Donny Lalonde: Still Golden After All Of These Years!
By Joseph “The Mad Boxing Genius” Torres (Dec 18, 2010) Doghouse Boxing
Professional boxing has been the outlet that many young men and women have used to pull themselves up from their boot straps from harsh living environments and go on to do great things with their lives.  When legendary trainer Cus D’Amato took an interest in a young Mike Tyson, it may have very well saved his life.  Although Mike has had his troubles with the law in the past, he seems to have gotten his personal life in order and will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011.

So many our current stars like Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz have used this sport as their way of making a real life for themselves.  However, many of the sport’s most popular and successful fighters have not been able to stay on the straight and narrow once their fighting days have come to an end.

Ricky Hatton, a perfect example of a fighter who commanded a loyal and a larger than life like following has now fallen victim to post career heartache.  With his depression and addiction troubles well documented, it’s hard to fathom how a successful fighter with his own boxing promotion has fallen so far. Do you remember Clifford Etienne? The “Black Rhino” was once a promising heavyweight contender but is now serving consecutive life sentences (150 years) in prison.  He will never regain his freedom in this lifetime for a very badly botched robbery attempt. 

Who knows why boxers who once escaped the hardships of life by using professional boxing have fallen through the cracks once again.  Perhaps, boredom, poorly managed finances or maybe just a lust for the spotlight again and are determined to get it by any means necessary.  There are however, some success stories.

Donny Lalonde, the original “Golden Boy” and former WBC light-heavyweight champion, grew up hard and grew up mean but he is the perfect example of how we hope to see our fighters at the end of the day.

Donny Lalonde, on his own since he was 15 years old, experienced abuse and experimented with drugs before entering the gym for the purpose of competing in his late teens.  Getting a late start with boxing, he knew he had the athleticism but not the experience to make a career out of the sweet science.  To make up for lost time he decided to go around to any gym he could find, volunteering his services as a sparring partner and taking on the best fighters the gym had to offer.  He only had a handful of amateur boxing bouts before turning pro.

As my 1-hour interview with Donny Lalonde unfolded, he spoke candidly about his family, his life before boxing and the hardships he had during his career – the troubles with ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas and his training camp for his fight with Sugar Ray Leonard.

Considering his late start in the game, he was a man who wasn’t supposed to amount to much in this sport. Perhaps that is why he started planning for his retirement long before he hung up the gloves.

Donny Lalonde started his career in real estate early in life doing projects in Canada and more recently Costa Rica which you can see @

The one thing you can take away from speaking with “The Golden Boy” is that he has a realistic perspective on life. Life is a series of ups and downs and if you are willing to work hard, take the chance on yourself and learn how to roll with the punches, you’ll see that the end of a boxing career does not signal the final bell in life but rather it signals the start of the 2nd round!
To listen to the full no-holds barred audio interview that I conducted with Donny Lalonde, go to

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