PODCAST

Life's Tough: Boxers Are TOUGHER

Matthew Pomara

Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! is hosted by Matthew Pomara (MMP) – Writer, Boxing Fan, Technology Consultant, and CEO of Long Island Boxing Charities. He is committed to helping fighters battle their toughest opponent, life outside of the ring, whether it is helping an aged fighter live with dignity or giving a young fighter a chance at opportunity. Matthew’s “day job” is helping his clients understand and define their I.T. Initiatives. He has worked with several organizations from small private schools to universities as well as companies ranging from small scale startups to enterprise level corporations, offering technology services and consulting to both enhance as well as enable education goals and business outcomes.   In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! with his understanding of the boxing industry, love of the game and his natural empathy, Matthew discusses a specific challenge someone in the fighting game has had to face outside the ring and how they overcame those challenges to compete or excel in the sport. The iconic fictional boxer Rocky Balboa once said, “You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit… and keep moving forward.” Every person who has had any modicum of success has had to understand that and live that. Sometimes your toughest opponent is life itself.  Check out our other podcasts by going to https://www.lifestough.com

Puncher’s Chance to Prayer Warrior with Mark Medal
In the guest corner, from Jersey City, New Jersey with a career record of 24 wins, 20 by knockout and only three defeats—the inaugural former IBF Junior Middleweight Super Welterweight Champion of the World, Mark Medal. A natural athlete with no boxing experience, Medal skipped the amateurs and became a world champion in just four and half years. He ascribes his early success to being a quick study and learning from the best professional boxers, many of whom were his sparring partners in the early days.  Then, in 1984 Medal fought Earl Hargrove for the newly formed IBF’s Light Middleweight Title, winning with a TKO in the fifth round, becoming the inaugural champion. Medal, the underdog, recalls Hargrove tried to intimidate him before the fight, boasting about himself. Medal agreed, “You’re a helluva fighter, but you’re gonna get a piece of me in the ring. It’s as simple as that.” True to the proverb, Hargrove’s pride came before his fall.   After his retirement from boxing at age of 30 Medal became a member of the Jersey City Police Department. After 23 years, he was fired from the force when he tested positive for marijuana use; Medal had no idea that his son had given him tea made with cannabis to get rid of his migraine headaches! Despite having to leave a job he dearly loved over such strange circumstances, he doesn’t regret that he hasn’t had a migraine since. And he still takes great pride in having used his authority as an officer to help people.  Medal credits his deep faith in God for getting him through life’s challenges, including the death of his son in prison. “Faith is deep in your heart and when it comes out it makes you a better person.” He says God has made him tougher than life because God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. He prays every day and gratefully  thanks God for all that he has and all that he’s been able to do to help people.  Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out how it is that Medal still has a six pack—at 65.  ***  In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “NYFights.com,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on.  Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.    CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/.
6d ago
40 mins
Picking Off Life’s Punches with 3x World Champion and Mensa Member Bobby Czyz
In the guest corner from West Palm Beach, Florida by way of Orange, New Jersey, his record an outstanding 44 wins against eight defeats with 28 wins by knockout, the former IBF Light Heavyweight Champion, former WBA Cruiserweight Champion and former WBU Super Cruiserweight Champion, Bobby Czyz (Chez).   A member of the High IQ Society Mensa, when Czyz turned down four partial pre-med scholarships and a free ride to West Point to instead pursue professional boxing, everyone said he must not be THAT smart! Not a religious man, Czyz says he was driven to become a boxing champion to achieve some form of immortality, to be remembered. Having established his legacy in six weight classes and having been inducted into several halls of fame, one might say he achieved his goal.  But the boxer’s first real life challenge happened long before he ever stepped into a ring—that of surviving his father’s brutal abuse. Czyz describes his father as a “violent disciplinarian” who beat everyone in the house.  He’s made his peace with his father, who died when he was 21, and says that he turned the suffering he endured into something positive. His father forced him to go to the gym six days a week, beginning at age ten.   When he was only eleven, he took a sparring match with a Junior Olympic Champion and from that moment on, he knew he would become a champion himself one day.  His mother is a different story. Every bit as harsh as his dad was, his mom was kind, saintly even. He compares the pair to Hitler and Mother Teresa. Whether because of it or despite his upbringing, he says he never so much as raised his voice to his own wife. Czyz defies the paradigm of the abused becoming the abuser. In fact, he loved both his parents and in particular wanted to make his father proud.   Next up, Czyz is going back to another bailiwick in which he excels, broadcasting. Believe it or not, bare knuckle boxing is legal again.  Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out who, of all the boxers Czyz’s faced, hit him the hardest AND to learn a great riddle.  Czyz invites everyone to reach out to him on www.bobbyczyz.com.   ***  In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “NYFights.com,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on.  Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.    CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/
May 6 2022
34 mins
From the Boxing Ring to the Silver Screen with John Duddy
In the guest corner, from Queens, New York by way of Derry, Ireland with an impressive 29 wins, against only 2 defeats with 18 big wins by knockout, Matt welcomes John Duddy. The former WBC Continental Americas Champion and the IBA Middleweight Champion retired from boxing in 2011, but his fights are still regularly televised. In fact, the man who used to be a top draw at Madison Square Garden has since found unexpected success in another arena—acting.  Duddy comes from modest beginnings and leads a humble life in New York to this day. Yet, he jokes, “It’s not too often you get a phone call from Robert De Niro to be in a movie.” He credits the opportunity he’s had in professional boxing and continues to have in his acting career with living in New York City, his second home.  Duddy came to America at the age of 15 and was quickly disillusioned with the amateur boxing game. He made his goal to go pro, although he wasn’t an Olympian, and he didn’t hold a European title. But he believed in himself and wanted to see how far he could go. He’s always had his wife’s support, which was a difference maker. After seven and half years in the ring he felt he needed to retire and although he left the sport, he never left the gym.  Immigrating to America he says one of the most difficult challenges is finding your tribe as an outsider. The great melting pot that is New York City made it easier for him to do so. That and the gym. For many boxers the gym is akin to a fraternity. You basically live in it. You meet your surrogate family there. It is a place to know and be known. To this day Duddy spends some of his time as a fitness trainer, using his experience to help others.  Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE—Duddy’s clean joke is worth the wait!  Duddy invites you to watch his latest movie, A Bend in the River, on Amazon Prime, Google Play and YouTube and let him know what you think.  @john.duddy | Instagram  Jfdudds1 | Twitter   ***  In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “NYFights.com,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on.  Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.    CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/
Apr 29 2022
32 mins
The Decision: Beating Tyson and Alcoholism with Kevin McBride
In the guest corner, from Brockton, Massachusetts by way of Clones, Ireland with 35 wins, 29 by knockout, and 10 defeats, the former All Ireland Heavyweight Champion of the World, Kevin McBride. His alias “The Clones Colossus” comes as no surprise, standing 6’ 6” with a reach of 80” the fighter is best known for defeating Mike Tyson, his last bout before retirement.    In his late forties, McBride still considers stepping back into the ring. But he values his family and wants to be around for his wife and children, a goal he’s more likely to accomplish by sticking to his current job, working as a tree guy who snowplows in the winter. McBride admits boxing is in his blood and he loves the sport, but he loves life more.  He may have beaten Tyson, but the fighter humbly states of his toughest opponent, “I ain’t gonna win against the drink…The drink’s the KO punch. It’ll knock out anybody; it don’t matter how big or strong you are.” He maintains his sobriety one day at a time.  A few months ago, McBride took his son to the mall where Mike Tyson was signing autographs. His son was excited to meet the man considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. And his dad beat him. Only five other people in the world can say that.   Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE when he sets the record straight on whether or not Tyson is a nipple-biter!  ***  In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “NYFights.com,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on.  Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.    CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/
Apr 22 2022
22 mins
Shoring Up The Fighters On The Undercard with Matt Farrago
In this episode Matt talks to Suffolk Sports Hall of Famer, Matt Farrago. Known as the Beta Bomber, after his college fraternity Beta Phi Epsilon, Farrago finished his career with 25 wins—11 by knockout—2 defeats and one draw against the formidable Bobby Joe Young. Yes, Farrago is a college graduate, who planned on going to medical school until he stepped into the ring, and just kept winning.  The first challenge he faced was winning over his parents. Because he turned pro while he was a student with a dual major at Cortland State University, after 11 consecutive wins Madison Square Garden and ESPN were calling. Farrago says although his whole family is in medicine, he decided to take a chance on boxing to see how far he could go. He knew he was tough, but boxing was in his heart, and as long as he had heart, he knew he could make it.  Like all professional fighters, Farrago has faced challenges with injuries and overcoming the “shady” side of the boxing business. “Boxing is honorable in the ring, but outside the ring, it’s a different world.” Not one that most people see.   Once he felt ready to move on, Farrago relied on his college diploma first becoming a schoolteacher and then landing in his sweet spot, medical device sales. A natural born salesman, Farrago was in the industry for 18 years working in operating rooms in hospitals throughout Long Island and the surrounding New York City boroughs. In 2010 he went back to his first love, this time with the goal of helping veteran fighters once they retire from boxing, a professional sport without a union.  Fueled by his frustration that the sport doesn’t take care of its own, Farrago founded Ring 10, a non-profit that helps former fighters, most of whom make little money in their professional careers with no retirement plan or insurance. Ring 10 devotes 100% of all profits to helping fighters get back on their feet. To learn more, donate or find out about charity events visit www.Ring10.org.   ring10ny | Twitter  Ring 10 of NY | Facebook  @ring10ny | Instagram ***  In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “NYFights.com,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on.  Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.    CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/
Apr 15 2022
26 mins
The REAL Rocky Balboa—Two-Time Heavyweight World Champion Tim Witherspoon
In this episode Matt talks to the two-time heavyweight champion of the world from the fighting city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tim Witherspoon. Although he’s known as “Terrible Tim” he’s one of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet, who still at age 64 doesn’t want to disappoint his mom.  Tim likes to say he’s the real Rocky because he grew up not far from the Italian Market in Philly, where the Oscar winning movie was filmed. In fact, Tim’s mom—who raised eight kids nearly single-handedly—used to take him there to buy groceries as a kid. And yes, he’s also run those iconic steps at the museum.  The boxer’s positive attitude is infectious. He credits his success and the ability to overcome racism and resistance to gangs, which were active in his neighborhood, to having supportive and loving people around him during his formative years. Playing sports also helped, and so did going to church every Sunday. One of his mentors welcomed him into his family, a Jewish family that fed him, hugged him, and sent him to summer camp. Tim can recite prayers in Hebrew to this day!  He also credits his success as a boxer to having the right people around him. When Muhammad Ali noticed him at the gym and asked him to be his sparring partner Tim’s confidence soared. He says he wasn’t fond of the moniker given to him by a friend “Terrible Tim” at first, but when Ali kept referring to him that way it stuck. Because at the time, if you were terrible, it meant the opposite of what you’d expect—you were awfully good. And if you think you can’t build muscle without meat, this champion has been a vegetarian for 45 years.  Don’t miss Tim’s hilarious answers to Matt’s FAST FIVE questions.  Tim teaches the secrets of boxing he was taught by the old timers and shares his healthy diet on his YouTube channel. To support his endeavors, visit his Patreon page.  Tim Witherspoon | YouTube  Tim Witherspoon | Facebook  @officiallytimwitherspoon | Instagram  ***  In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “NYFights.com,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on.  Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.    CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/
Apr 8 2022
34 mins
Helping His Country Get Off the Ropes | The Ukrainian Pitbull Oleh Dovhun
Matt talks to the current NABA Super Bantamweight champion of the world, direct from the Steel City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Ukrainian Pitbull, Oleh Dovhun. With 14 wins out of 14 fights, five by knockout, the 26-year-old southpaw knows a thing or two (or 14!) about being tough—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Living in the US for the last five years, his heart is heavy as the war rages on in Ukraine.  Luckily his family, number one in his life, is safe in western Ukraine thus far. Oleh has had to find a way to focus on the job, while not knowing where the next bomb might land. He says that right now, any male between the ages of 18 and 60 could be called upon to fight if needed. His father is 57. He prays every day for an end to the conflict and loss of innocent life.    The war started just 20 days before his first 10-round title defense. His disciplined training kicked in so he could set aside the world events for at least an hour to focus on winning the fight. When he stepped into the ring it seemed as though all the world was in this Ukrainian fighter’s corner. He wanted to make his people proud by putting aside worries and doing his job. After winning, he went to work helping his country by donating money from his purse and sending provisions through his church in Pittsburgh.   Like so many, Oleh is proud of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who won huge respect with his bold moves against Russia. He wants people to know about the atrocities committed by Putin against a sovereign independent nation, since 1991. Although he can, he refuses to speak Russian as a way of standing in solidarity with his countrymen, a proud and principled people.    Stay tuned for Oleh’s answers to Matt’s FAST FIVE to learn a Ukrainian curse word AND whether he casts his vote with Primantis or Peppi’s (Yinzers will want to know!).  The undefeated champion is fond of saying, “Glory to Ukraine God Bless America,” because he loves both his country and the one he calls home for now. Oleh says others can support the armed forces in Ukraine by donating to a special fund setup by the National Bank of Ukraine.  Oleh Dovhun | Facebook  @ukrainian.pitbull | Instagram  ***  In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and “NYFights.com,” talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on.  Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.    CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/
Apr 1 2022
27 mins
Toe-to-Toe with Depression and Achieving Self-Worth with Maureen Shea
In this episode, Matthew talks to the two-time world champion, Maureen “The Real Million Dollar Baby” Shea with 29 wins, 13 by knockout against only two defeats. Maureen is known as the "Real Million Dollar Baby" because she was the main sparring partner for Hilary Swank in her preparation for the 2005 movie, Million Dollar Baby. Raised in the Bronx, New York, the city she dearly loves, she now trains and lives in south Florida, a move she ended up making to save her life.  The toughest opponent she’s ever faced is mental illness. Since childhood she struggled with depression, feeling like she was living in a ‘fishbowl’ seeing everyone else living on the outside, while she was stuck inside alone. In addition, she had seasonal affective disorder, a mood disorder that causes depressive symptoms, most commonly in winter. When medication and light therapy didn’t work, she knew she needed to leave New York, moving first to California, then ultimately Florida—all while advancing in her career.  As one of the top professional female boxers in the world, you might not guess she’s also suffered through abusive relationships AND a compulsive eating disorder. Although she was a champion in the ring, she didn’t feel worthy of her success which brought her more shame. And she was angry about it.   Maureen’s advice for overcoming mental illness…  + Show up every day for yourself. She recommends walking for 20 minutes every morning. GET UP and GET OUT to get your endorphins going!  + Find strength in a higher power. Her faith is her lifeline and the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 taught her that God had a better plan for her life even when she didn’t feel it.  + Write down your feelings. This helps to remind us of where we’ve been, and how far we’ve come.  + Ask for help. Professional therapists and addiction support groups are a mainstay in her life. Start with finding a group online and then graduate to attend in-person meetings. Talk to someone who makes you feel safe.  + Find your purpose. Starting small, even if it’s just making your bed every day, can be enough to help you feel you’ve accomplished something. “Winning all the little fights will help you fight THE fight.”  At age 41, Maureen is battle-tested and no longer feels she needs to prove anything to anybody, and says she’ll leave boxing on her own terms with no regrets. All her hard work outside the ring has paid off. She now believes what so many others knew all along—she’s worth it.  @Maureen_Shea | Instagram and TikTok  MaureenShea | Twitter  Maureen “The Real Million Dollar Baby” Shea | Facebook  ***  In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to “The Ring” magazine and NYFights.com talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on.  Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.   CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts at https://www.lifestough.com/
Mar 25 2022
33 mins
Sparring with Mental Illness and Injury with Cletus Seldin
In this inaugural episode host Matthew Pomara talks to Cletus Seldin, the fighting pride of Shirley Long Island, The Hebrew Hammer, the current NABA Super Lightweight Champion with 22 wins by knockout. Ranked 8th in the world by the World Boxing Association, Cletus jokes, “not bad for a Jewish fight kid from Long Island!”    A three-sport athlete in high school, Cletus had always been a part of winning teams—a Long Island football championship, a state champion wrestler and lacrosse. Academics however were a challenge. ADHD kept him from doing well in the classroom, and because his parents wouldn’t let him take medication, he turned to sports to escape the world. He went on to excel in body building, until he found his true passion, boxing.     Boxing isn’t lucrative. It’s meant for tough individuals. Many fighters call it quits after an injury or two. But Cletus loves the grind and credits his success to never giving up and working hard. Like, incredibly hard. For his last birthday he ran 50 miles. At the start of his amateur career training, he took a beating every day for year. But he learned that he could out condition everybody and when they trained less, he trained more. Then he started to win. And he dedicated himself to building his career, including selling tickets to his own fights!    Cletus is refreshingly candid about his challenges with ADHD, taking medication and having to defend the right to do so in his sport. He’s also overcome a series of injuries and he’s still in the ring. Because in the ring, Cletus is a superhero. And outside the ring he’s a Funko Pop Star.    Don’t miss his hilarious answers to Matthew’s FAST FIVE questions.    CLETUS SELDIN | @lifeofcletus | @halfgladiatorhalfgeek | YouTube Half Gladiator Half Geek     ***    In each episode of Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER! host Matthew Pomara, a licensed amateur boxer, and boxing writer and contributor to "The Ring" magazine and "NYFights.com", talks to men and women in the boxing industry whose hard-won victories and personal triumph and perseverance inspire listeners to fight on. Because life isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.   CHECK OUT all our inspiring podcasts visit https://www.lifestough.com/
Mar 18 2022
26 mins
Trailer
Mar 10 2022
37 seconds