Boxer James “The Beast” Wilson is working to make history as a heavyweight boxer.
“We ain’t never had a heavyweight champion from L.A.,” Wilson said. “For me to be that first, hold it down and be somebody who’s from L.A., who knows the city, who grew up here, who understands the culture and to bring that heavyweight is something that I look forward to doing.”
While he prepares, he trains his three sons, Elijah, James Jr., and Amaziah in several sports including boxing, mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, and football. Wilson developed different coaching styles for each of his sons.
“One is more geared towards boxing, the other one more so likes M.M.A. where the other one likes more so kickboxing,” Wilson said. “As being the father and a coach, I know their characteristics. I can tell by their mannerisms and the response I get from them what direction they want to move towards.”
Along with training for boxing, Muay Thai, and kickboxing, his three sons compete in wrestling and baseball. Wilson mentioned how training them along with all the sports they are involved in is a “balancing act.” He desires to prepare them to be successful later in their lives.
“I try to do it as much as I can. I’m pretty much the teacher for all things,” he said. “If I do anything less, I will be doing them a disservice.”
Wilson has posted countless videos on his Instagram account of him training Elijah, James Jr., and Amaziah and leading them through various drills. His goal is to get them to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
“I’m not going to set nothing less than them being the best that they can be,” Wilson said. “I want to make sure if you’re in a situation, you’re not going to be uncomfortable, you’re not going to be fearful.”
In 2010, Wilson fought professionally in M.M.A., Muay Thai, and kickboxing. In recent years, he has been focusing on boxing with the goal of becoming the heavyweight champion of the world. His fighting career allowed him to travel the world; that experience was a far cry from the life he had growing up.
Los Angeles native Wilson endured living in a single-parent household and experienced homelessness. He also spent stents in the foster care system and in juvenile hall. Since he became a pro fighter, he has given back to the youth in foster care by doing speaking engagements with L.A. County Probation and the Department of Children and Family Services. He also started martial arts and fitness programs at group homes throughout L.A. County.
“I would take the boys and I would just teach them all the knowledge that I know, give them the discipline that they need,” Wilson said. “It’s about structure, it’s about respect, and it’s about discipline and these are all things that once they get out of their program successfully, they’re gonna need in real life.”