A Glenville High School student competed in the National Boxing Championships earlier this month. The championships are the official Olympics qualifier for seven unqualified weight classes.
Fred Wilson Jr., 17, traveled with his dad and boxing coach Fred Wilson Sr. to compete in Colorado Springs, Colo., the headquarters of U.S.A. Boxing.
Fred Jr., a 165-pound middleweight, joined almost 100 other fighters in his weight class from Feb. 27 – March 3 at the 2012 U.S.A. National Boxing Championships.
Neighborhood Voice caught up with father and son during practice at the downtown YMCA days before their trip.
“Since I was 8, I’ve always wanted to fight in the Olympics,” said Fred Jr., a high school junior. “I’ve trained hard.”
He works out from 4:30-8 p.m. Monday – Thursday. He starts with warm-ups, moves into “catching hands” or punching his coach’s hands, spars with opponents and then jumps rope. He ends each workout on the speed bag.
His boxing idol is Muhammad Ali because, Fred Jr. said, “He was a heavy weight but he moved like a light weight. He had quick feet and hands and was very strong.”
Fred Jr.’s record is 47-11. He’s knocked out seven opponents.
He said boxing teaches discipline and hard work. His father agreed.
Boxing “actually gives you a fighting chance in life,” Wilson Sr. said. “Boxing teaches you to keep pushing. If you get knocked down, get back up. Those are life lessons. If you get down in life, get up. You don’t quit on yourself, on your family. You got to keep pushing.”
Wilson’s three sons and one daughter all box through his organization Cleveland Inner City Boxing. Wilson trains boxers of all ages. They compete as Team 216 wearing red camouflage uniforms.
As he prepared for the Olympic trials, Fred Jr. said, “I keep telling myself if I win this, I represent my country. This means everything to me.”
By Lila Mills, Neighborhood Voice Editor. Check www.neighborhood-voice.com for the latest on Fred Wilson, Jr.’s experience at the Olympic trials. Click here for more about young boxers from Greater University Circle.