Success is not instantaneous, sometimes those who wish to obtain it through years of hard work often start on a weak note. They can gain their true strengths. This is a key lesson 19-year-old Aanjhrue Williams learned throughout his journey in boxing.
An alumnus of the FLC class of 2018, Williams has earned a great reputation for his fighting skills. He has been honing his skills for years at the Rock Ministries Gym, a church and boxing gym under the EL on Kensington and Somerset street. Established in 2003, rock ministries provides young boxers like Williams with not only the opportunity to build up an impressive style and work ethic, but also serves as a launchpad for his upcoming career as a professional boxer.
Boxing since he was 12, the now 19-year-old Williams has fought a total of 52 fights, winning 37 of them. He is about to go pro for his team at the Rock and has been working towards getting publicity from his pro debut.
Williams’ humble beginnings started as him trying to protect himself in a new environment.
“I grew up with six brothers, so my five older brothers—I’m number six—always told me, ‘Oh, you’re gonna get bullied when you go to middle school’,” Williams said.
What started as a need to learn how to fight became a skill that would later go on to define Williams during his middle and high school days.
“I ended up falling in love with the sport. So I kept going ever since and I haven’t stopped since the fifth grade,” he added.
Being influenced by boxing giants such as Roy Jones with his amazing footwork and Pernell Whitaker’s brilliant defense, Williams slowly but surely grew into the professional style which helped him earn his 37 wins. Williams discovered the Rock around the same time he started boxing. With an affinity for working out and exercising, Williams easily took to during training in his early days.
Williams reminisced on the past, saying, “When it came to gym class and playing sports with my friends, I was one of the more energetic people, so whenever it came to the training I enjoyed it.”
Williams fell in love with the sport of boxing when he first started sparing at his gym with weak results, and in spite of his rocky start, he continued pushing until he mastered his craft.
“It was something.” He confessed, “I don’t know what it was, but it was definitely something that kept me in the sport and I ended up becoming a lot better at it.”
Going into boxing, Williams admits he was timider compared to today.
“I used to be a counter-puncher. I would lay back and fight off the energy someone gave me,” he said.
Like most boxers who are hungry for becoming a master of their craft, he had plenty of motivating factors that make his rise as a boxer something worth seeing through until the end.
“I already have so much time, that if I stop now, then all my time invested is a waste,” Williams said. “I’m going to take this sport as far as I can.”
His motivation and hard work eventually paid off to the point that his timidness went extinct and he now takes control of his fights. “
“Today I am more so the facilitator…what I want to do in the ring, that’s what I’m going to do,” he stated, “if I want to start using my jab, or if I want to brawl, I can pretty much manipulate the other fighter and get him to fight my style.”
In the upcoming future, Williams is planning on taking his talents beyond the Rock to becoming a world champ.
“As a pro fighter, I need a world title, of course…then after that, I’ll pursue the other belts to become the undisputed champ.”
He also has his eyes on going pro for his weight class (126-122 LB) and to obtain a world title.
“I know for sure that when I get the platform that I’m gonna get, I have a lot of messages to relay and a lot of influences amongst the community that I have to pursue,” explained Williams.
For young aspiring boxers out there who wants to move up the ranks in the sport, Williams says, “definitely stay patient”
“Boxing is not overnight, it’s a craft.” Williams said “Nobody has ever learned the sport overnight. People will learn it faster than others, but you have to be patient because your style might take a little longer to develop than someone else’s style.”
Especially when it comes down to this tough sport, Williams stresses
“Patience is everything, especially when it comes to learning a new move, or sparring a different style, or studying a defense technique,” Williams said. “Boxing comes with patience. The experience will give you everything that you’ll need if you take your time.”