It’ll be a fight that the people talk about for generations. Billy “The Kid” Jones proved to the world that he is still the pound for pound, best shadow boxer in the world. Doubts about his commitment to the sport began to swirl after he wasn’t spotted at the local Powerhouse Gym for 2 straight weeks. Those rumors were proven wrong after he presumably won by KO after a 45-minute long fight.
Now personally, I’ve been following Billy’s career for months now since he joined the gym back in January. It was clear to me, after watching him do 5, 30-second rounds with 5-pound weights in each hand, that this kid had raw talent. Predictably, there were many haters of Billy within the gym. Maybe because of how difficult it was to get to the free weights with him throwing jabs. Or perhaps it was the combination of his brash attitude, dropping the 30-pound dumbbells, and his habit to listen to Fort Minor through his phone speaker. I saw something else, though. The people of suburbia didn’t see him through the same lens as I saw him. I could tell by his work boots, And1 shorts, and sleeveless “Class of 2009” cut off that he wasn’t doing this for attention, he was just poor.
But Mr Bigleys has a soul. I decided to give the young fellow a pair of Skull Candy headphones, because poor people love Skull Candy headphones. He quickly went from listening to Fort Minor out loud on his phone, to rapping the lyrics flawlessly for everyone to hear. My project was evolving. I began to notice signs of progress when muscle definition started showing through the cross tattooed on his shoulder. His tattooed rosary began to pop on his newly defined pecs. He went from jabbing with 5-pound weights to 10-pound weights, in between his usual 15 sets of pull-ups. He was walking on an incline for nearly half a mile every day. Billy was on track to be one of the best shadow boxers that this Powerhouse had ever seen. We’re talking about a gym that produced shadow boxing legends like Lenny “The Jet” Jenkins, Harry “Crooked Eye” Hayes, and Chris “The Fist” List. But one day Billy, just disappeared…
I was concerned. What happened to him? Did his Dodge Neon break down? Did he sip too much of that Robitussin and Sprite? I checked his SoundCloud to see if he might have been focusing more on his music career. That was proven to be false when I found that his SoundCloud page still only had his one song, "Sleep When I Die," posted. I went weeks without seeing my prodigy, until one day he just showed up. I was shocked to see that he was in incredible shape. I asked him where he had been and how he managed to be in better shape after skipping the gym for this long. He told me that him and his buddy, Jeff, had been juicing and working for the local lawn cutting service full time. He had made some big progress at work and was even promoted to head weed whacker. Tear's rolled down my face. Billy was back.
Billy will always be a bright spot in my memory. He put the work in and never made excuses. When he couldn’t show up to the gym because of work, he found a way to be more efficient: Steroids. Anyone who follows the International Shadow Boxing Federation (ISBF) knows that they don’t test for juice.
Unfortunately, following the match, he blew his back out doing deadlifts heavier than he could handle. I hope to see him recover soon and back in the ring. But even if Billy never enters the gym again, he’s solidified himself as one of Suburbia Powerhouses’ all-time greatest shadow boxers.