Former professional boxer helping rising Milwaukee teen get to 2024 Olympics

Posted at 11:14 PM, Jul 27, 2021

MILWAUKEE — Ever since he was a kid, 16-year-old Alan Fuentes has always dreamed of going to the Olympics.

"I have a really big goal that I want to accomplish, and that is to be a world champion. I want to go to the Olympics in 2024, and as an amateur boxer, I feel like that's what every amateur boxer's dream is, to be in the Olympics one day," said Fuentes.

So for him, that goal means he has to eat, sleep, and breathe boxing every single day.

"I train three times a day. I train in the morning, I do a weight session, I run, and then I come back during the day to do boxing," said Fuentes.

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And by training under a former professional boxer, Coach Alberto Mercedes, Alan says his dream can become a reality.

"To be part of the Olympics is very, very, very difficult - but it's doable. I help them with everything when it comes to their nutrition, what they are supposed to eat, how they are supposed to train," said Mercedes.

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But even if you don't want to box professionally but would like to get in shape at home, Coach Mercedes says several exercises you can do.

"Throw punches, this particular exercise is kind of the basics, and we call it the 1-2. You can also do high knees, and you're picking your knees up. You can do this while watching TV. This exercise is excellent to get the flexibility in the shoulders, to get the flexibility in your whole body," said Mercedes.

So whether you want to box to have fun or compete professionally, Coach Mercedes says whatever you decide, make sure your whole heart is in it.

Taylor Lumpkin at TMJ4 first reported this story.