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News  


ABA TAPS FORMER DON KING TRAINER; PREDICTS DONAIRE WILL WIN

PhilBoxing.com


When American Boxing Academy (aba) owner Ken Smith heard that world class American boxing trainer "Storman" Norman Wilson formerly of Philadelphia PA had settled in Digos City with his beautiful Filipina wife Jen, he knew he would have to involve Wilson in every aspect of his boxing operation, not just training his fighters.

Smith said: " Norman has an incredible history in boxing and out of it. He has worked for many of the big names in boxing including Don King, Bob Arum and Shelly Finkel among all the others and Norman has still kept his good name intact, thats not always easy in the fight business."


Norman is a former US Marine and veteran of the Vietnam war, and he came back and got a college degree and became a school teacher in one of the toughest school districts in the USA in Dade Co. Florida. So not only is Norman a world class boxing trainer he's a very intelligent guy, with a lot of valuable experience you cant get easily."

Wilson's training credits are truly impressive dating back to the 1980s as an employee of International Boxing Promoter Don King. Norman trained and cornered some of the great heavyweights of the time while working for King as a trainer for many of his top fighters, including the late Heavyweight Champion Trevor Berbick who beat all time great Muhammad Ali. Wilson trained Berbick for his title fight against then challenger Mike Tyson, and was in the corner with Berbick the night Berbick lost his title to Tyson by KO.

The ABA trainer has trained and cornered such boxing greats as World Heavyweight Champion Tony TNT Tucker who lost his World Heavyweight title to Lennox Lewis. Wilson is not only credited with training some of the best heavyweights in the world but has also been called into work with current World Lightweight Champion Nate"the great' Campbell and world rated Jr Middleweight challenger Charles Whittaker among many others. Wilson has traveled the world working in world championship bouts all over Europe, South American Canada Mexico, Asia, and the entire USA.

Since arriving at the Philippine based American Boxing Academy, Coach Wilson (as he is affectionately known to his fighters) has spent every day except Saturdays (Norman is a devout seventh day Adventist) tirelessly training Ken Smiths ABA stable of fighters. Watching Wilson perform his mitt routines with ABA fighters Fernando "TaTa" Lumacad and Ramie Laput the current WBO Asia Pacific Jr Featherweight champion is really something to witness.

As the 50 something year old Wilson moves around the ring like a much younger man than his age, he calls on his wards to "give me more" and then asking "is that all you got". He works both fighters 5 rounds on the mitts in the newly built American Boxing Academy gym on the outskirts of Digos City. After switching his attention to a new 4 round prospect Wilson shouts " you want some ? dont be scared" Coach Wilson then proceeds back to the boxing ring for a couple rounds with the young ABA startup. After practice Wilson usually jokes around dancing and singing with his young idolizing fighters before heading back to his own family. In addittion to Wilson being head trainer at ABA he has really been one of the main architects of American Boxing Academy along with ABA operations manager Glen Salazar.

Salazar, the brother in-law of ABA owner Ken Smith and started for ABA with no boxing knowledge "Katong pagsugod namo ni Ken sa boxing wa gyud koy nahibal an pa sa boxing. Halos tanan nako nahibal an boxing ay gikan kang Norman Wilson. Siya ang nag tudlo nako sa pasikot sikot sa boxing. Gihimo ni Kuya Ken si Norman nga leader namo para sya sundon sa tanan deri sa kampo".

Wilson has done this for years 30 to be exact. Before Wilson became a well known and respected professional trainer in the USA Norman spent many many years toiling in the Amateur ranks. He has competed on every level including the Olympic level. Norman was well respected in USA during the late 1970 and 1980s for the Amateur teams he produced and coached in Florida USA. Wilson himself a former US Marine boxing champion was assigned by his commanding officer to "duty" as the marine boxing coach where Wilson was responsible for a US Marine boxing team. After leaving the military (decorated war hero) Wilson became heavily involved in the Amateur boxing scene in the USA. Working with young boys like Roy Jones Jr.. Lamar Murphy, Bernard and Clifford Grey and many more who became National US Champs. During this time Wilson became a mainstay at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

"The kids I worked with in those days remind me of these boys here at ABA in Digos City, they are hungry and eager to learn, in time we are going to have some real fighters, we aint workin with no cupcakes here,, I told Ken I am not afraid to tell a fighter to go get a different job," Wilson said. When Wilson talks the fighters they go silent, a sign of their sincere respect for the coach who has dedicated himself to their fight aspirations. ABA head man Ken Smith said of Wilson "The thing about Norman is he is easy going most of the time, but when it is work time he expects work he really cares about these boys as more than just fighters. I have no doubt that he will make some of these boys Champions someday soon" (Laput has become ABAs first Champion under Wilsons training). If Ken Smiths boxers at the ABA of Digos City are able to learn from the likes of American trainer "Storman" Norman Wilson then they could stand in very good company.....

Footnote: Just this year Norman and Jen Wilson adopted 2 infant babies. Both of these babies were in desperate need of loving parents when Jen and Norman stepped into these two little lives forever. They are now proud parents of a healthy baby girl and a healthy baby boy.

Meanwhile, Smith told Philboxing.com that he expects Donaire to come out victorious today in Las Vegas.

"I predict Donaire will have an easy time with the African fighter. He has superior skills and power, and after a couple rounds of breaking the African fighter down Donaire should start finding his big shots. I think after a few rounds he will probably stop him," said Smith from his base in Washington, DC.


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