Passaic, NJ is known for few things. A river that has a sneaky habit of over flowing, a few decent restaurants, and some nice scenery if you can survive the drive up the GSP. Boxer Glen Tapia may be next on the list. With a record of 16-0 with 9 wins by way of KO, The young light middleweight is certainly a star in the making.
When he was eight years old he went to a boxing gym with his brothers and some kids from the neighborhood. Eventually the group got smaller and smaller and now he is only one to have stuck with the sport. As he tells it, he made a choice between the streets and the gym, and with a goal, “to be one of the best” he chose the gym.
In his last fight he took on Dashon Johnson in El Paso, Texas. He won by unanimous decision in his first full eight round fights. Although it wasn’t his preferred method of ending the fight he credited Johnson with knowing how to fight stating that Johnson was “a tough guy to KO. I wanted to get the rounds in and learn how to pace myself.” Another first in this fight was his first cut. Tapia admitted that it did not affect him. He is not queasy and did not get nervous when he saw the blood, just kept going.
Tapia was an amateur Olympic hopeful, before an injury would put him out just long enough to miss the trials. But the transition to the pros has been easy. “I hate the points system, I’m a brawler, and I can’t win on points,” he said. Attributing his successful transition to being trained in a pro style, “American fighters have a harder time in the Olympics because they train like pros, in other countries the guys are taught to fight in the Olympic style. It’s easier for them,” says Tapia. He continued, “Some fighters train like they see on TV and they are not ready for the real thing. Then they turn pro and they suck.”
Aside from his amateur experience, Tapia also has sparring experience. He has served as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquaio. Of the experience he says, “It is good to be around and see success. Its good to see that he still works hard and strives towards goals.” Tapia continued to liken Pacquaio to our generations Muhammad Ali.
Tapia also seemed impressed by Freddy Roach, Pacquaio’s hall of fame trainer. “Manny just listens to Freddy,” he said. Tapia got the chance to work with Roach himself and simply says it was a “great experience.” It is also there that he caught the eye of Bob Arum, who signed him to a promotional deal with Top Rank.
While Tapia may already be famous, in the Philippines at least, as almost anyone associated with many Pacquaio is, he is humble. I asked where he would like to be by this time next year; He simply answered, “Alive.”
Personally, I have the same goal, but I would like to spend my days alive following the young stars career.
You can follow Glen Tapia on Twitter: @RealGlenTapia