‘Euphoria’ star Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton promises he’s not an actor just dabbling in boxing: ‘I’ve got something to prove’

As he prepares to share a card with Amanda Serrano and Jake Paul, 17-year-old Javon “Wanna” Walton knows there will be a brighter spotlight on his professional boxing debut than almost anyone else in the sport.

Walton is best known for his portrayal as Ashtray on the award-winning HBO series Euphoria, as well as roles in shows like The Umbrella Academy, but long before he stood in front of the camera, he was already learning how to throw punches. It’s an important distinction that he wants to make ahead of his pro debut, because as much as he appreciates the support and attention he’s received from fans who have seen him on TV, Walton promises that he was always a boxer first who then took up acting second.

“I’ve been working on boxing my whole life,” Walton told MMA Fighting. “People see it, but they only want to talk about the acting side. They don’t see the work I’ve been putting in the gym. I’ve got something to prove March 2, and I can’t wait to show the world what I’m going to do.

“I think that’s what makes me different from everybody else as well,” he added, “is that I’ve got two things going for me. I’m going to hold onto the acting world for sure, but my priority is boxing now and I’m going to get in as many fights as I can. There’s a lot to prove. This is just a stepping stone in the boxing career. I’m looking forward to a very, very long career in the boxing world. I really can’t wait to do my thing in the ring and show people that I’m really about this and I’ve been working for this my whole life.”

Walton has said that he’s putting acting on hold right now as he turns his full focus to boxing, but he’s not shutting the door on that career.

In fact, he draws parallels between the lessons he learned on-set while acting opposite Emmy winners like Zendaya and the preparation he needs in the boxing ring.

“The work ethic and the mental [preparation] for sure [are the same],” Walton said. “When you’re acting, you’ve got only so many takes where you can get it right. In boxing, you mess up one round in a four-round fight, it can go either way. In both areas, you have to be very sharp at all times.”

Fame affects everyone differently, but there are limitless examples of children who grew up in front of the camera and then suffered through any number of struggles later in life. Over the years, it’s effectively become a cautionary tale for stardom in Hollywood.

Walton understands the pressure that comes along with that level of attention at such a young age, but it’s something he’s addressed by surrounding himself with the right people.

His father serves as his head trainer, and Walton has another guardian angel looking over him at all times with Paul serving as his promoter.

As a former Disney star turned social influencer, Paul grew up under the spotlight, and things have only gotten brighter since he decided that boxing would be his future. Now Paul is making an investment in Walton as one of the rising stars under his Most Valuable Promotions banner.

Between Paul, his dad, and a familiar team that always surrounds him, Walton exudes confidence that he’ll make the right decisions regarding his career and his future in combat sports.

“Honestly, I’ve been just staying super focused my whole life and I have a great support system around me,” Walton said. “I couldn’t ask for a better team. It’s people that have been around me my whole life and they’re looking out for my best interests.

“A lot of these guys, they get these people that don’t really care about their best interests around them as they get older. I’ve been around my team my whole life. I think that really helps me, for sure.”

Walton also knows that his boxing career will be a marathon rather than a sprint, which is why he’s not making any outrageous claims about his plans beyond the debut fight on March 2. He has championship aspirations, but because Walton is having his first professional fight while he’s still a teenager, there’s no need to run before he can walk.

“I want to take my time with it,” Walton said. “I’m only 17 years old. I have a lot of room to grow in the boxing world. I won’t hit my prime for the next couple of years. I’ve got so much time ahead of me and I think that’s what’s so great about starting the pro game so early. I can take my time, choose when I want to fight, and really be selective about it in the beginning.

“Then, in the next five years, I would love to be fighting for a world title. If I can end this year with three to four fights under my belt, I would feel great about that.”

Boxing takes up all his time these days, but Waltons says his former co-stars haven’t forgotten about him. In fact, he knows everyone he’s worked with over the years will be in his corner, even if they’re not sitting ringside for his debut.

“When you work on a series for so long and you’re with those people for such long hours, you kind of become a little family over that amount of time,” Walton said. “I definitely stay in touch with a lot of those people and I talk to them about the boxing world.

“I’m blessed to have such amazing people around me that are supporting me and really ready to see what I’m going to do on March 2.”

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