Why Omar Henry Refused Manny Pacquiao’s Offer - Interview
By Vikram Birring, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 19, 2009)  
A few weeks ago, nobody really knew who Omar Henry was. Sure, he was a highly touted prospect signed by Top Rank and managed by Cameron Dunkin who had started his career off with five stunning knockout victories, but outside of his native Houston, he was still languishing in relative obscurity.

Then the phone rang.

He was offered a chance to spar with global icon and pound for pound the best boxer in the world, Manny Pacquiao.

His style closely resembled that of Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, and Roach tapped Henry due to his youth and size.

Henry shockingly denied the opportunity. Fans across the globe were stunned. Why would he turn down this experience?

What nobody knew was that Henry was a full time student.

In fact, he called this writer around 9:30 PM, after his night class had just completed. Referencing his new found fame, he remarked, “It’s pretty ironic my name is bigger now that I said ‘no’.”

As the old phrase goes, any publicity is good publicity, and the fact that Henry turned down Pacquiao got the attention of boxing pundits everywhere.

Henry has been kept very active, fighting five times in his first thirteen months as a professional. Asked about what the plan was for his career, he stated bluntly, “I’m not sure what the plan is. I leave that up to my managers Cameron Dunkin and Jay Johns.”

Asked why he chooses to go to school full time when a bright future in boxing stands directly in front of him, he shows a wisdom beyond his years. “It’s something to fall back on.” If only every professional athlete realized that an athletic career’s length is finite, there would be less tragic stories and more people like Omar Henry and Juan Diaz.

Shortly after speaking with DoghouseBoxing.com, Henry defeated Carlos Aballe via four round unanimous decision in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was another learning experience for the eager learner Henry.

You can’t knock out all of them.

Questions or comments,
Vikram at: vikram.birring@gmail.com

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