James Fontanos began training at Cappy’s Boxing Gym in September of 2005, at the age of 12. He took up boxing to occupy his time after school and with the intent of having fun and impressing his peers. James would come in on Sunday mornings to clean and maintain the gym’s equipment in exchange for his boxing training. At one point, James had goals of becoming a professional boxer. However, he cut his amateur career short. Boxing is a way of life, and James decided that the best way to fully understand Boxing and Living A Boxer’s Lifestyle was to live life and experience as much as possible. Through Living A Boxer’s Lifestyle, James gained awareness of his body and of his surroundings—the ability to read body language and to recognize his own reactions and reflexes. It is a skill that is developed in the gym, but when applied to everyday life, can alter anyone’s perspective.
This awareness helped James overcome the “crisis” in his neighborhood. On the outside looking in, his tendency to put others first took over. James tried to redirect his friends from trouble and into Cappy’s. He wanted them to achieve the same awareness and to realize that they had choices. His social consciousness played a major role in his writing. Yes, James was also a talented writer. He participated in open mics, poetry slams and was involved with the program Youth Speaks. James’s writing helped him understand intent and flow, in connection to boxing. The intention behind writing—the message to a select audience—can be compared to the intent behind a punch. Though intention is important, a game plan doesn’t always work out. A writer might get blocked and a boxer may miss their window of opportunity to throw that right hand. Just go with the flow.
James is now using his boxing skills to fundraise money for the Filipino Culture Organization (Alay Ng Kultura). Every week, James meets with the organization’s participants and teaches them how to box. Cappy’s Boxing Gym is helping James fight his latest match by donating boxing equipment. Eight years ago, James was inspired to box after watching Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior. Now, he has become a warrior himself as he gives back to his community. The Cappy’s Team is proud to see their former boxer live his training and finding success through Living A Boxer’s Lifestyle. James’s advice to Cappy’s youth boxers was this: Approach every situation with an empty cup, a sense of emptiness, the intent of learning more.