Watching the rise of Al Sands’ Professional Boxing Career has been an exciting ride. Less than three years ago he was coming off a tough loss, a loss to a boxer he should have beaten. Today he stands tall as a headlining boxer with an incredible following that gets stronger with every match.  He has literally fought his way into the shoes of a Main Event fighter in the time it takes many boxers to simply get their career going.  Why has he passed them all up as a headliner and a top ranked boxer?  The answer is not what Sands brings to each fight. It’s not his athletic ability, his knockout power, or even the lightning-fast speed of his punches.  Nope.  It’s what he represents every time he steps into the ring that attracts people in mass numbers to watch him fight out his dreams. 

Al Sands' Victory

Al Sands’ victory against Henry Namauu

Al Sands represents what a person can do with their life when they focus on a dream and work hard to see it through. He walked into the boxing gym after being curious about fight sports. He fell in love with boxing and quickly showed promise. Getting started at twenty, he was older than most beginning boxers.  But that didn’t stop him from dreaming of great things. Sands boxed a handful of amateur matches, and beat many boxers with much more experience than he. Entering the Golden Gloves tournament, he cleaned out the upper midwest region and earned a trip to the national level.  

He then turned pro and began to chase a new dream of becoming a world champion. Sands felt on top of the world and let the life of the sidelines get to him, leading to his only professional loss. His dreams seemed temporarily derailed until he chose to dig deep inside and get real with himself.  He cleaned his life up, and surrounded himself with positive people he trusted.  He worked on ridding himself of the impurities that held him back from being the best version of him.  He chose to lead a sober life and take complete responsibility for his actions.  No excuses.

However, life didn’t simply get easier after that. The tough decisions were made, but now it was time for the hard work that would follow.  He and his friend and former gym mate, Zach Walters, joined together on a quest to get as far into boxing as possible. Not knowing a lot about the business side of things, Walters began making phone calls and negotiating the path for Sands to take on his journey further into pro boxing. With a little luck, a lot of determination, and countless hours in the gym, they lit a fire behind their efforts. 

There began to be a craze of attention around their moves and things began to grow. The fights got tougher and the scale of the events became bigger and bigger.  Walters was getting spread thin with his growing responsibilities, but he didn’t want to short the attention needed to keep Sands prepared.  It was at this point when Walters and Sands reached out to Chuck Horton to join the journey.  Horton was Walters’ trainer, and together they had great success in the ring. This addition was the missing piece to the team, enabling Sands’ career to continue growing. 

The next chapter in this story will be written with another big fight on October 25th at Black Bear Casino in Carlton, Minnesota. Chuck Horton has been the leader in training camp, while Walters has been at the helm matching fights and setting up the card.  Sands has been focusing on preparedness for his final story in the 2014 ledger of his career.  

Black Bear Casino will one more time fill up with eagerly awaiting faces cheering in support of their local hero. He is fighting to spread a message of hope to those that want to give up.  A message of encouragement needed for the user to quit living in the bondage of addiction.  He fights to show that just because you were dealt certain cards in life does mean that you have an excuse to live a subpar life. Each fight is another chance to say, “Regardless of the cards I’ve been dealt; I will NOT give up!”  That is why he’s on top in spite of all the other deserving up-and-comers out there.  And the fans?  They will cheer for him not just because of his skills and what he brings into the ring as an athlete, but what his success represents.  It’s why Al Sands fights.

Authors: Zach Walters and Roxanne Wilmes

 


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