Seminole Citizen Alvarado Swings for the Top

By Chris Jenkins

HOLLYWOOD — Elliot Alvarado is taking it one day, one opponent at a time. He knows he has a lot to learn on his journey to the top as a professional boxer. Even for the strongest person, the pressures can be hard to overcome. He seems unaffected so far, and does not give much thought to being the first.

Alvarado could become the first Seminole to be a champion, or the first to achieve such a feat without amateur training. He knows he has a long way to go. Just doing his best is part of the equation for him in this ultra competitive sport. He has high hopes and expectations for his future.

The 24-year-old Immokalee native is of the Panther clan. He got his start in Arizona as part of a boxing club before moving back to the Hollywood area. At 2-0 (2 KOs) he is building momentum in the welterweight/light welterweight divisions.

Both his matches were a mere 14 days apart, with more of the same to come as he moves up the ranks. Short and quick have also been the final results. In the first round he took out an experienced William Duncombe at the 1:36 mark and spoiled the debut of James Montgomery at the 1:42 mark.

Trainer, advisor and friend Benny Collins has been impressed with Alvarado throughout.

“He was under tremendous pressure, nobody expected for his professional fight debut to be on a championship world class card [Cintron and Suarez],” he explained of how Collins arranged the fight in one week.

So far, so good, in Alvarado’s eyes.

“I didn’t know it was going to be like this, for me to become a professional and everything, I just went in [Warrior’s Gym] one day and started training with Benny and he saw something in me,” Alvarado said.

The support of his family has also been very important, thus far. He is the son of Roy and Mary Lou Alvarado and has five other siblings. He is of mixed heritage, as his mother is Seminole and his father is Mexican. He says Mary Lou has always been one of his biggest supporters.

“My mom always encouraged me to do something, because I wasn’t really doing that much after I graduated,” Alvarado said.

He also has the support of Collins. As a lightweight, Collins went 7-2 and brings 15 years of experience into their partnership. He has trained with former welterweight-light middleweight champion Simon Brown, lightweight champion Freddy Pendleton and three-time heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, to name a few.

“He has all the attributes to be a champion: he loves to run, he lifts, he’s strong, he listens and he doesn’t look like a killer,” Collins said.

From a historical standpoint Collins feels Alvarado’s presence in boxing is much needed.

“Elliot is the most important fighter here in South Florida today,” he said. “We’re trying to get him as much experience as possible, and the goal is to do what no other Seminole Indian fighter has done.”

In the course of shaping his own path however, Alvarado does hope to follow in the success of two legends of the sport. “The Brockton Blockbuster” Rocky Marciano posted an amazing 49-0 (43KOs) record in his career and was the only boxing champion to retire undefeated and stay retired. “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali also tops his list. Ali was a three-time heavyweight champion and went 56-5 (37KOs) overall and is considered by most historians as the greatest boxer of all time.

In the grand scheme of things Alvarado remains confident.

“I’ve got a real good trainer, so if I keep doing what I’m doing, then we’ll make it far,” Alvarado said. “I plan on making it far in boxing, as far as world title fights, and I plan on boxing all over the place, I will go anywhere and box.”

In order to increase exposure for Alvarado and open up doors for other Native boxers, Collins has expressed an interest in wanting to work with more talent who might have a desire to also get into the sport. He has a simple game-plan for success.

“If you can listen, you can learn, if you can learn, you can be a champ,” he said.