Sunday, December 15, 2013

LincolnWay Boxing Expands With New Hanover Gym

 Julio Alvarez is known as one of Pennsylvania’s most prominent producers of boxing talent.

 The longtime trainer, who kick-started Lincolnway boxing as a non-profit in Hanover back in the day, has cultivated a steady crop of local talent.

Just 5-foot-5 but possessing dynamite in both hands, Alvarez has churned out a cadre of professionals from the York area, Beeper Bowman (16-1), Eric Nemo (10-1), and Stevie Weimer (9-0), to name a few.

 Most recently, Alvarez has coached a body shot specialist in New Oxford graduate Josue Alfaro. Alfaro is currently on the doorstep of a professional career, according to Alvarez.

Who else has grown under Alvarez' coaching?

 How about 6-foot-4 York banger Bobby Shah, a D.C. kid who has discovered his weapon of choice in power punches.

Shah, a former military man who bought into a boxing career just a few years ago, has unveiled a hard-hitting potency which suddenly renders him a tough match.

 The seeds which Alvarez planted in Hanover 25+ years ago continue to grow out the product, with more and more lacing up the gloves.

Alvarez’s spanking new gym has hit Hanover. The facility specializes in physical training, aerobics and of course a steady diet of intensified one-on-one boxing instrumentals. 

Alvarez is a short man with a long boxing pedigree.

He sets tall orders for each of his fighters.

 Employing relentless motivational tactics, Alvarez challenges kids who walked in as greenhorns to exit as sheer bangers. That's where his expectations stand, with constant commitment to rectifying fighters' woes and lifting limitations.

Now Alvarez has spread his love for boxing 35 minutes from West York's old-school Lincolnway gym, a 19-mile trek on US-30.

The new joint has opened its doors at 28 Baltimore St. in Hanover. Alvarez and his clique of boxers and core gym rats hope for the new venue to be a viable Mecca for local fighters.

Lincolnway in York draws workaday trainees from as far as Harrisburg and Lancaster and even Hershey.

Alvarez hopes Hanover's Lincolnway can attract talent from Gettysburg, Spring Grove, Littlestown, New Oxford, and surrounding areas rife with athletes and potential.

Though this is a new gym for the veteran Alvarez, it is a portent of how far he has come.

When Alvarez arrived in Hanover, he was training a slew of kickboxers such as Mark Krebs, Lew Chester, Joe Weaver, and Rome Stifler Jr.

When he made the trek to West York in 1992, his goal was to establish a reputed boxing breeding ground.

With the influx of talent cracking Lincolnway’s  surface, Alvarez feels Alfaro and various Lincolnway prospects are capable of winning Central PA Golden Gloves.

Lincolnway's fighters have reaped the rewards of the constant labor, bringing home National Championship banners behind Bowman, Nemo, and Weimer.

Now,  while circumventing traffic, Julio has taken a detour back to where it all started in Hanover.                                

Back to his old stomping grounds.

Back to where this legendary boxing coach orchestrated legendary fights with old-school boxers such as Carney Bowman III, a workout fiend and an all-purpose reminder of the program's early success.

“At Lincoln Way, we are committed to training and helping people get in shape, in addition to learning the skills of boxing and life,” said Alvarez, a retired Harley Davidson employee and a certified coach by USA Boxing and Professional Boxing.

Alvarez jump-started the non-profit as a means shaping at-risk youth.

His method was simple. Keep the kids engaged in training. Keep them off the streets. Enhance their aptitude as fighters and competitors. Keep them coming back, give them a place inside that protects them from the mean streets outside. 

Alvarez provided an alternative route, a means of sidestepping the rugged underworld of Pennsylvania’s hard-edged inner cities.

Alvarez has recently bolstered the production of Sammy Quinones (4-2), who has won two consecutive fights since training exclusively under Julio.

The 140-pound Quinones recently out-dueled Ramon Ellis at the Valencia Ballroom in York.

James “Thunder” Robinson is another young prospect who has displayed promise.

Potential has been discovered in 16-year-old South Western High student Kenny Smith, who Alvarez describes as his first project since his Hanover return.
Smith, a gritty fighter who has adapted to the same work rate as bangers such such as Weimer and Alfaro, will fight at the 125-130 pound weight class.

A sponge still learning the niceties of boxing Smith has shown glimpses of cerebral toughness. Smith has the endurance and quickness to etch a career for himself, according to Alvarez. How hard he works will ultimately determine where that career lands him.

Alvarez hopes the area’s youth pursue the same pathway.

“I am so happy to be back in Hanover and I know I will find a crop of new talent here,” said Alvarez, who has been imploring motivated youngsters to pursue a boxing career for as long back as he can remember.

Alvarez is keeping his contingent in West York while looking to expand in the Hanover area this winter and spring.
“There is always a new breed of talent and our goal is training them and instilling our mindset in them. It feels great to be back where it all started and I’m excited about the future.”

Hanover certainly has the numbers to create a new boxing climate. The goal is not to meet expectations but to crush them. The goal is to blossom. The goal is expand the boxing culture in Hanover.

If you are interested in boxing, training, and elite fitness, kindly visit Lincolnway Boxing Gym in Hanover.