The Next Ali

By Angela Reyes

Wilmer Francos is a 12-year-old boxer who goes by the nickname of Ali. He is training for his next fight in the NYC Metropolitan Championship and Silver Gloves tournament. He was first inspired to box when he saw Muhammad Ali take on Cleveland Williams. He started training at an early age and goes to the gym every day after school to train with his coach Raymond.

“Ali is very determined to be the next Muhammad Ali,” said Raymond. “He comes from school every day to train seven days a week. He would stay in the boxing gym until closing time which is nine. I have never met someone that determined to become a boxer like him.” Another boxer Ali has been inspired by is Héctor Luís Camacho Matias, aka “Macho Camacho.”

Ali weighs 160 pounds and is middleweight class. He is capable of fighting in two different stances in boxing called orthodox and southpaw. According to Expert Boxing, in the orthodox stance, the boxer puts his left foot in front of the right, putting his weaker side closer to the opponent. In contrast, in the southpaw stance the boxer puts his right hand and right foot first, driving right jabs followed by a left cross right hook. In boxing it is rare for a fighter to use both stances, which makes Ali a threat.

Ali has been sparring a lot at Morris Park Boxing gym, going rounds with another amateur boxer. He lives by Muhammad Ali most famous saying “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.” As Ali dances around the ring, he does Muhammad Ali’s footwork, running in place as he gets hyped up to fight. Muhammad Ali was different from most fighters, he would keep his knees straight while other fighters bend their knees when they move around the ring. Wilmer Francos mimics Muhammad Ali’s fight stance.

Sparring is a way for Ali to train, work out and box without landing any heavy blows. He can move smoothly in the ring as he works on defense dodging each punch thrown at him. He has mastered the art of jumping rope, which helps him with his balance. His technique of jump rope is different from many young fighters. The jump rope flew in the air while Ali did knee highs. Most amateur fighters stick to the basics of jumping rope, playing it safe. Ali is aggressive with the punching bag, showing his strength and dedication to his craft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *