ATHLETE PROFILE: MARK ‘FLASH’ ALEXANDER
Mark ‘Flash’ Alexander is a great talent that was never truly noticed as a boxer early on in his career and because of this he was an untapped talent. He was left stranded and mistreated by his previous coaches and trainers and had bad experiences in the UK. The most Mark ever made was less than what his trainer’s son made in his 4th fight. Mark did not adopt a holistic perspective of his boxing career early on and this had a huge impact on his decision making and overall focus.
Mark’s latest trainer Rich, is more than just a trainer/coach, he’s a teacher, mentor and a father figure to Mark. He was impressed initially when they first met, and has put Mark through his paces and strives for 100% with regards to effort and work ethic. Rich’s presence has enabled Mark to focus solely on his boxing training and fights and avoid focusing on managing his own career, which he has now left in the hands of Rich. Mark has struggled to gain funding or any form of sponsorship up to this point and because of this he has had to support himself financially by working a job whist carrying out his training. He is clearly earning the right to be a high level boxer.
It is true that Mark is not getting any younger, being in his early 40's there is a great deal of urgency at this point in time in his life regarding boxing, I would liken this to an NFL player who’s career lifespan on average has a relatively short window but has the opportunity to maximise the time they have within their career. But Mark isn’t focused on his age, Mark is now focused on doing things the right way, working in the U.K. currently to pay for his years rent in the USA, dealing with the realities of his life, keeping himself in shape, sacrificing who he is for what he wants to become.
Mark’s boxing style is fast and powerful, complimenting Rich’s style of training, where he has previously set up several sparring sessions for Mark out of Ringside boxing gym with other physically opposing fighters, the same gym that the likes of Mike Tyson and Arturo Gatti have previously trained at.
In my recent conversation with Mark’s trainer; Rich, it is clear that he has structured Mark’s career so that he can get the best out of it. With a simple strategy of building his career rather than focusing predominately on the financial side of things. There is an importance of having supportive groups around you as an athlete to guide you through your career, you can’t do everything on your own, it’s damn near impossible.
According to his trainer, Mark’s house is in the ring, mark eats, drinks and sleeps in the ring. When he is residing in the USA, this home is Ringside boxing gym in Jersey City.
A coach alongside the fighter certainly determines the success of the fighter's boxing career. This is certainly what was missing in Mark’s career early on. Rich’s focus with Mark is strengthening his offensive and defensive capabilities, self awareness; knowing who you are as a boxer, the purpose behind it and educating Mark about his career and his priorities, switching his focus.
Analysing his fitness/training and knowing what he wants to achieve in boxing. Maintaining a good relationship with him displaying and showcasing emotional intelligence, educating Mark on the business side of boxing and life in general. Every great athlete has had a coach for guidance, Tyson/Cus, Jordan/Phil Jackson, Ronaldo/Alex Ferguson etc.
He is currently working to pay his way to the USA where he will be going to the states around September of this year to progress further in his boxing career. Where he will be scheduled to have up to three fights with his ultimate goal being to win a title. Rich’s goals for Mark extend beyond this in fact and include multiple titles: World title, Caribbean title and UK title.
It’s Mark’s last real shot to succeed as a boxer, so he has to go all out to make it a reality. The aim for him is to have a title by his last fight of 2017 or his first fight in 2018. All he needs is financial support and he’ll be on his way. But according to his trainer it’s not just about boxing, it’s about life as a whole, being overqualified in everything that he does in life. Being in shape, more educated about his boxing career then taking advantage of great fights that are presented to him.
One thing is for sure, Mark’s story and journey is far from over, it’s just beginning and I’m excited to see what he achieves as a boxer going forward and with the help of his coach Rich, the sky is the limit.