FEATURED SLED PUP:
JAVON “WANNA” WALTON
Javon “Wanna” Walton IS the next big thing. At just 9 years old he is a Georgia State Champion in both boxing and gymnastics. He’s #2 in the nation in boxing for his age division and if you ask him, he’ll tell you this year he is ready to be #1! He will get that chance too. Just a few days ago Javon won regionals in DC and will be going onto Nationals again this June representing the state of Georgia.
Javon is the youngest Under Armour athlete, chosen out of thousands in a nation wide search for Under Armour’s elite team of athletes between the ages of 8-12. He is also an RX Smart Gear athlete chosen by the CEO himself for his jump rope skills, achievements in boxing and gymnastics and his hard work.
After seeing so many great things about Javon, from his fights, his talent in the gymnastics ring, and all of his work with his sponsors, including his recent commercial with Under Armour in the Muhammad Ali collection. We couldn’t wait to interview him.
Name: Javon “Wanna” Walton
Age: 9 Years Old (DOB: 7/22/06)
Erin: At what age did you begin boxing?
Javon: I started boxing when I was four years old but I kind of started around two because I used throw punches at our couch pillows and then my Dad would show me things. I started at the boxing gym when I was like four and half.
Erin: What’s a day of training like?
Javon: I always start with a good warmup to get my body ready to train. Warm ups can be running or skipping rope just to get loose. Then I do shadowboxing for 3 to 4 rounds to focus on my technique and to pretend to be in a fight. I do all that with just my wraps on and then I glove up. Once I put my gloves on the hard work begins, I’ll do a lot of rounds working Mitts in the ring or on the tire. I’ll do rounds just focusing on my head movement with the hit sticks. I’ll do a lot of rounds on the heavy bag. I think I do the heavy bag a lot because I always get tired on the bag. I change my tempo and power and speed of my punches from round to round. And then, I’ll do sparring if it’s that’s day. Because I am homeschooled I can train in the morning and in the afternoon. So sometimes I will do my cardio stuff in the morning during my first break.
Erin: What do you like most about boxing?
Javon: My favorite part of boxing is the fighting. I love fighting in the ring but the training is fun too. I also love traveling and spending time with my Dad and coach Travis and our Onward fight team. We get to go all over.
Erin: When you get in the ring for a boxing match are you scared or just excited?
Javon: I am always excited but sometimes I do get nervous if it’s a real important fight but I am not scared because I train so hard. You only get scared if you don’t train the right way.
Erin: Who has been your biggest inspiration for boxing?
Javon: Muhammad Ali and my two big brothers on the Team Onward fight team, Tito Lopez and Robert Bowers are big inspirations. Tito just got back from the Olympic Trials and Robert is in Reno now for the Youth National Championship. I will do both one day!
Erin: What’s your favorite thing about gymnastics?
Javon: I love almost everything about gymnastics. I love the feeling of flying on high bar. Especially when doing my release skills. Sticking really hard skills makes me feel good. I really love tumbling too. I like how strong rings and P-bars makes you and gives you good upper body strength. I also love to compete to see if I can do my best with just one rep!
Erin: How do you think gymnastics has helped you become a better boxer?
Javon: My gymnastics coach Jeff, always tells me how my body awareness and control help me so much in boxing. I can definitely feel that gymnastics helps my balance and strength.
Erin: Do you have any big fights coming up?
Javon: Yes. I always have big fights coming up. Lol. I am leaving tomorrow morning with my whole family for Washington, DC. I am representing the state of Georgia in the Silver Gloves regional competition. In June, I will be competing in the USA Boxing Prep and Junior Olympic National Championship in Dallas. That will be one of my biggest fights of the year. Last year I made it all the way the championship bout and lost a decision that everyone thought I really won so I am ready to win the national championship this time. Being rankled #2 has been good but I want the #1 ranking.
Erin: What’s it like to be an Under Armour athlete at such a young age?
Javon: It’s so awesome. I love being an Under Armour athlete and the only kid boxer. When I learned that I was going to be a part of UA next I did a back tuck. I am the only 9 year old so I’m the smallest but my other UA Next athletes are really great. My good friend is Cam, he’s a football player. My favorite part is doing all the commercials and press releases for the Ali collection. He is a legend and he’s all over my wall. I’ve gotten to go up to the headquarters in Baltimore a bunch of times. Mr. Eric who works with Under Armour brought me out to San Diego for Canelo Alvarez’s media day when we was preparing to fight Cotto and that was so cool. I got to spend time with Oscar De La Hoya who gave me to much great advice. Being a member of the Under Armour team has been incredible.
Erin: Do you play any other sports?
Javon: My focus is on Boxing and Gymnastics but I also compete in a sport called TNT its trampoline and tumbling at Jump TNT it’s a lot of fun. My brother plays baseball so I try to practice baseball whenever I can but I don’t play but it is fun to go to my brother’s travel ball games. Boxing and gymnastics are the only sports you don’t “play” so I think ill just stick with those.
Want to keep up with Javon and his training and achievements? Follow him on Instagram: @onwardwanna