My dad [Eddie, a
former Golden Gloves fighter] is a fight fan, so I'd watch fights with him. I
asked if I could train and learn to box, and I started a month before my 10th
birthday. My mom [Sue] wasn't too happy about it. She said if I ever got
knocked out, I'd be done boxing. Luckily that's never happened. My mom has come
to my last three fights, but when I was a kid she would almost never come. She
didn't enjoy the places we were boxing. A lot of times they were bars with
girls that liked to dance.
On sparring with
I used to spar
against guys like the WBC lightweight champion David Diaz. When you spar
against guys like that and then go into amateur fights, it's almost like the
amateur fights are in slow motion. Guys like Diaz go into a fight and within 30
seconds they're setting up combinations to go against your weaknesses. I almost
busted my jaw while sparring—I couldn't really eat for a week—but in a real
fight, I never got caught like that.
You're back there
all alone, and it feels like 20-some guys are running straight down on you.
You've got to find your seam and hit it as hard as you can, just take off
running. You can't have any second thoughts or any fears.
On whether he has
I do, but I try to
keep that quiet and not let people know what they are.