Boxing trainer Mack Allison III is no stranger to AFRO sports readers. The 42-year-old Baltimore City native, known to many as Coach Mack, has appeared in several different articles relating to the Baltimore boxing scene, working out of the legendary Upton Boxing Center with fellow trainers Calvin Ford and Kenny Ellis.
The star training-trio has produced various successful boxers, both on the amateur and pro level, which makes Allison and his colleagues a frequent feature for the AFRO. But this time around, Allison isn’t making headlines for his skills as a trainer. He’s actually making news now as a writer.
Allison recently wrote and released his book, Coach Mack Training and Boxing Guide, which covers the basics of amateur boxing, from step-by-step instructions on exercises and stretches to tips on proper fighting mechanics. Allison said writing a book was a childhood dream that he always hoped to accomplish.
“I remember telling some of my teachers growing up that I wanted to write a book one day, and they laughed,” Allison said. “But now I’m laughing after actually pulling it off. It’s amazing how God works in life.”
Allison said he also found recent inspiration to write the short book after thinking of different ways he could continue to give back to the youth in his community. He began volunteering as a boxing trainer years ago for the same reason, but his reach was limited to the youths that would frequent the gym where he worked. But his book may reach more people, perhaps motivating more of those that relate to his rough childhood that they too can reach positive goals in life.
Allison recently visited his old neighborhood, near the corner of Preston Street and Greenmount Avenue in East Baltimore, to offer his book to anyone interested. As soon as he pulled up, he saw one of his old pals’ face light up with a smile. “I’ve always wondered what you been up to, Mack,” the old friend said. Allison then gave him a copy of the book, while they jogged back down memory lane.
“This is boarded up now, but it used to be eight of us that lived in here,” Allison said. “I remember I would see a view of the cemetery from my front porch, and in my backyard you could see the prison. It was a like a vision of where I was headed if I didn’t leave the streets alone and do something with my life. But now I’m back out here with my own book, blessed with a chance to lead by example.”
Allison has always led by example with his skills as a trainer. Not only does he train fighters, but he also competes, recently winning the grand championship in the Shilan Steve Stolon Combat Classic martial arts tournament on Oct. 22 and the 2011 John Burdyck’s Battle of Baltimore Karate Championship tournament the week before. Now he wants to be the example of using not only his skills as a fighter, but also the education that he learned to succeed in life.
“I’ve had people in my life pushing me to succeed, from my wife always encouraging me as my No. 1 supporter to my Grandmaster Mike Panther putting all the work he has into me for these tournaments,” Coach Mack said.
“James Hogan, Jeremy Trussle, Mark Moore and Glen Hawkins; having these people in my corner constantly supporting me is the reason I’m able to return the favor by supporting others in pursuit of their own life goals.”
Coach Mack’s Training and Boxing Guide can be obtained by reaching out to Mack Allison III at the Upton Boxing Center on at 1901 Pennsylvania Ave. Baltimore. MD. 21212.