While also pursuing a master’s degree in health policy at Emory, Wilson, 28, spends his evenings at Metro Fitness training as an amateur fighter.
“Boxing is fighting in one of the purest forms,” Wilson said. “You’re in close, throwing punches in a very short space. It’s one of those sports that is never really respected unless you’ve done it.”
“Anthony is a novice fighter,” said Wilson’s trainer Barry Richardson. “He’s just getting started. Decided he wanted to try boxing. He’s pretty green, but he shows a lot of promise. It’s something that he really wants to do.”
Since this particular ring is so new to Wilson, Richardson knows he must take a certain approach.
“When you are green like that, we try to make sure you have some basic skills and understand expectations,” Richardson said. “Understand what it is like to get in there and fight.
“One of the key parts for us has been really getting him the right sparing partners,” Richardson said. “Getting people who are really going to challenge him and show him what it’s like to be in a ring and compete.”
Wilson is a southpaw and fights at 152 pounds, which is really a tough division according to Richardson.
“I’m looking to be slick, make you think I’m doing one thing but do something else,” Wilson said. “I’m looking to land clean shots. I don’t like halfway landing punches.
“I want to shock my opponents with my speed because most of my opponents think I’m going to be strong but usually they are surprised by my speed.”
Specifically, Wilson hopes to follow in the footsteps of Pernell Whitaker, who was also left-handed and one of the “sneakiest fighters” in his opinion.
On July 20, Wilson plans to compete in the 2013 Georgia Games Boxing Championships at the Fair Oaks Recreation Center in Marietta.
“July 20 is my focus,” said Wilson, who is currently 0-1. “I’m focused on the fundamentals of boxing. What I need to do with my footwork. Where my hands need to be. Where I need to be throwing shots from. How to move in and move out. Make sure I keep my weight down.”
“We will see how it turns out,” Richardson said.