He’s physically prepared with his team, his trainer and family by his side. This will be the fourth time young, 18-year-old Alex Hilliard of Dresden will step into the cage. Yet this time, the stage is much larger and Hilliard’s competition, Jeremiah Trundle is a classified as a heavyweight champion.
For Hilliard, who is part of Brandon Taylor’s Team ROCK, he is determined to give Trundle a good match.
His trainer has confidence in him and has seen a significant difference in his attitude since he began training at Team ROCK nearly nine months ago.
“When he first came to the gym, he was hyperactive and a little arrogant. As months went by, he has showed determination and a lot of heart. He has practiced every day. He is fearless. He has supported all his other teammates and grown as a fighter,” Taylor said of his student. Taylor has served as a “rock” for almost 40 people, from youth to adults at his gym in Dresden. The minister offers an after-school program from 3-5 p.m. during the week training youth in boxing from ages 8-17. Taylor opened the gym about a year and a half ago and used a verse from the Bible to name the gym Team ROCK – “The Lord is my rock and my Savior.”
While Taylor is proud of his “students,” he said he can’t do without the help of Hilliard and the other team members.
It is that support system that offers Team ROCK members a chance to develop into not just a team, but a family as well. That success has turned lives around for Hilliard and other teammates.
Hilliard admitted he has taken part in more than 30 street fights. After his dad, John, became a police officer, Hilliard opted to redirect his aggression and passion into organized matches.
Coming into the gym at Team ROCK, Hilliard was more than rough around the edges and had no qualms about his arrogance. Now he describes himself as “cool and collected” and ready for the next challenge he faces Saturday night at the former FedEx Forum in Memphis.
“It is an honor to fight in this weekend’s match. We’ll make a great people’s champ. I am proud to fight for the V3 belt and make Dresden proud,” Hilliard said.
At age 26 and boasting a perfect 3-0 record, Trundle will prove a challenge for the young Hilliard. The local fighter said age is not a factor for this match and he is ready to represent his team.
Saturday’s event is hosted by V3 Fights. The three “V’s” stand for veni, vidi, vici – “we came, we saw, we conquered.” Hilliard is sponsored by Stand Up Fighter.
His match will be fought in the cage where anything goes in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Hilliard and Trundle will compete for the title of Heavyweight Champion. From now until Saturday’s fight, Hilliard and his trainer will continue to prep for the match at Team ROCK off the court square in Dresden.
“I have to thank V3 Fights for giving me this opportunity. I also have to say thank you to all of my teammates for helping me get this far, including Brandon Taylor, Christina Bannister, Ryan Banks, Daniel James, Nicco Sudzum, Josh Gordon, Layla Elhulu, Joseph Crocker, Bobby Perez and Rico Taylor Quea Spencer. Expect big things from these people in the future,” Hilliard added.
To meet Taylor and Team ROCK and wish Hilliard luck, stop by the gym located in the former Pizza USA building off of the court square in Dresden or call (731) 220-0466. For more information about Saturday’s fight, visit www.v3fights.com. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the matches begin at 7 p.m. at the Minglewood Hall, former home of the FedEx Forum, at 1555 Madison Avenue in Memphis.