14-Year Old Joliet Boxer Taking the Southland and the Nation by Storm

14-Year Old Joliet Boxer Taking the Southland and the Nation by Storm
Veteran's Memorial Park


14-Year Old Joliet Boxer Taking the Southland and the Nation by Storm (Joliet, IL) – It didn’t take long for Joseph Awinongya Jr. to know what his passion would be in life. At age 5, he came up to his father and said he wanted to learn how to box. Fast forward to today.

Nine time National Silver Gloves boxing champion, Awinongya Jr. has taken the amateur sports world by storm, rising to the top and ranking first or second for much of the past several years. He is one of the best and talented young boxers today. 

[Elite_video_player id=”1″ youtubevideos=’kULOciSqFr8′]

Rigorous Training

“I train six days a week, sometimes seven days a week,” said Awinongya Jr., 14, of Joliet. “I love boxing and I feel it is my opportunity to create a good future for myself. The path is there for me to be successful. I am looking to win more national championships and travel to different parts of the country.”

The nine time championship includes winning three Junior Olympic Championships, two USA Boxing Championships, three Silver Gloves Champion, and one  Eastern Qualifier National Champion. He has also won several prestigious awards including the Jesse White Athletic Achievement Award,  U.S. President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence and National Hook Up of Black Woman Gold Star Community Service Youth Award;

Boxing Runs in the Family

Boxing does run in his blood as his father, Joseph Awinongya Sr., was strong in his own right. Famous boxing promoter Don King brought him into the sport in 1999 and into the United States from Ghana and worked with him as a professional cruiser-weight known as the African Assassin. He also presents hundreds of seminars and speeches annually on topics including sportsmanship, leadership, personal health and wellness, staying focused, inspiring students to stay in school, and staying away from drugs. Awinongya Sr. used to run Will County Boxing Gym in Joliet so his son was essentially born in the gym. When it was time for his son to consider sports, he followed his father’s footsteps. 

“A lot of parents might have skills with sports but don’t have the time to pass that knowledge on to their children,” said Awinongya Sr. “I try to put all my energy into helping JoJo become the best fighter he can. He can already do things better than I could at his age.”

Appreciation for the Sport

Even though he does admire his father’s career, the 114-pound young boxer said he truly appreciates the sport for himself. 

“I really do enjoy boxing. My first sport was wrestling and I slowly started to lose interest in it,” said Awinongya Jr. “But with boxing it has always been something that excites me and that I like. That’s not to say there aren’t days that I might not want to train, but overall getting into the ring and fighting other people is something that I like.”

Awinongya Jr. said because every teenager boxer is different in style and physicality, he must use strategy to achieve victory. 

“One of my fights, I remember fighting a kid that was taller than me and I was just a better boxer and got me the win. When I have someone who is more aggressive than me that just moves forward toward me, I use my distance and movement to go around the ring and fight at a longer range,” said Awinongya Jr.  

Competing Around the Country

The pair travels around the United States and engages at registered tournaments. 

“Since he is an amateur boxer you can’t pick a fight. If you want to be number one in the country, you have to go to cities all over and compete in registered fights,” said Awinongya Sr. “It’s incredible to see him in the ring. I don’t always have to tell him what to do in a fight because he understands the sport and will come to me and tell me the things he wants to do.”

He has balanced his athletic powerhouse skills with academic prowess graduating from high school at 13. He now attends Joliet Junior College and juggles that while traveling the nation selecting the proper boxing tournaments to compete. He also finds sometime to be a teenager and play video games. 

Upcoming Regional Championship

Awinongya has a match in Kansas City this weekend to compete in the regional championships. This year he won’t be able to compete in the national championships because he is taking his first trip to his father’s homeland of Ghana.

“Since he has been fighting, there have been a lot of people supporting him. They give him a lot of love,” said Awinongya Sr. “I think it is important to know Ghana and I can just call people there and people want to donate money for his career.”

In addition, he believes it is important to teach his children the right way to compose themselves in life. 

“I teach my kids that they should be good, not because you are going to get benefits from it or because God is going to bless you, but because it is the right thing to do,” said Awinongya Sr. 

A Blessing to Others

His son also wants to be a blessing to others and recognizes the love that he has received from fans.

“I really appreciate everyone who is supporting me, watching me and I am going to keep working hard for my goals. Plus I want to be the kind person that helps everyone on their goals as well,” added Awinongya Jr.

14-Year Old Joliet Boxer Taking the Southland and the Nation by Storm


Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *