Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso uses boxing to prepare for NFL season

MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso is using boxing to help prepare for the upcoming NFL season.

The skills Alonso has learned in the ring can be translated to the football field, he says.

“Hand-eye coordination — a big part of being a linebacker is using your hands and striking blockers and disengaging,” said Alonso. “That helps a lot, too.”

Alonso has been in the ring with boxing trainer Ricardo Wilson for the past two years.

“Kiko is so powerful and so explosive,” said Wilson. “Learning how to use that and get it going in one direction, as well as being fluid and relaxed with it — he’s gonna be able to control his breathing better, he’s going to be able to recover faster. All of these things, boxing can help with.”

Undefeated welterweight boxer Harold Calderon from Miami has been sparring with Alonso, as well. The two became friends while recovering from the same thumb injury nearly two years ago.

“The boy can fight; that’s a fact,” said Calderon. “He’s big, and he has some pop. I was just amazed, like, ‘Wow, if this guy was to ever fight professionally or something, he would really hurt somebody.'”

Alonso is not unfamiliar with boxing outside of the ring, either. The Dolphins linebacker co-promoted a fight card in Miami last June.

“I would definitely like to get involved with boxing,” Alonso said. “But we’ll see. I wouldn’t say that’s out of the picture.”

While boxing may be a possibility in his future, right now, Alonso focuses on relief efforts for Puerto Rico, where his father grew up.

“When you go over there and you see people who haven’t had light and water since September, it’s hard to see,” said Alonso. “They’re very grateful. That was part of the mission. It’s just going over there, show people that we care about them, and we’re trying to help them. I think that goes a long way, even more than just giving them the stuff they need.”

Alonso has raised nearly $200,000 for the people in need in Puerto Rico.

As for as boxing, Alonso will be in Calderon’s corner in July at the Seminole Hard Rock and Casino, where Calderon fights for the title.

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