By Xavier Porter | Brooklyn, NY | August 12, 2018
Young men need mentors as they grow in life. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word mentor as being a trusted adviser, a guide, a confidante in the sense. For James Wilkins, the young featherweight has two great mentors that are helping him to make the right choices and decision regarding his career.
Working with Wilkins are two of boxing’s best minds, two former champions, who are well respected, both inside and outside of the ring: Roy Jones Jr. and Paul Malignaggi. For Wilkins, he has “the Best of Both Worlds.” He has a good team in place with sponsorships, management, and family support as he works hard towards becoming a world champion.
Wilkins (5-0, 5 KOs) admits that he “loves to fight,” but he recognizes that he cannot fight each opponent in the same fashion.
“I’m a threat to all these fighters. I came up the hard way and I’m still growing. Both Roy Jones and Paul Malignaggi see my potential and the hard work that I put in. I never had any handouts.”
“I can’t stay and trade with people. Boxing is about hitting and not getting hit. You can’t trade a jab for a right hand. Every punch has to be precise.”
After losing his brother to gun violence in the community, Wilkins steps in the ring with a heavy heart, and ready to give the pain he feels daily to any opponent that dares to face him.
“Every punch I throw has the same intentions that the bullet had when it killed my brother. My heart is cold when I’m in the ring. I made a vow to myself: after my brother died, every opponent I face will feel hurt, will feel my pain!”
“A lot of fighters are in boxing to be protected. I’m not here to be protected from another fighter. I’m here to fight. I don’t care if you put me in a phone booth, we’re going to fight. You can teach a person to box but you can’t teach heart.”
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Staten Island, the young Super Featherweight will be fighting for the vacant American Boxing Federation Continental Americas Super Featherweight Title on September 18. The fight will be live streamed.
Although Wilkins isn’t signed to a promoter, he has a great team in place. With tons of support from sponsors such as film director Spike Lee, family, friends, and learning all sides of boxing from two of the best boxing legends (Roy Jones Jr., Paul Malignaggi), Wilkins has a great future ahead of him.
Stay tuned and look for the link to the live stream of his upcoming fight.
To hear more from this young NYC fighter, click the link below: