(Eddie Alvarez gets affectionate with Eddie Jr. after winning the Bellator lightweight strap. Props to Bellator.)
Fighting and family have always overlapped for Eddie Alvarez. The Bellator lightweight champ began his career on the streets of Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood where night after night his father helped him perfect his punch. The Kensington punch is just one piece of wisdom that Alvarez hopes to impart to his own children.
“My son Eddie [Jr.] loves to fight. Anthony is a bit too young to grasp anything right now, but Eddie knows arm bars,” Alvarez said. “Sometimes [Eddie] comes up with some funky moves, and I think ‘Hey that might work.’ Eddie enjoys fighting. He enjoys punching and wrestling. He understands the difference between [sport] fighting and when it’s serious… He thinks fighting is how you show affection; it’s more of a normal thing to do rather than some sort of barbaric act of expression.”
Eddie Jr. is four, Anthony is two, and Alvarez and his wife are expecting another child. To Alvarez, teaching his children to fight is a way of helping them become better human beings.
“I think fighting helps you grow as a person,” Alvarez said. “You don’t just get better at fighting, you expand it and see that you’re able to correlate all the lessons you learned fighting into your everyday life to become a more well-rounded person, and I’m doing that. The more I learn about fighting, the more I correlate that with my life, and my life becomes easier, and I’m happier, less stressed. I’m continually growing as a person, and I improve.”
Boys fighting is just as normal as boys starting to chase girls, and Alvarez already has his mind made up on how he feels about the latter.
“I don’t want my boys dating at all. I want them to stay as far away from women as possible,” Alvarez said. “I saw a movie one day; it said, ‘You can lose a lot of money chasing women, but you’ll never lose women chasing money.’ I want [my sons] to keep their eyes on what they want to do and—I don’t know—be as selfish as possible. They’re my kids; I want them to be very focused on themselves and their goals and what they want to do, and girls will follow. Girls will come with that.”
Humility, too, Alvarez hopes.
“There’s always more to learn. Stay humble,” Alvarez said. “Keep your head down and continue to work hard. Continue to read and search for more knowledge because it’s out there… You can never know enough. My dad taught me that to this day—and he’s 50 something years old—he’s still learning. I always stress that to my kids.”
When Alvarez is not in the gym, he’s focused on his family, spending time with the kids at the zoo, vacationing at Cape May, New Jersey, or visiting Disney World. “There’s nothing like having kids and watching your kids experience new things,” Alvarez said. “I just want to give them that opportunity as much as I can in between the little time that I have when I’m not fighting.”
That time time is running short: Alvarez will fight Katsunori Kikuno at Dream.12 on Oct. 25 and begin defending his Bellator belt in 2010.