Almost twenty years as a professional in the boxing business, seventy-eight bouts, five-hundred and sixty-seven rounds in the ring, competed in twenty different title fights, defeated ten different world champions and a five-time world champion himself at only thirty-three years old, what an accomplishment, but is he finished?
Not at this point!
Mexican born boxer and veteran of the ring Manuel Medina, 64-14 (30), has his sights set on one more title shot, he wants one more to add to his collection of belts and years of accolades. After sixty-eight amateur bouts the fourteen year old Medina stepped in the professional ranks to embark on a pugilistic career the fall of 1985. After two professional victories in Mexico the young teenager stepped in the ring against twenty-year old Gerardo Martinez who was making his pro debut. Manuel would suffer his first loss and would surrender another loss not even a month later, but after the two back to back losses Medina went on a twenty-seven win streak. It would be four years after his debut when Medina fought for his first title in 1989, he would win the WBA International featherweight title and then go on to defend that belt successfully and tack on the IBC super featherweight in the process.
Medina’s first major title bid came against Texas born brawler Troy Dorsey in ’91 and Manuel earned the title via twelve round unanimous decision. After four successful defenses he lost the IBF title to Tom Johnson via split decision. Manuel went on to win more titles and tried unsuccessfully for the IBF title once again but strapped on the piece for a second time seven years after he earned the belt the first time. In his process of becoming a future hall of fame fighter Medina has faced some of the elite in boxing that includes names such as Tyrone Jackson, Juan Marquez, Juan Molina, Alejandaro Gonzalez, Naseem Hamed and Johnny Tapia, a bout which all thought he should have won, plus Median broke a Compubox record for the most punches thrown by featherweight, 1,466 in the entire bout.
After his years of throwing down in the pro ranks he wants the IBF strapped around his waist just one more time to make it six world championships. His quest will begin in May or June when he steps in with undefeated Hungarian born fighter Janos Nagy for the IBF eliminator. Will he be successful just once more? He believes so and he stopped by the Doghouse to discuss his long lustrous career and what the future may hold for himself, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: When do you plan on stepping back in the ring again?
Manuel Medina: On the contrary thank you and your staff and readers for giving me this opportunity. My elimination fight for the IBF title has been set with a young man from Hungary named Janos Nagy in May or June.
BH: You know looking at your career you have done so much an accomplished a very great deal, so what do you feel you have left to accomplish?
MM: The money aside (laughs) I’m kidding…I would like to have a chance to win my sixth world title to transcend my career.
BH: You have fought a total of 78 bouts for almost 20 years now, but you are only 33, how much longer do you plan fighting?
MM: I said I would leave after 100 fights or 100 cuts but the 100 cuts got there first. I’m kidding. I’d like a year and half more just to see if I can achieve the goal I have in my mind of winning my sixth world title.
BH: Out of you long career which have been your most memorable moment?
MM: Having won my fifth world title against Scott Harrison in Scotland even though a lot of people did not believe in me, only my team did.
BH: Is there anybody in particular do you want to step in the ring with?
MM: With the IBF champion Robbie Peden.
BH: You started at boxing at age 14, why so young.
MM: There were no fighters left to fight in my weight and I already had 68 fights and nobody wanted to fight me and so I made my pro debut in October of 1985.
BH: What do you feel your best quality is as a fighter?
MM: My abilities, my movement with my legs and my endurance have kept me at this level.
BH: Who were some of your boxing heroes when you were growing up?
MM: Mantecas aside (laughing) Jorge Paez because I was his sparring partner and he kept motivating me to go on ahead. Jivaro Perez, Dinamita Estrada and of course the idol of Mexico, Julio Cesar Chavez.
BH: Most agree that you should have won the Tapia fight, so why was there never rematch between you and Tapia?
MM: We sent a letter to the IBF asking for a rematch but it did not take place and I think he didn’t want me to beat him again (laughs).
BH: You have fought some great fighters in your time, so looking back at all you have faced who has been your toughest opponent?
MM: My wife (laughs). Definitely Nassem Hamed because on that occasion he knocked me down in the second round with a shot to my forehead and I got up but I was knocked out on my feet and I kept fighting on and finally I realized I thought the twelve round bell had sounded and I went to hug Nassem and I went to the corner thinking the fight had ended. I don’t remember what happened only that I was able to watch the fight at my house and it was that way that I was able to realize what had happened. I fought knocked out the rest of the fight but it was a good fight.
BH: What has been the hardest aspect of being a professional boxer?
MM: To maintain my competitive level at a world-class level, training every day to keep in shape even though I don’t have a fight and thereby giving my team confidence and more than anything to the people that believe in me.
BH: What advice would you give to a young fighter?
MM: First of all there are a lot of rules that one must follow: discipline, physical condition, confidence and to think big. But with humility, as arrogance, are a fighter’s biggest enemy and more than anything a positive mind that does not let losses bother him and keeps going forward. As the phrase says, “My Desire to fly is greater than my fear of falling.” If not look at my fight with Troy Dorsey (laughs).
BH: What will you do after retire?
MM: Right now I’m working for Guilty Production doing the ESPN Deportes in Spanish. I’m learning on the job to be a sports analyst and I’m really enjoying it. Possibly I will do that when I retire or I will physically train young fighters.
Thank you for the interview and I send warm greetings to all the fans and to the readers that read Doghouse and to you for giving me the chance to communicate my thoughts through these pages.
Titles Medina has earned
WBA International Super Featherweight Title
IBC Super Featherweight Title
IBF Featherweight Title
NABF Featherweight Title
WBC Fecarbox Featherweight Title
WBC Featherweight Title
WBA Fedecentro Featherweight Title
WBO Featherweight Title
NABA Super Featherweight Title
Medina in the Rankings
#5 Ring Magazine
Romulo Quirarte, Sr.
I would like to thank Bob Trieger of Full Court Press for his help on this interview as well as the interpreter. I would like to give a big shout out to Manuel Medina for his thoughts and time.
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