Elijah Green is no stranger to success. He fought for four National Silver Glove titles and won three all before the age of 13.
Now, he will head back into the ring in search for his fourth title at the age of 15, after winning the regionals last weekend in Chicago. Elijah Green won by a unanimous decision in the 201-plus weight division.
Elijah Green is the son of the well-known Chief of University Police Clarence Green. Clarence Green says his son’s work ethic is what sets him apart from other boxers in the midwest.
“He is extremely dedicated and I think that the amount of work that he is willing to put in is unprecedented,” Clarence Green said.
Being a heavyweight is new territory for Elijah Green, which changes a lot about how he approaches his fights.
“It’s been a lot different because I’m usually the biggest in my weight class,” Elijah Green said. “Now when I go to fight, I’m the smallest, so it’s a big change in the weight difference.”
The main reason Elijah Green did not fight for a Silver Gloves title last year is because he took a year off to try out for the Maryville Spoofhound wrestling team.
“I don’t feel like wrestling really affected my boxing in any way,” Elijah Green said. “I never really got too much into the wrestling. I never really liked it that much.”
Although taking a year off may seem like it would be hard on a boxer, Elijah Green thinks this has given him a chance to improve himself in every aspect as a fighter.
“I can hit a lot harder, I can move a lot faster, and my footwork is a lot cleaner,” Elijah Green said. “I think that I’m just all around a better fighter.”
Having this much success in such a young boxing career is almost unprecedented. While some athletes may let this kind of success go to their head, Elijah Green is humble as ever.
His father said he just wants his son to learn some valuable life lessons from his career in boxing.
“A lot of times in boxing they will use the analogy ‘The way you fight your fight in the ring is the way that you will live your life,’ and ‘Are you willing to risk it all to accomplish something,’” Clarence Green said. “I hope he always has that work ethic so that he will work hard and make sacrifices, so that he can provide for himself and his family.”
Although his father wants him to gain life experience, when Elijah Green was asked where he wanted his boxing career to take him, he did not hesitate to answer.
“I just want to make it to the Olympics,” Elijah Green said.
He had his chance earlier this month when he fought in Reno, Nevada, in the qualifying tournament for Team USA Boxing. Although he did not qualify, he will not stop until his dream comes true.
Although his dream to join the Team USA Boxing team is on hold, Elijah Green has also received letters to play football from Nebraska, North Dakota State, Tulsa, Army, Bowling Green, and several offers from Miami.
“I am so blessed to have the opportunity to go to college and get my school paid for just to play football,” Elijah Green said. “I think it’s such a great feeling whenever they come in the mail because it’s cool to see what people think about my athletic skills.”
When Elijah Green steps back into the ring, his father will be in his corner for help and advice, but he also says his son probably will not need it.
“He’s had a lot of experience with different coaches having the ability to work with him at different times, so he’s had great coaching,” Clarence Green said. “He’s been fighting since he was nine years old, so he really just knows boxing.”
The National Silver Gloves Tournament takes place Feb. 5-7 in Independence at the Hilton Garden Inn.