can't say you can't draw like that because I was drawing, you know, portraits of people when I was 8, 9, 10 years old. Wow. I mean, like I say, God just gave me a gift to be an artist.
Now, the thing that God has done throughout my entire life is he gave me an asset, but at the same time gave me a handicap that would cause me to be humble. Okay. As an artist, I'm also colorblind.
Okay. So some of the stuff that I've done has been off a little bit, according to other people, and they're like, well, why did you shade that? Well, it's black and white.
Yeah. They're like, no, you see how you have that red right there? It's like, there's no red in there.
It's just black and white. Well, the National Arts Symposium, I won that in 11th grade by doing a clay sculpture of a man, a veteran, and it looked real. Right before we went to competition, I put some baby oil on my hands and touched the face and made it look like real skin because we have an oily content to our skin. Wow. And people were standing at the University of Georgia where the competition was, and they were trying to talk to my statue like, hey, one of your grandchildren got something here? And we sat over there laughing because, you know, that was my art piece. They thought it was that real, that people were talking to the clay statue. Yeah, it was crazy.
That is crazy. But hold on, you're doing it like eight, nine, ten years old. You're exploring and displaying your God-given gifts, and your mom's like not believing you. She's like, hey, you can't do it.
Like, right? Did she eventually like see, like stand and watch over your shoulder? Yes, she stood there and watched me draw, you know, and draw a picture from a little, you know, a little snapshot, and I drew the picture, and she's like, oh. And my children, you know, it's funny because my son is very talented with drawing.
Okay. Well, my son and my daughter both are very talented with drawing. All my kids have artistic ability, and it's amazing to watch them create and just to do things. And it's like, wow, you know, I don't know how great is God to let me pass that along to them.
And then their mom, of course, is a great artist as well. Wow. So it's in the family tree.
It's in the blood. Oh, yes, sir. That's amazing. Now, Homer, how many children do you have? I have a total of seven. Seven. Okay. My oldest is 29 and my youngest is four.
All right. How many boys? How many girls? Two boys and five girls. Two boys and five girls.
Now you know why I box. You got to feed all those kiddos. So from 29 to four, right? Yes, sir. Wow.
Okay. We so appreciate our listeners. If you will support this program with a financial gift of any amount, I will send you a personalized copy of my latest book, Nikita, A Tale of the Ring and Redemption. Go to Kolov.net. That's Kolov.net. Kolov.net. And make your contribution today. Nikita Kolov here.
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Kind of a coping mechanism, right? Yes, sir. Yes. Okay. Where some people might journal, you're writing poems, and do you have a short poem to share with our listeners today, Homer?
I don't have anything. Oh! Sorry about that.
No worries. They'll just have to go and our listeners have to go Google, Homer Lee Givens published poems. I put you on the spot. I should have prepared you ahead of time and said, hey, give us an example of one of the poems you wrote.
But that's all right. So you're using your hands, you're writing poetry, you're sculpting your artistry with paints and drawings and those sorts of things. So you're quite accomplished with that. But then you've also done some acting, Homer.
Yes, sir. I was big into drama when I was in school. More arts. More arts.
More of the arts. Everybody thought I was going to go on to be a part of Saturday Night Laugh or something like that. No one thought I was going to go on to be a boxer. I mean, everybody thought that. I mean, I've always been a very quiet, very nice guy. And so them seeing me outside that side of me, the artist, seeing me being a boxer, no one could actually see that.
It's crazy. So you're really kind of throwing people off here by all these other things. What was a highlight of your acting career, would you say?
Is there like a highlight? Well, I mean, I've done small projects. I would love to do more stuff, but it's one of those things where everything is biting for your time. And the more that you put into this, then you take away from something else. And I just really don't want to be, I mean, my kids are growing up way too fast. All of a sudden, I look and, you know, 1-15, and I'm going, what?
Where has the time gone? So I really put down on the back burner, thinking when I get older, maybe I can do it. If the opportunity is available, I still do some small stuff. But I mean, I just love being a dad too much. Yeah, well, with a four-year-old running around, I, yeah. So you just, you love, so you're a family man, you love spending time with those children.
Yes, sir. What are some of your, share a memory or two that you've done with some of the kids? Well, I mean, every year up until this last year with COVID, we would go on mission trips for our children every summer.
Okay. And we take other, you know, we take other students, my kids were, I mean, my wife, when she was pregnant with our now 15-year-old, one summer we were down in Savannah where it's hot as all get out, and we're putting roofs on houses. So our kids are born into knowing that we serve.
That's part of what we do, that's part of our DNA. And it's just funny now because my children, we work at a hospice together. They come and help me out at the hospice. I just, we're doing it as a ministry. And I say it's great knowing that my kids can be a part of the things that I'm a part of. Well, I tell you what, those are some great memories for them to reflect back on in their older years. You know, they got to go on mission trips with dad and make a difference for other people, right?
For not just themselves, but for other people. And any idea how many mission trips you've been on approximately or? I've been on at least one per year since 1996.
Wow. Do you have a favorite place you've gone to? We went to Alaska, which was really cool. Me and my wife, when we first got married, we went over to Romania. And I'm still friends with a number of the guys that I met over in Romania. And watching them grow up, and now I have children. And it's just like, I mean, it's funny because of the internet, now we can actually talk and video chat one another. And they're a world away. So it's really cool. It's pretty amazing, isn't it? So you've built these relationships that really, people have become like family. And you're going on these, have most of the mission trips been like building type projects?
Is that what most of them have been? Some of the stuff was building projects, some of the stuff, when we went over to Romania, we were teaching English. Okay. And that was our end, and we were using the Bible to teach it.
Because they didn't really want you teaching the Bible. Right. But we used the Bible to teach the English. And it's just amazing. Like say, I never felt more like Jesus walking the streets of Romania and having kids chase me. And then over there, they have gypsies.
Right. And man, it's like the gypsy kids would, because I hugged them. I hugged them and loved on them. And that's why I got kind of irritated with some of the Romanian people. And I said, when do the gypsy kids get to see love? Because they're out here begging for change. Right. You don't want to give it to them. Right. They go back to their parents because, oh, I witnessed it.
They don't have any change to say that they produced anything for the family. They get smacked. I said, when do they get to see love? Yeah. Yeah. And then once I started hugging on one or two of them, next thing you know, I had like 10 or 15 of them chase me down the street. I was going to say, you probably had about a hundred. So the Bible was your textbook to teach them to read English. How innovative that was. Great job. That's amazing. And of course, what you just really explained too is, you know, Jesus was the ultimate role model for servitude.
Right. He washed the feet of the disciples and certainly all those that he prayed for and saw that were healed. And so pretty amazing. Homer, give us a brief insight into how'd you come to faith? Like what was it? Did you grow up in church? Did you, was there a kind of like for me, there was an aha moment, but when was that for you?
What that looked like for you? Well, I had grown up, my parents didn't go to church. Okay. Now there was a bus that came through our neighborhood and pick kids up and take them to church.
Okay. And my mom said, you be on the bus because she needed a couple hours without me in the house. So I started going to church. Now I remember when I went to church, the guy said, would you like to continue to go into the church? I need you to get baptized. So I got baptized when I was six years old, but that's not when I came to faith.
Okay. It wasn't until I was 18 and I was at this church and just, I felt the conviction and I felt that, hey, if I die tonight, I can't say honestly that God would let me. And he just, big conviction came over my heart and I sit there and I don't cry in front of people. I mean, that's just, it's not the way I do things.
It's not the way men do things. And here I was just weaving like crazy because I knew that I was held down and I went down to surrender my life. And I wish I could say that when I raised my head up, everything changed. The truth is, is that it is a growing experience. You grow, you learn, you fall, you get up and you just continue to walk forward.
And I like to say it this way. I mean, salvation is both instantaneous and progressive. And what I mean by that is that moment you, when we make that decision, like you're listening out there and you've never made that decision.
It's just a decision of the heart. You believe in the heart that Jesus is who he said he was, that he is the son of God and he lived, he died, sacrificed, crucified on a cross and rose again, lives at the right hand of the father. And you believe that and then confess that, that instantly, instantly the Bible says we're saved. But then as Homer's kind of alluding to, then there's the process of what we call, so that's salvation. And Homer, what I hear you talking about is sanctification. Now, Paul said this, he said this way, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. So the rest of our life we spend on this earth working that out into our mind, our will, our emotions, right? And just becoming more and more like Jesus every day. So I hear what you're saying when you say it. I wish you could say it was all, you know, just bam, everything changed. But yeah, that makes sense.
That's awesome. Well, you know, sometimes, like even now, like I'll question my salvation because I'm like, even though I've read the Bible and where Paul says, I do the things I don't want to do and I don't do the things I want to do. And I know that, you know, head knowledge. Right. My heart is like, Jesus, I mean, if I'm really, you know, if I'm really yours, why would I want to act like this?
Why would I allow somebody to push me to this point? And then, you know, but like I say, it's a work of salvation. It's a work of sanctification.
Right. God is working in my life. It depends on who you talk to. And that's why I tell people all the time, I say it depends on, I say I could be the nicest person you ever want to meet. And then again, you do something to my children or my wife, you're probably not going to like me.
Well, and it's your role as a father to protect your wife and children. So we totally understand that, but that's what I'm saying. You know, sanctification, the process of sanctification is we are all a work in progress. I like what, I like what Billy Graham, Reverend Billy Graham's wife, Ruth, has on her, I guess, tombstone epitaph, whatever you call it. But it says this, it says, oh, I just had a flashback. It says, end of construction, thank you for your patience. You like that? Yeah. End of construction, thank you for your patience. So, you know, just showing that, you know, hey, we're all under construction, we're all subject to, you know, to stumble and fall.
But Scripture says this too, that a righteous man, right, that a righteous man, even though he stumbles and falls, will get up again. So that's the good news, Homer, no matter how much we may potentially mess up, right? Yes, sir. Well, you know, and I appreciate you sharing some of that story. You know, one last note here, and we're almost out of time. We're going to segue here.
We're going to do a part two with you because we've got to get to your boxing stories and hear a little bit about that career as well. But, you know, remind me of a dear friend Lex Luger, probably remember that name. Remember that name? Oh, yeah, Lex Luger.
The total package. He had a gym here. He did, main event for many years. Him and Sting had a gym there.
Yes, sir. But he grew up similar, similar way in that his dad said, you know, men don't cry. You know, if I see a tear coming down your cheek, you know, I'm going to whip you into shape, you know, so to speak. And then the day of his salvation, which was actually right there in Atlanta, you know, he was like, like you just said, he was weeping like a baby and he couldn't stop crying. He was apologizing to Pastor Steve, Chaplain Steve, and Steve's like, Lex, those are just cleansing tears. No apology is needed. And so I appreciate you sharing some of that story.
And for our listeners out there, just know this. There are no perfect people. There are no perfect people. We're all flawed. I mean, we're all broken vessels. And that's the beauty of God because he gets to put us back together again.
And then day by day by day, as we grow and mature in our walk with him, you know, he knocks off the rough edges like Homer's referring to and continues to mold and shape us into the image of Jesus. Homer, I've got a surprise for you. You ready for a surprise before we close? Yes, sir. I found this. I found this.
See if this rings a bell. It's entitled, I Love You. I never wanted to fall like this, listening to your every word waiting to be kissed, opening up my eyes, looking for any kind of sign. Virtuous young love, could I really make you mine. Everything you want, I would try to be. You're so beautiful you could be everything to me.
Optimistic I must be to believe you could feel like this. Unguarded is my heart to you every time we kiss. Yeah, that was to my wife. There you go. Well, you know what, Homer? We're going to end on that note and we're going to bring you back for part two. And folks, thanks for tuning in to the Homer Lee Gibbons Jr. Boxing Champion and we're going to come back in another show and talk about his boxing career and just more of the life of Homer Lee Gibbons Jr.
So thanks for dialing in. It's time to man up and we'll see you again next week. Men, I would like to challenge each of you to consider spending five days with Lex Luger and I at Man Camp, pursuing the heart of God. Ladies, if you're listening, we'll send your men home better equipped to be men of God, godly husbands and godly fathers. That appeals to you. Give them your blessing and encourage them to sign up today at mancamp.info. Pastors, if you would like to bring Koloff for Christ Ministries and Man Up Conference to your community, go to koloff.org and email me.
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