WATCH / READ: Lansing boxer Michael Lynn III prepares for debut on Saturday
Lynn III, a three-sport star at Lansing Catholic and Sexton, is pushing past his boundaries to prepare for 2022 Michigan Golden Gloves.
Staying in the comfort zone has been unsettling for Michael Lynn III, while he trains for his boxing amateur debut.
Lynn III, Lansing native, is an all-around athlete and activist leader in the area. Throughout elementary school and middle school, he played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track. The first time he picked up a pair of boxing gloves was at the age of 7. Because Lynn III was versatile in competitive sports, his dad sat him down to give him an ultimatum: it was either boxing full-time or playing the four other spots.
Lynn III decided boxing would not be in his daily athletic routine.
When high school came around, he was the star quarterback at Lansing Catholic. He exemplified athleticism, but also his influential spirit. In mid-November of 2017, he protested at a football game to raise awareness of social inequality. Lynn III was one of four players on the football team to kneel at a game during the national anthem. He wanted to shed light and peacefully protest the racial tension that was taking place in America. He later transferred to Sexton High during his senior year of high school to demonstrate his heartfelt purpose of activism.
Competing through several sports and doing activism work throughout his life built Lynn III’s character. Athleticism and leadership ran in his blood.
Until he felt those God-given qualities had gotten away from him. WKAR Current Sports caught up with Lynn III to see his boxing journey:
“A year ago, I was lying in bed. Life was just not great,” said Lynn III, who is 22. “I'm wired to do athletic things so sitting around just wasting away and not sure where I was going, not sure what I was going to do.”
Lynn III struggled to find purpose within his everyday living. He didn’t have the same drive to do anything, as much as exercising. He wanted a change. After almost 14 years of shunning boxing, he picked up a pair of boxing gloves once more. Lynn the III always loved contact sports, so he finally had an epiphany which changed his life.
“It just clicked one day I was like, ‘why not?’” said Lynn III. “Officially a year ago I picked them back up, but I got really serious maybe like three or four months ago.”
Lynn III has been training for his amateur debut at the Team G.L.A.S.S. Boxing Gym, located in South Lansing. He is dedicating his time to full-time boxing. His daily routine consists of waking up at 9 a.m., eating on and off very lightly until 5 p.m. to shed weight, practicing at the boxing gym from 6-8:30 p.m., getting another workout at his apartment gym for an hour, and getting in the sauna.
“When you're comfortable you're losing. You should always be trying to make yourself uncomfortable,” said Lynn III. “Because when you're uncomfortable, that's where growth happens.”
Coach Will Glass, owner of Team G.L.A.S.S Boxing Gym, has produced nationally ranked fighters and has the intent on training every individual to the best of their ability, including Lynn III, who is fairly new to boxing.
“Everybody gets the same treatment when they come to the door whether you're Michael Lynn or you're Michael Jordan,” said Glass. “I think Michael comes into the game with a lot of athleticism. He's knowledgeable. Very knowledgeable because of other sports that he's played in his time and his in his career whether it be football or whatever. He has a good sense of awareness when it comes to the sport even though he's new.”
Training has been a mental and physical challenge for Lynn III. Through training, he is finding his own rhythm through belief, prayer, and hard work. As a fairly new boxer but a wired athlete, he is reaffirming his performance will be based on him as a whole.
“When I was playing football, I was really good. But I knew what it took to be really good so I could sell myself short sometimes,” said Lynn III. “I don't know what it takes to win a fight, so I'm doing everything, hoping that I can, hoping that it's enough.”
Conner Holguin, a pharmacy technician and Lynn III’s girlfriendI, sees his character of being an activist and his dedication to boxing. Holguin witnessed Lynn III protest at Lansing Catholic and the moment he wanted to pick up his boxing gloves again. Now, she watches him train every day, non-stop.
“He is disciplined,” said Holguin. “I think that's the best way that I can put it. Everything that he's doing right now. It's not fun. This part, the having to cut weight and being in the gym this much and sitting in the sauna. The other day he was in the sauna for an hour, getting ready for his weigh-in, and he's eating carboarding things that don't taste very good, but he has to do it.”
"Weighing in at 165 pounds, Lynn III will make his amateur debut on April 30 at the 2022 West Michigan Golden Gloves Tournament. The event will be held at The DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids."
He wants to be champion by the end of April 30. His long term goal is to be a professional fighter. But most importantly, his biggest aspiration is to allow his love for boxing to have a bigger impact on his life.
“Boxing just gave me another chance. Literally, it gave me another shot, another chance at living how I want to live,” said Lynn III. “I want boxing to continue changing my life, changing the way I eat, changing how I choose to live, the patience I have in the outside world.”