Alvin Harrison has two residences—one in Hollister and another in Northridge in southern California—but he also spends a huge chunk of his time nowadays at Rock Boxing gym in Salinas.
The former track and field Olympian has launched an energy drink and taken up a new sport to fill his competitive void, one he hopes will pay off in a big way. Harrison, 47, is training under the watchful eyes of gym owner Danny Corona, former welterweight champion Jose Celaya and two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd. Sugar Shane Moseley also trains at the gym, Harrison said. Talk about a who’s who of former boxing champions.
Harrison plans on boxing in an exhibition match in late November at SAP Center, preferably against someone with a decent following on Youtube or Instagram, “or another celebrity,” Harrison said. Ideally, someone like YouTube sensation Logan Paul. It seems like everyone is aiming to jump on the celebrity boxing train craze these days, and Harrison is no exception.
How big is the phenomenon? On June 12, millions forked over a decent chunk of change to watch a pay per view boxing match pitting Youtubers against TikTok stars. No, that’s not a typo. Exhibitions between former world champions who are way past their prime like the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones exhibition last December and social media influencers duking it out aren’t going anywhere.
The Paul brothers—Jake and Logan—have mastered the concept of taking an internet beef and transferring it over to a real fight, raking in millions of dollars in the process.
Harrison was a silver medalist in the 400 meters in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and a member of the U.S. 4×400 relay team that won gold in 1996 and 2000—though the latter medal was eventually stripped after a teammate was caught for doping. He said boxing has become his new passion.
“I love it and I’m pretty serious in my training,” he said.
Giavanna Felice, an incoming San Benito High senior and track standout, said Harrison can’t stop talking about his newfound love for boxing. She is being trained by Harrison with the goal to improve her 400 meter time so she can compete for a spot in the Central Coast Section Finals in the event next spring.
“He missed training for something and reaching the goal,” Felice said. “He missed the competition and day to day grind. He’s really excited about boxing and has been talking to me about it since he started training me.”
Felice said Harrison has already helped make a difference in her speed and mindset.
“I can already tell the difference,” she said. “He’s been taking film of our workouts and I can already tell the difference in how I feel when I run and how I look. My form just looks better and I feel faster.”
Felice recently caddied for her dad, Sal, in the U.S. Senior Open in Omaha. Although he didn’t make the cut—he shot 76-82—it was a supreme accomplishment qualifying in the first place.
“It was awesome,” Giavanna said. “It’s something I’ll never forget, the time we got to spend there together.”
Giavanna, who finished 16th in the CCS Trials in the 400 meters this past season, appreciates Harrison’s demeanor and demanding approach when it comes to training.
“We just really click,” she said. “We have the same mindset in that we both put in everything we have in what we’re doing, no matter what it is. And he’s obviously the best of the best. Before I started working with him, I didn’t know what he had accomplished. But I’ve probably looked at every single one of his races now.”
Harrison picks his spots when it comes to training athletes. Most of the time, he gets requests to train athletes from people he knows. Such was the case with former Cal football standout Zeandae Johnson, who Harrison said he trained in the leadup to April’s NFL Draft. Johnson went undrafted but in May signed a contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
“Zeandae is my agent’s cousin, and my agent asked me if I would train Zeandae to get ready for pro day,” Harrison said.
Harrison alternates his time between Hollister and Northridge because of his business, Sprintz Energy, which is headquartered in Santa Monica. The company was launched a year ago and there are brew stations in Watsonville and Los Angeles. Harrison’s son, Shraee, also lives in Southern California.
Harrison said the drink product is available at local 7 Eleven stores along with Chevron and 76 gas station marts. Purchases can also be made online at sprintzenergy.com. Harrison was studying to be an anesthetist when he decided to launch this business venture.
During his studies, Harrison learned about herbs and the way the central nervous system (CNS) works. He felt there was a market out there for people who wanted an energy drink free of caffeine, which stimulates the CNS and elevates cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.
Harrison said Sprintz Energy Tea’s ingredients—which includes elderberry, rose petals, blue agave, dandelion, yohimbe and muicle—help rid the body of unwanted waste and toxins and support vital organ function. Caffeine affects each individual differently, causing unwanted side effects in some like headaches, insomnia, rapid heart rhythm and anxiety, among other things.
“The bottom line is I wanted to make a healthier energy drink, and something that tastes good, too,” he said. “That’s what consumers are looking for. Things are going well with sales and we’re gaining traction.”