My photo essay “Apollo Ki’s: A Story About Two Brothers” revolves around the journey of Kishon and Kiandré Williams, two brothers who have rekindled their love for boxing during COVID-19’s ‘Safer at Home’ orders. The two started boxing at very young ages, Kiandré being 7 years old and Kishon only 5. Their father Kevin introduced them to boxing after finding inspiration in the great fighters of his time Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard. Kevin brought his boys to a youth fighting gym in their neighborhood where kids could learn boxing and various forms of martial arts. Kishon and Kiandré fought for about 5 years until they began to start losing interest. They would play fight every now and then, but didn’t start taking it seriously again until almost a decade later. Now, Kishon and Kiandré have been training three times a week consistently for the past 10 weeks.
Since gyms are closed to the public, the two have been using their backyard as a personal training facility. They renovated this garage into a fully functioning gym, using equipment such as bench presses and boxing bags handed down from their father. Although Kishon and Kiandré share the same passion for fighting, the two have very different ways of going about it. For instance, Kiandré finds that fighting for him is more of a spiritual practice, while Kishon fights mostly for fitness and protection. Kiandré wakes up early to stretch, pray and meditate; while Kishon wakes up and runs three miles with his dog, Kema. The two even have different long-term goals with what they want to do with fighting. Kishon would like to start training professionally as a lightweight fighter after COVID and Kiandré wants to start saving money to open his own training gym. Until then, the brothers are training each other and accepting private clients, under COVID-safe guidelines.