CHAMPION has a whole NEW meaning!

Moe1People would always greet me as “champ” and I would just smile and nod. Inside I always felt it wasn’t a name I had earned, until this past weekend.

I have so many things I can write about. It’s so hard to put them all in one Blog… I am going to make this into a few sections so my readers can get the detailed version J

Finding out I was fighting for the NABF Title

I remember when Luigi, my manager came up to me and said, “Kid we are fighting for the NABF title in Saratoga Springs on Lisa Elovich’s Pugnacious Promotions card on July 30th”

First thing that came to my mind was “YES I am fighting!” I didn’t think about the title, the opponent, the location, the date or the promotion. I was just so happy to get back in the ring after my May 15th win in the Bronx to do what I love. I was also excited to step up my training with my trainer Aroz “Terrific” Gist. I am the kind of athlete that loves to be challenged. I understand the maintaining part but I always like to push as hard as I can in training. That’s where having a good trainer who knows when to pull you back is vital. And that is definitely Terrific.

Training Camp Begins

Terrific asked me when, where and who. After all questions were answered we went right to work. I had some of the BEST sparring in preparations for this fight. Besides working with all the guys from Ike’s and Randy’s Gym in Paterson NJ, and training at my home gym Global Boxing in North Bergen NJ, I was able to mix it up with some very talented up and coming females as well. We trained at Garrett Mountain, out in an ally way of Ike’s and Randy’s Gym. We worked in every type of environment, heat, humidity, rain. I had so much support from the guys from Ike’s and Global Boxing gym. That is so important for a fighter and I am so grateful to be blessed with such wonderful people in my life! I also had the honor of sparring with Carlos Tamara, former IBF World Champion. He is in preparations for his rematch from his title loss in a few weeks. We put in some serious rounds and I knew when my camp was complete that all the work was done and I was ready!

Fight or Flight

My publicist Ryan Songalia set up some interviews for me the week prior to my fight. On Wednesday evening I had two interviews set up, one at 4pm and one at 8pm. Right after the 4pm interview I received a call from my mom. Now, my mom is usually not cool calm and collected before my fights. She actually hasn’t seen me fight since my loss in August of 2009. It affected her so much she chose not to attend my fights anymore, which I completely understand. There was something different in my mom’s voice with this phone call. She asked me how I am feeling I said great and then she said, “Tia Lupe died today”. At first I was confused. Then I realized what she had just said to me. My Great aunt (my grandmother’s sister) who lives in California and is my biggest fan passed away. Tia Lupe was a very energetic, strong, carefree, Mexican woman. She did not fit the mold when it comes to your typical old school Mexican traditions. She would tell me stories about how she would beat up her brothers and always wanted to box but she wasn’t allowed. Part of me feels she lived vicariously through me. She was never able to attend my fights but she did see them on tape.

News like this can really drain a fighter in camp. It is all about how the fighter can handle it. Some fighters are affected more than others based on the situation and events leading up to the death. In my case I realized my aunt lived a great life. She was in her late 70’s and she was a widow with no children. She passed in her sleep, and I knew it was her time. Plus she now had the best seat in the house in Heaven to see me fight for the NABF Title!

On the Thursday before my fight I had just finished training and came home to do a phone interview. During the interview I began to feel very sleepy and a little nauseous. I then decided to go up to my room and rest in the AC. (being that it was 94 degrees outside) After about a few hours of still not feeling good I called my manager Luigi and asked him to come over. He came by and he noticed I wasn’t myself. He decided to take me to the doctor. After my visit the doctor had found that I was suffering from a stomach virus. He advised me to go home drink plenty of fluids and rest for 48 hours. In my mind I am thinking “NO WAY”, I have a fight coming up and I need to be prepared. Yes I am a stubborn fighter, and argued with my manager all the way back to my house. All that kept running through my mind is, I am not losing this opportunity, but I need to be smart. So I followed the doctor’s and my manager’s orders and rested. I also called Terrific and he assured me that we will be fine. I have to tell you it was not easy lying in bed for that time. In my head I am trying to stay in fight mode while healing and that had to be the biggest challenge. There were moments when the thought of not fighting entered my mind and it just had me on a rollercoaster ride the whole time mentally emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Coming up………………………

The DRAMA at the Weight in