Fitness and Boxing meet in Synergy


By Anthony Alegrete

Jump for Joy Foundation

It all started 10 years ago in Denver, Colorado when his mother and Uncle first introduced him to going to the gym. Growing up fighting his older cousins and not shedding any tears when they would get the best of him, his mother saw something in him that she knew was special. She knew her kid “had something,” it was just a matter of time. She started taking him to the 20th street House of Pain boxing gym located in downtown Denver and that’s where the career of Lightning Lonnie Smith aka El Negro Mexicano was started.  Lonnie had to take the bus, get rides from friends, or do whatever he had to do to get there. He was determined – Determined to be the champion one day!

Fast forward to today and what you see is a man dedicated and motivated to be the next WBO NABO Jr. lightweight champion of the world. This man does not take working out as a joke. It is serious! He is focused and he is ready to prove to the world he is #1.

What this man does in one work out most people do in five but he is humble about it. “I owe it all to my team of trainers,” says Lonnie. “Without them pushing me to my limits day in and day out I could not perform with the speed and swiftness that I do.”

When asked about his all star team of elite professional trainers, Lonnie speaks with passion and pride. Skipper Kelp is his head boxing coach and keeps him on his toes in every session. David “King” Sample fits well on this team as Lonnie’s Assistant trainer.


Branden Collinsworth

And to tie it all in, Lonnie has acquired Las Vegas’ #1 Strength and Conditioning coach Branden Collinsworth. “It has been an absolute joy to work with a person that is so dedicated, and willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top,” says Collinsworth. “Lonnie has more heart and motivation than anyone I have ever trained with before.”

“Lonnie is a student of life; he is always seeking understanding and knowledge from every person he meets. It is what makes my job as his trainer a rewarding one. Because he allows me to take it where I think he needs to be in regards to his fitness game, Lonnie is able to do things with his body that 99% of the world’s population can’t do,” said Collinsworth.


Branden and Lonnie

After one interview with these guys even I am fatigued. When its GYM time, its ZONE OUT time! These two come together in a complete synergy to produce a result not independently obtainable. It’s like magic to a wand OR a cheetah to the prairie it runs on. These two accomplish feats within the fitness realm that are amazing. They both fall into a natural state of flow.

It’s no surprise that Collinsworth permeates with positivity. Starting last fall, Collinsworth was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters of Applied Positive Psychology program. “Since attending UPENN I have elevated my fitness game to another level,” said Collinsworth.  Taking world renowned research and applying it into his every day regiment is what has made Branden become one of the most successful young fitness professional s in the entire country.


Branden focused on Lonnie

Referring to one of his favorite pieces of research, Branden speaks of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (MC). He goes on to tell me that MC’s notion of flow is the state of mind where people get into where they lose touch of time and they get absorbed in the moment. As if nothing else matters. “Lonnie obtains this flow in each fitness session almost to where it’s meditative,” says Collinsworth. “It’s really cool to train someone like Lonnie because it allows me to take what I have learned in Grad school and apply it in the field.”

“It’s all a mental thing in boxing, you have to not only be physically tough but mentally tough, Lonnie says. Branden provides me with a mental work out and a physical work out that builds my confidence and keeps me pushing forward and THAT’S what makes him the best strength and conditioning coach I have ever had.”

From the looks of it these two are at the top of their games. They are unstoppable and determined to be at the top of their industries. Nothing or no one is going to get in their way.

This Saturday, March 3rd in Northern California Lightning Lonnie Smith will be going up against WBO NABO champion Vicente Escobedo in a fight for the title. “ I WILL BEAT HIM….and when I do I am going after the green belt (WBC Champion) even if I have to travel to Japan and get it, said Lonnie. I am the best in the world for my division and I won’t stop until I get it.”


Lightning Lonnie Smith speaks with full confidence and humble emotion. He is not arrogant or cocky. He speaks from the heart and says what is on his mind. That is what is going to make this man the next champion in boxing. Mark my words America; Lightning Lonnie Smith AKA El Negro Mexicano will be the #1 Jr Lightweight in the world in 2012.

“I second that and guarantee it,” confidently chuckles Collinsworth. 

For more information on Branden Collinsworth visit: 

For more information on Lightning Lonnie Smith visit:


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