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The Price Is Right : Boxing: In the ring and out, Andy Price keeps a wary eye on Dwain Williams. The trainer knows too well the distractions that could await his young pugilist.

July 11, 1993|CHARLES SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Over the shoulder of every good boxer--or at least in his corner--there is a guardian angel.

In the case of 14-year-old boxer Dwain Williams, that overseer is his trainer, Andy Price.

As Williams sat in an office chair last week answering questions, clutching the trophy he recently won at the Junior Olympics, there was Price closely monitoring his every word. And just like in the ring, whenever Williams stumbled there was Price to correct his step.

"I like to box . . . I don't know . . . I guess because it's fun," Williams said.

"The real reason Dwain likes to box is because he doesn't have to share the spotlight with anyone," Price said. "He likes the respect that he receives from his peers and the attention he receives from the girls."

"Yeah, that's it," Williams said.

So far, in matters concerning Williams both inside and outside the ring, Price has been right.

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In addition to being Williams' trainer for the past three years, Price is also coach of the Denker Boxing Team, which operates out of the Denker Recreation Center in South-Central.

"It's great to have a kid come out of my program that is in the sport I love," Price said. "I can teach Dwain a lot of my favorite moves because I see a lot of myself in him."

Last month, Williams defeated Juan Prado of Hawaiian Gardens and Jose Hernandez of Hollenbeck to win the Southern California Assn. Junior Olympic District Championship in the 139-pound weight class. Before those bouts, Prado was ranked No. 1 in his weight class, Hernandez was No. 2 and Williams was unranked.

Williams, who has been boxing since he was 11, defeated Jose Medina of Nevada to win the Southern California Regionals, then competed in his first National Tournament--the Junior Olympics Championships--in Gulfport, Miss. from June 21-26.

Williams (11-5) lost in his second bout to 1992 Silver Gloves National Champion Courtney Burton from Michigan.

"The kids Dwain fought against had a lot more experience than he did," Price said. "Dwain has all the tools. He just needs to become more seasoned, which will come with more fights."

Price, who fought professionally as a welterweight for 11 years, keeps a watchful eye on his prize pugilist because he is wary of the distractions that await Williams.

"I'm like a big brother to Dwain because his mother and father are already a positive force in his life," Price said. "I teach Dwain to carry himself as a class act because people are watching him."

Williams' parents are directly involved in his boxing career.

His father, Arthur, takes him to the Dorsey track at 5 a.m. Monday through Friday to oversee his son's four-mile jog.

At 5 p.m. Williams' mother, Alita, brings him to the Hoover Street Gym to train.

"My family supports me and that's important to me," Williams said. "My mom gets nervous watching me at first, but once the first few punches are thrown, she starts cheering for me."

Williams recently graduated from Foshay Junior High and will attend Dorsey High in the fall. He plans to compete in the upcoming Junior Golden Gloves in East Los Angeles, July 21-24.

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