“I would run in the mornings, then work my 9 to 5 accounting job, and then to the legendary Romanza Gym to do my boxing work to prepare for my fights. When I had fights and had to travel I would get permission from by boss to go for my fights traveling on the weekends, fight, and be ready for work on Monday. I did that until I got my first championship opportunity against Freddie Norwood. At that time I took a few months off from work to get ready for the fight. A fight I felt I won on points. But it was not until I won my first world championship in February of 2003 that I decided to leave my job and concentrate on my boxing career. I was a little nervous about leaving my job and its security but I felt that as a World Champion I needed to dedicate myself to boxing fulltime and it was the right decision to make.
Not easy funding yourself as a professional athlete. Very few boxers make it so while I’m not surprised that he had a fall back plan but I am surprised at how long he kept at his day job!
You may have heard of Marquez for this (original post here).
The thing that impressed me about that fight was that Manny was outboxing Marquez but found himself in the ring with what might be the second smartest fighter on the planet. And smart with the figurin’, too!