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 read less
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Embracing Diversity in a Lane All Her Own with Kali Reis
Oct 14 2022
Embracing Diversity in a Lane All Her Own with Kali Reis
Life’s Tough – Boxers Are TOUGHER!  True Tales of Triumph Inside and Outside the Ring with Matthew Pomara  [KALI REIS Season 2 Episode 12]    In the guest corner, she comes from the great fighting city of Philadelphia, by way of Providence, RI, with 19 wins, seven defeats with five big wins by knockout. An athlete and actress, she is scheduled to star opposite Jodie Foster in Season 4 of the HBO blockbuster series, True Detective. Please welcome the reigning WBA, IBO, and WBO Super Lightweight World Champion, Kali “K.O. Mequinonoag” Reis.     Reis’s road to success has been an interesting and, at times, arduous one. The youngest of five, with Native American and Cape Verdean family roots, she never felt like she fit in. Powwows and ceremonies were a part of her upbringing in East Providence, but because she didn’t live on a reservation, she says she was labeled the “token native kid.” She’s learned to embrace her heritage and incorporate it into her fights, introducing herself in her native Wampanoag language (her moniker Mequinonoag means “many feathers” or “many talents”). Her ring entrance is Matt’s favorite and for her, a powerful reminder of why she fights.    Raised by a Christian mom, Reis also had difficulty embracing same-sex attraction and being a part of the LGBTQ community. Yet, she married her best friend, Brian Cohen. Reis jokes, “Did I lose my gay card because I married a man?” Reis is also a stepmother and holds out hope of one day having a child of her own, something she can’t take for granted, having experienced menopause in her twenties.     Her ongoing reproductive health issues are an obstacle she’d had to overcome, both in her career and in her personal life. She remembers feeling like a failure, not being able to do the “one thing I was put on this earth to do,” have children. Keeping her genetic line alive means a lot to her, and to the many women she can empathize with who struggle with infertility. Being a professional athlete is tough enough, but even more so as a woman.    More than a decade after experiencing early menopause, her cycle returned, although she says it’s not completely normal. Reis values taking care of herself, and her ongoing health concerns are the cause of her postponed undisputed fight. She credits her tremendous support system with helping her to cope and remain hopeful for whatever is in her future. Acting, like boxing, demands focus.    One of the first women to fight on HBO (the fight in which she challenged Cecilia Brækhus) little did she know she would later be starring in a hit series on the same network. She already had three acting credits, the first being a starring role in the movie Catch the Fair One, based on a story she co-wrote with director Josef Kubota Wladyka. Reis is excited to film HBO’s True Detective in Iceland this year.    Her warrior spirit marches to the beat of a different drum—the drum of her people—and she uses her platform to advocate for Native rights. An active supporter of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMWIG) movement, she’s been able to elevate Native voices and educate and inspire her community. Finding her own identity has a lot to do with knowing her roots and she wants to help others do the same.    Now comfortably aligning with many minority groups, you might say she’s been fighting as, and for, the underdogs her whole life. And she’s proud of being different. Ever the athlete, Indigenous-American, African, gay, straight, motorcycle mechanic—she knows who she is and where she comes from riding in a lane all her own. What was once a source of shame has become her greatest source of strength.     Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out what she eats after making weight, her very cute clean joke and, as always, her favorite boxing movie.    @KO_Reis86| Twitter  @ko_ndnbxr | Instagram  K.O. - KaliReis | 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/.
Devoted to Helping Others Shine—Champion Turned Promoter Dmitry Salita
Oct 7 2022
Devoted to Helping Others Shine—Champion Turned Promoter Dmitry Salita
“I do believe that America is the best country in the world and I’m very grateful for this land of opportunity. I came here with nothing.” Dmitry Salita  In the guest corner, from Brooklyn, New York by way of Odessa, Ukraine SSR with the outstanding record of 35 victories, against only two defeats with 18 wins by knockout, the former IBF International, the WBA International and the WBF Jr. Welterweight World Champion, now promoter, “The Star of David” Dmitry Salita.   Why is Salita tougher than life? He knows a thing or two—or twenty—about succeeding in the face of great odds. When he was nine, is family came to the US from Soviet occupied Ukraine, to escape antisemitic persecution and to build a better life. One of his earliest memories of life in Brooklyn was the stunning variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at the market, something he’d never before seen.  He began his boxing career at age 13, channeling his frustrations with immigrating to become the best boxer he could be. He discovered Starrett City Boxing Club, which was then in the basement of a parking garage with no A/C, no heat, no bathroom. But it was free. And the atmosphere inspired him to come back—that and Jimmy O'Pharrow.   He loves America and that in this country eventually you can be called an American like everyone else. Although Salita is far from being like everyone else. For one, he’s an Orthodox Jew and as such follows strict Jewish law; he does not fight on the Sabbath or Jewish holidays, and he keeps kosher. He lives and trains within walking distance of the synagogue.   In 2013 he retired from boxing. Now as President of Salita Promotions based in Brooklyn, with 54 events under his belt, Salita represents some of the most exciting fighters in the world today. You could say the unanimous opinion on Salita is that he’s among the most talented, dedicated, fair-minded men in the business. A business that he’d like to see change for the better.    Matt and Dmitry wrap up the podcast with a candid discussion of the boxing industry’s pitfalls and potential.  When asked about the raging war in the Ukraine, it’s no surprise given his life experience that Salita feels compassion for civilians on both sides of the conflict. Of his future he says, “Hopefully life becomes sweet…we have to do our best to make it sweet.” For Salita, sharing the love makes the toughness go down a little easier.  Check out Orthodox Stance, a documentary about Salita’s career and his life as an Orthodox Jew which received Best Documentary Film honors at the 2008 London Jewish Cultural Awards.  Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out Dmitry’s favorite smokehouse in Brooklyn with a chef/boxer owner and his favorite box office boxing flicks.  Dmitry Salita | Web  Dmitry Salita | Facebook  Salita Promotions | YouTube  Salita Promotions | Facebook  @salita_promotions | Instagram  @salitaprom | Twitter  Detroit Brawl | Facebook  @detroit_brawl_ | Instagram  @DetroitBrawl | 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/.
From Trial Horses to Taking on Fury with Heavyweight Champion Otto Wallin
Sep 30 2022
From Trial Horses to Taking on Fury with Heavyweight Champion Otto Wallin
In the guest corner, coming to us from New York City by way of Sundsvall, Sweden, with an outstanding record of 24 victories against only one defeat and 14 big wins by knockout, the former WBC Continental Heavyweight Champion, the European Union Heavyweight Champion, the WBA Continental Champion, please welcome Otto “All In” Wallin.   So far Wallin’s only defeat is to the reigning heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, who won the fight on decision. Wallin's performance had defied the odds despite the loss, coming in as an over ten to one underdog. Wallin says that going 12 rounds with the more experienced fighter felt more like a win than anything. He’d had 15 years of training under his belt before he took on Fury, and he’s more motivated than ever.  Wallin credits his father, a former amateur boxer and trainer, with inspiring him to seize the day, to give 100% effort every time and to keep moving forward. “Even if something were to happen to me; don’t stop,” his father told him. Those words would prove prophetic when just four months before the bout with Fury, Wallin’s father died unexpectedly of a sudden heart attack.   To cope with the loss, Wallin followed his father’s advice as much for himself as for his dad. His was in the gym the day after his father’s death, fighting through the tears. Wallin finds solace in the gym. He says boxing is a “safe place” for him. His profession played an important role in helping him to grieve the loss of his biggest supporter.  Since he turned pro in 2013 he’s been able to concentrate solely on boxing—no side hustle. In Manhattan since 2017 Wallin may always take Sunday’s off, but he goes hard core, five hours a day, five or six days a week. The Swede treats his training like it’s his job. His performance in the ring reflects his discipline and his ability to laser focus.  Matt: “Boxing’s not a sport you play…you compete. A tiny lack of concentration could be big trouble.”  Wallin: “One punch and it could be over…you learn to always stay focused.”  When asked about where he finds the motivation to train so hard, the heavyweight champ admits, “It’s not always fun I’ll tell you that. But I do it ‘cause I want to be the best.” Surely his father would be proud.  Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out what sweet treat Tyson Fury compared Wallin to!  http://ottowallin.com/   @ottowallin | Instagram  Otto Wallin | 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/.
Fighting Through a Premature Coming of Age with Ronny Reyes
Sep 23 2022
Fighting Through a Premature Coming of Age with Ronny Reyes
In the guest corner, from New York City, the fighting pride of Delhi University, who won his debut professional bout in Star Boxing’s Rockin’ Fights series, a standout amateur with 20 wins against only five defeats, the two-time New York Ring Masters Champion, Ronny Reyes.  Well-spoken, good looking, hardworking, a college education with lofty aspirations—you might think at 25 years old that Reyes has led a charmed life. You’d be wrong, entirely so. At age seven he and his six-month-old sister were separated from their single mom and put into foster care. Moving from home to home, as a young boy Reyes let his anger get the better of him fighting in school and in the street, for seemingly little reason.   Reyes says not many families are interested in adopting a troubled little boy, preferring instead to mold infants like his sister. The silver lining was that their grandparents fought to keep the siblings together in the same home. This proved to be his first lifeline, as Reyes longed to give his sister a better life. When he was just 15, he got an “off the books” job enabling him and his sister to move in with their grandparents, who were of little means. At this point, he was determined to do better for the little girl.  As a teenager he found the boxing gym, and in it, the means to release his rage. After his work outs, he felt calmer, the anger having dissipated. He loved the release it gave him, and the discipline—his second lifeline. The professional athlete admits, his was far from a normal childhood. But his need to “man up” at a young age has made him a better, stronger man. He no longer feels angry.  Reyes graduated from high school and attended SUNY Delphi, one of the few schools with a boxing gym on campus. This gave him the ability to stay in shape, to keep his dream of winning the Golden Gloves alive. He also wanted a traditional college experience, and he recommends it to everyone. “Boxing is a tough, hard sport. It’s not for the weak. College is definitely an easier route.”   With the help of his father figure trainer Victor and under the tutelage of the Stellates, Reyes has matured as a man and as a boxer. He feels good about his debut pro performance but is constantly looking to sharpen his skills. He also feels good about continuing to provide for his sister, including saving for her college tuition, supplementing his income by working as a personal trainer.  Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out why Southpaw is Ronny’s favorite boxing movie and to hear his clean, if silly-funny, one-liner jokes!   @heavyhitter_ron | Instagram  Ronny Reyes | 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/.
For the Love of the Sport with Professional Boxing Promoter Joe DeGuardia
Sep 16 2022
For the Love of the Sport with Professional Boxing Promoter Joe DeGuardia
Life is like a fight, “If you’re gettin’ hit, you’re getting’ knocked down, you get up and you get back in there and you throw punches.” —Joe DeGuardia  In the guest corner, he comes to us from White Plains, NY by way of the Bronx, a world class professional boxing promoter with over 170 live cards, including The Paramount’s “Rockin’ Fights” series. He’s a former district attorney and 1988 New York Golden Gloves winner, New York Boxing Hall of Famer and CEO of Star Boxing, Joe DeGuardia.  In every aspect of his life boxing has helped develop DeGuardia’s character, his strength. One night while driving on the heavily trafficked Long Island Expressway, he was in a head on collision with a car driving the wrong way by an intoxicated driver. DeGuardia’s guardian angels must have been looking out for him. The other driver died, but he escaped without major injuries, nothing short of a miracle. Still, the doctors said his recovery would take months. DeGuardia, with a true fighter mentality pushed through the difficulty, and was moving around in just days.   But this wasn’t his first car accident.  When he was only 17, while training for the 1988 Olympics, he was a passenger in his cousin’s car when “a tree jumped in front of it.” DeGuardia, in the passenger seat, went through the windshield. Doctors told him he wouldn’t box again, but his desire to fight proved to be stronger. While graduating at the top of his class at Hofstra Law School, DeGuardia won the Golden Glove Championship. After graduating, rather than continuing to fight and break his father’s heart, he went to work as a prosecutor for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. Afterward he founded his eponymous law firm.  DeGuardia agrees—boxing is a brutal business. He’s doing what he can to change it for the better, because while there are things about the business he doesn’t like, it’s the sport that he loves.  He transformed his father’s Morris Park Boxing Club into one of the busiest boxing gyms in New York and founded Star Boxing to promote the sport in 1992. Much like the athletes, boxing is tougher than life. Over the years the appetite for boxing has waxed and waned, but when it gets knocked down, it gets back up again. It’s a sport that’s both an art and a science, which DeGuardia believes people appreciate.  Mum’s the word on what’s next for Star Boxing! Stay tuned to learn more and get their ever popular merch.   starboxing.com  @starboxing | Instagram & Twitter  Star Boxing, Inc. | Facebook  Star Boxing | YouTube  ***  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/.
Talking Boxing with the Other Superman—Champion Aaron Davis
Sep 9 2022
Talking Boxing with the Other Superman—Champion Aaron Davis
In the guest corner, he comes to us from his native hometown of the Bronx, NY, with an outstanding record of 49 wins against only six defeats with 30 big wins by knockout. Now a world class trainer, Matt welcomes the former WBA Welterweight Champion of the World, Aaron “Superman” Davis. Retired since 2002, Davis has turned his full attention to training the next generation of champion boxers.  Davis reiterates what many guests on the podcast have said, “Boxing is hard. You have to be dedicated and have the will to win.” Davis knows what it takes to be a champion—hard core dedication and focus. Boxers don’t lead a “regular life.” Missing holidays and family events is tough. But the gift of discipline can serve you well for the rest of your life.  At one point in his career, he was discouraged because no one wanted to fight him. Over the last five years of his career Davis won all six bouts, including a bloody battle against another former guest, Vinny Paz, who is as tough as they come. But Davis’s precise jabs and uppercuts tore Paz’s face so badly that the ringside doctor and referee called the fight in eight rounds for Davis. His last fight was against Ross Thompson in 2002, closing his career with a final win, never once having been KO’d himself.  Davis laments that there are few fighters these days who take control of a fight. He blames the trainers for not teaching young boxers how to fight. Ironically, they’re too worried about getting hit.  Connect with Davis on Facebook or at aarondavisbox67@gmail.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/.
From Port-au-Prince Poverty to Madison Square Garden with Wendy Toussaint
Sep 2 2022
From Port-au-Prince Poverty to Madison Square Garden with Wendy Toussaint
In the guest corner, coming to us from Huntington, Long Island, NY, by way of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, bringing an impressive record of 13 wins against only one defeat with six big wins by knockout. Matt welcomes staple performer of Star Boxing’s “Rockin’ Fights” series, Wendy “Haitian Fire” Toussaint. (Since recording, Toussaint logged another win against Asinia Byfield in Madison Square Garden.)  Coming from extreme poverty, Toussaint is no stranger to what he calls “walking hard” to survive. He’s been working since he was a kid and even now does whatever he can to provide for his family. You might be surprised to learn he earns extra income as a school bus driver. He’s also a volunteer fireman. And he’s not afraid of a challenge or of pain—essential qualities for a successful fighter.  When he was only seven, Toussaint moved from Haiti to French Guiana, where his female cousin took him to the boxing gym because she wanted to learn to fight. He remembers getting his ass beat, but for some reason, he kept going back. He spent much of his childhood playing soccer and boxing, along with working odd jobs to ensure he could eat. He became a good amateur fighter and moved to New York in search of an opportunity to advance his career. He found that opportunity in Huntington.   Outside the ring he may be one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, but in the ring, he’s a mean dude. Toussaint credits his early success to really wanting it. One of the greatest challenges he faced was fighting Charles Conwell. Conwell fought Long Island fighter Patrick Day, knocking Day out in the 10th round; Day was hospitalized, in a coma and died four days later from a brain injury. The community was shaken. Toussaint says he didn’t know that boxing could be a deadly sport.   After praying and mustering the courage to fight Conwell, his only loss, Toussaint says he’s a “different animal” now. He takes his job very seriously and plans to prove himself a champion.  @wendytoussaint_ | Instagram  Wendy Toussaint | 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/.
The Pretty Boy Who Packs a Punch—Mr. TKO Tyrone “The Jackpot” James
Aug 26 2022
The Pretty Boy Who Packs a Punch—Mr. TKO Tyrone “The Jackpot” James
In the guest corner, from Elmont, New York with an undefeated record of 12 wins, no losses and nine big wins by knockout, Matt welcomes the most electrifying man in Rockin’ Fights history, the current ABO North American Super Welterweight Champion, “The Jackpot” Tyrone “Pretty Boy” James. Bringing a load of charisma to every fight, you’d never guess that unless he’s in the ring, this champ is camera shy. And when he’s not boxing, he’s busy working on his honey-do list around the house and playing ball with his sons.  But James thought in 2019 that his career hit a hard stop after he injured his elbow at work, picking up trash for the sanitation department of Nassau County. He says after surgery for a torn UCL, at first, nothing was working. Physical therapy began, in a cast, the next day. He’d never had surgery before, and he certainly wasn’t used to depending upon people to help him with everything.  Recovery proved difficult, especially after the cast was removed when even one pullup seemed impossible. But James had the mentality, “I won’t let this stop me.” His outlook, his faith in God, as well as the support and encouragement of his family and friends helped get him through. After two and a half years off, he was ready to fight, and he insisted on a title bout to boot.  In his comeback debut, James had an outstanding performance against a tough opponent, Jimmy Williams, to win the ABO North American Super Welterweight title. He started the fight a bit tentatively, but says of his jab that knocked out Williams, “All it takes is one.”  James is one of the most dynamic and entertaining boxers out there, and he’s proven his mental agility. The only thing this tough guy can’t seem to handle are rodents! In fact, he says, “I’m afraid of everything but people.”  Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out the worst idea James has ever had and a clean joke—both very funny little ditties.  @thisguydaffy | Instagram  Tyrone Prettyboy James Sr (Daffy) | 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/.
From Professional Boxing to the Police Academy with Alex Vargas
Aug 19 2022
From Professional Boxing to the Police Academy with Alex Vargas
In the guest corner, coming to the podcast from Bellport, New York, with a perfect record, 12 wins, zero defeats with four big wins by knockout, and a current candidate for Suffolk County Police Department, Matt welcomes “El Torro” Alex Vargas. The southpaw fought his first amateur fight at the age of nine. Vargas continued to do well in the amateur circuit, but before turning pro, he earned his bachelor’s degree in teaching English as a second language from SUNY Cortland and a bilingual certificate in Spanish from the Institute of International Languages, in Columbia, South America.  Upon returning from Columbia, he achieved one of his lifelong dreams of becoming a professional boxer.  After a few years of fighting—and winning—he got the chance to achieve his second dream, that of becoming a police officer. The undefeated champ says walking away from boxing was the most difficult decision he’s ever had to make. He’d worked hard to get to where he was, a rising star in the boxing world.   At the same time, he waited three years to get to the call from Suffolk County Police Department and after six months of interviews he got an offer and jumped at the chance to join the academy. Like being a boxer, Vargas believes the desire to be an officer comes from within. He’s thrilled to be moving into a job where he believes he can make the biggest positive impact. Ultimately, he wants to make a difference in people’s lives. Years of training in the gym prepared him well for the physical rigors and discipline of the academy. “Just like a fight, you prepare to do your very best,” which now includes a clean-cut appearance, learning the law and being a great role model, like the ones who inspired him to want to join the department. He’s especially excited to be a force for good and positivity at a time in American culture where police are getting a bad rap.  Does he miss boxing? Yes! But once he graduates from the academy, he’ll be allowed to compete again. Follow Vargas on social media to find out if, and when, he steps back into the ring.  Alex Vargas Boxing | Facebook  alexvargas631 | 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/.
Counter Punching in the Ring and in Life with Lyubomyr Pinchuk
Aug 12 2022
Counter Punching in the Ring and in Life with Lyubomyr Pinchuk
In the guest corner, from the Steel City Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by way of Lviv, Ukraine, with a strong record of 14 wins against only three defeats with eight big wins by knockout, Matt welcomes the former NABA Cruiserweight Champion of the World, Lyubomyr “Demolition Man” Pinchuk. Having banked over 250 amateur fights in Ukraine, Pittsburgh based trainer Michael McSorley brought Pinchuk to the USA after watching a video of the fighter; he liked what he saw. Pinchuk loves his adopted hometown and continues to stay focused on boxing despite the raging war in his home country.  Pinchuk says his family is safe for now, and his mother rests easier with him and his sister living outside the Ukraine. The 25-year-old fighter has experienced his fair share of challenges—a tough training regimen, a war at home, his girlfriend’s dad recently dying of metastatic lung cancer. Yet, he seems to take it all in stride, believing that everything happens for a reason. And he takes his own advice; don’t give up and always look for the positive.  With the situation in Ukraine changing not by the day, but by the minute, he finds solace in the sanctuary of the gym. When he’s training, he’s totally in the moment, in his body, concentrating not only on his next move, but what his opponent might do.  As for the other Ukrainian big-name fighters—Usyk, the Klitschkos, Lomachenko—he says they are like heroes for the cause. Whether they choose to defend their country with weapons, or step into the ring brandishing the Ukrainian flag, people look up to them, not because they are boxers, but because they are men of principle.  Pinchuk discusses his recent loss to Federici, humbly admitting he made mistakes in the fight. But he’s put it behind him and strategizes his next move. He admits, winning titles is great, but “belts aren’t going to feed your family,” and he’s okay with looking for the money.   Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out which Primanti Brothers sandwich is Pinchuk’s go to AND to get his opinion on the state of the Steelers.  Facebook | Lyubomyr Pinchuk  Instagram | lyubomyr_pinchuk  ***  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/.
Traversing the Globe for the Love of Fighting and Food with Dario Socci
Aug 5 2022
Traversing the Globe for the Love of Fighting and Food with Dario Socci
In the guest corner, all the way from Rome, Italy with a record of 14 wins against seven defeats with two draws with six big wins by knockout, Matt welcomes his first international guest, the former 4X regional champion and entrepreneur, Dario “Italian Trouble” Socci. Although he hails from Solerno, Italy, Socci made his professional boxing debut on Long Island, New York, subsequently moving to Asia, South America, and Europe to pursue his boxing career. Next up? The Middle East.  Socci says he started learning boxing late—age 16. Born into a culture of rabid soccer, aka football, fanatics Socci played the game but never liked it. Instead, he fell in love with the grit and grime of the boxing gym. Coming from a violent neighborhood, he says the gym felt more ‘real’ to him than the pitch. He got a taste of defeat early, boxing in a match he wasn’t quite prepared for. It didn’t stop him. Inspired by Mexican fighters like Chavez, whose style and attitude resonated with him, he persevered.   The boxing gym became his second home, and the people he met there, his second family. For the first time in his life, he felt that he was good at something. Maybe not the best, but good enough to want more. He moved to Brooklyn, NY then to an Italian neighborhood in the Bronx to train at Morris Park Boxing Club.  Socci’s desire to continue to stretch himself as an athlete led him to move to Germany, Japan and eventually Mexico, where he lived in Guadalajara for two years to go deeper into his preferred style. He moved back to Italy, where he opened his own boxing gym, Fortitudo Boxe Roma, and next to it a restaurant, Primo Bistro, in the heart of the San Giovanni district of Rome. Socci plans to relocate and open another gym later this year in Dubai, where boxing has gained insane popularity.  Socci, who calls himself a ‘boxer gourmet’ jokes that he must leave Italy to compete because, although he plans to end up there one day, he can’t stay in shape in his own country! And he’s damn proud that he’s good enough that he can finally boast the honor of having his photo on the wall at Morris Park.  Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to learn Socci’s favorite Italian curse word!  Dario Socci  Fortitudo Boxing Gym  Twitter | @DarioSocci1  ***  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/.
The Greatest Comeback in the History of Sports with 5X World Champ Vinny Paz
Jul 29 2022
The Greatest Comeback in the History of Sports with 5X World Champ Vinny Paz
In the guest corner, the fighting pride of Cranston, Rhode Island, with an outstanding record of 50 wins against only ten defeats with 30 big wins by knockout. Matt welcomes the former IBF Lightweight Champion, the former WBA Light Middleweight Champion, the WBU, IBO and IBC Super Middleweight Champion of the World, the “Tasmanian Devil” Vinny Paz.   Born Vincenzo Edward Pazienza to two tough Italian immigrants, Paz legally changed his name in 2001. He says he gets his athleticism from his father, an Olympic Skier representing Italy and former professional soccer player. And although his mother looks like a sweet little Italian lady, she’s as tough as nails, and he’ll tell you why. Paz feels lucky to have had “the greatest parents ever.” They were without a doubt his greatest support during the toughest time of his life.  Just after beating Gilbert Delé, who was undefeated in 30 fights, and winning the WBA light middleweight title, Paz broke his neck in an automobile accident. This injury turned out to be the toughest blow he’d ever taken. He says it was sheer determination and will that drove him to recover so he could get back to doing the only thing he’d ever wanted to do. Thirteen months after removing the cervical halo, a stabilization device screwed into the skull, he was back in the ring.  Paz fought a total of 60 professional fights, and he’s proud to say he was only ever beat by other champion fighters. He’s honored to have inspired a fanbase known as the “Pazmaniacs.” The story of his unbelievable comeback has been immortalized in the 2016 film Bleed for This easily the most underrated boxing movie ever. Paz says the movie should have been a much bigger deal, but he hopes that the new upcoming television documentary, “The Greatest Comeback in the History of Sports,” will do him justice.   Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out the one boxer Paz always wanted to fight but never did [Hint: he’s a former guest on the show!].  Follow Paz on Twitter @5XPAZ  ***  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/.
Shadow Boxing Through All Life’s Challenges with Ray Mancini
Jun 3 2022
Shadow Boxing Through All Life’s Challenges with Ray Mancini
In the guest corner, the fighting pride of Youngstown, Ohio with an outstanding record of 29 wins against only five defeats with 23 wins by knockout. With 36 acting credits to his name, including playing himself in the documentary of his life, The Good Son, Matt welcomes the former WBA Lightweight Champion of the World and International Boxing Hall of Famer, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini to the show.  Matt leads with a controversial question and Mancini puts the rumors to rest. He is not a Pittsburgh Steelers fan! More a fan of individual players than he is of teams, Mancini admits he loves being back in Ohio since 2014 where he’s working on creating his full digital media studio. By far, the entertainment business is more difficult than boxing. “In the arena I control my own destiny,” but in the movie business Mancini says, “very little is in your hands.”  The fighter turned media mogul’s father, Lenny Mancini, was a top contender in the sport, but injuries he sustained in World War II kept him from fulfilling his potential. His father was his hero in every aspect of life, and although he tried to talk him out of a career in professional boxing, Ray was inspired to continue for his father, in essence winning the championship his father was denied.  A lot of fighters come from poverty, hardship, or abuse and they use that as fuel to become great. But Mancini maintains that fighters are born, not made. You’ve got to have a deep need to want to do it. Learning to prepare and face his opponents in the ring with confidence led directly to being able to face any of life’s challenges. Mancini says nothing can discourage him after mastering that. In fact, before an audition you’ll likely find him shadow boxing to limber up.   He’s an enthusiastic Christian and credits his faith with the ability to bounce back, especially after the agonizing pain he suffered after his 1982 fight with South Korean boxer Duk Koo Kim. Kim went down in the 14th round and never got up. He died four days later. In addition to living with the loss of life at his hands, Mancini’s image changed as the sport itself underwent enormous public scrutiny. Ironically, if Kim hadn’t died, that fight might be remembered as the greatest of the decade.  Mancini says every person has their own pain, but despite whatever happens in life, every individual is responsible for their own success or misery. Every day we get to choose. His advice? Don’t blame. Take responsibility for your own happiness. Recognize that it’s the ego that will “whip your ass in life.” Mancini says when he lost a fight it was a simple formula: he got hit more than he hit back. None of his opponents beat him in the ring—he beat himself.  Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE to find out which two boxers Mancini would have liked to have fought, and who he says is the BEST EVER to come out of Ohio [Hint: His initials are not R.M.].  These days Mancini is 100% committed to building his movie business. If you’d like to join reach out on:   Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini | Facebook   @realboomboommancini| Instagram  @realboomboom | Twitter  Ray’s Boom Boom Room | YouTube  ***   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/.
Keep Calm and Carry On with Champion Turned Trainer John Scully
May 27 2022
Keep Calm and Carry On with Champion Turned Trainer John Scully
In the guest corner, from Hartford, Connecticut boasting a record of 38 wins against only 11 defeats, 21 by knockout, the former New England Middleweight Champion and WBF Intercontinental Supermiddleweight Champion, Connecticut Boxing Hall of Famer, the Iceman John Scully. Knowing what it takes to be a successful professional boxer, Scully now trains future champions, having worked with several world class fighters, assisting in training camps in Canada.    He says that boxing has made him tougher, and the mental toughness has helped him weather some of his life’s toughest storms, like the death of both his parents. Scully says, “I don’t get nervous at anything” because he’s competed on a world stage in front of thousands of people. Having had the great Roy Jones [75 fights, 66 wins, 9 defeats] as his sparring partner, Scully was more than prepared to face any opponent.    Boxing taught him to control his emotions—to remain calm amid any crisis. Perhaps that’s exactly why they call him Iceman. Because he’s mastered the technique, he can help other boxers learn what’s required for them to win. Using footage of bouts between some of the greatest fighters ever to step into the ring, Scully helps his trainees understand who they need to be. When you’re facing a fighter who’s willing to die, you must remain steadfast because, he says, “You’re not making these men quit…If you don’t remain calm, it’s a death sentence.”    Known for his keen insights into the sport, he is a frequent ringside analyst and guest commentator. He’s been featured on the ESPN Network and was a cast member of the Nuvo-TV boxing docuseries Knockout. Scully’s book, The Iceman Diaries details his life in the sport. Ever the philanthropist, Scully enjoys helping former fighters who’ve fallen on hard times.     Stay tuned for Matt’s FAST FIVE when Scully reveals of all the boxing movies out there, which one actually could’ve happened.     Iceman-John Scully | Facebook  @icemanjohnscully | Instagram  ICEMANjohnscully | 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/.
Motherhood: The Ultimate Title for Prizefighter Alicia Napoleon Espinosa
May 20 2022
Motherhood: The Ultimate Title for Prizefighter Alicia Napoleon Espinosa
In the guest corner, from Lindenhurst Long Island, New York, with twelve wins, against only two defeats, seven by knockout, the WBA’s current #5 ranked contender and the former WBA Supermiddleweight Champion of the World, the Empress Alicia Napoleon Espinosa. Compared to any opponent she’s ever faced in the ring or any grueling training regime she’s endured, motherhood has been the ultimate challenge. Facing the wonder and beauty and difficulty of it all has made her an even fiercer fighter. Whoever faces her in her next bout will undoubtedly be fighting for their life.  Espinosa says giving birth and caring for her infant daughter has taken her toughness to a new level. So that she can be at home with her daughter, Espinosa has been getting up at 3am to make it to Gleason’s in Brooklyn by 5am, train and then get home again before her husband leaves for work. She also works out closer to home and runs every day to get back to her pre-pregnancy body, to fight stronger and faster at 160 or below.    As an athlete Espinosa was used to being in tip top shape. So, allowing her body to go through all the changes that come along with having a baby was difficult for her, even though she enjoyed it. As a result, she has a new drive and fresh determination to tune up leading to a title picture. Her goal is for her daughter to see it happen. As a role model, she wants to show her daughter there’s no such thing as quit. “I’ll be trying to accomplish a lot of things as she grows.”  These days her biggest challenge is finding time for herself. And managing her occasional mom guilt for leaving her daughter. Sometimes she wrestles with doubt that she can do it but continues to make her way back. She says every day she’s a little further up the mountain and soon she’ll be back on top.  @boxingnapoleon | Instagram  @napoleonboxing | Twitter  @boxingnapoleon | TikTok  Alicia Marie Napoleon| 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/.
Puncher’s Chance to Prayer Warrior with Mark Medal
May 13 2022
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/.
Picking Off Life’s Punches with 3x World Champion and Mensa Member Bobby Czyz
May 6 2022
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/
From the Boxing Ring to the Silver Screen with John Duddy
Apr 29 2022
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/
The Decision: Beating Tyson and Alcoholism with Kevin McBride
Apr 22 2022
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/
Shoring Up The Fighters On The Undercard with Matt Farrago
Apr 15 2022
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/