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Old 01-05-2011, 09:09 AM   #1
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Thumbs down A year in the life of Glen Tapia...........

A year ago to this day Passaic, New Jersey’s Glen Tapia was still very fresh into his professional career, having compiled a 3-0 record with 2 knockouts as he prepared for a February 27th date with Tyrone Miles. A strong and bruising junior middleweight prospect, the buzz seemed to be high on Tapia but not even he could have imagined how his career would end up taking off in 2010.

In September Tapia got the news that he was being considered as a sparring partner for WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and days later he would find himself making a trek overseas to begin camp in the Philippines. Over the next month Tapia would immerse himself in a new world full of camaraderie and discovery as he gave Pacquiao rigorous work for his then-upcoming fight with Antonio Margarito.

Upon returning to America, Tapia found himself with some definite name recognition and towards the end of the year he would sign a co-promotional deal with Top Rank, the world’s leading entity in the sport. The 21-year old very well could be seeing some action on the May 7th Pacquiao-Shane Mosley bout at the MGM Grand and you can the enthusiasm that he has for what lies ahead.

Continue reading for Tapia’s best memories from the boxing world in 2010, including his time in the Jersey scene, forming a bond with his gym mates while overseas, his time in Dallas, Texas for the Pacquiao-Margarito clash and much more…

A year ago…
“A year ago I had a real big goal. Me and my manager Pat Lynch sat down and we really talked about it and he told if I work hard and I do what I do, he is going to do his side and take me to the top. At this time last year, I was just thinking about working hard and just trying to be the best. That’s it.”

The scene in New Jersey…
“I sparred with a bunch of guys, everywhere from Jersey and all over. Even [Alfredo] Angulo came and sparred with us one time. They came to Jersey to get some work. We were always good. It’s a great scene out here. It was always good; a great atmosphere inside of the gyms.”

Striving for the main event…
“My first fight I fought in Atlantic City and my second fight I fought in Las Vegas. My third fight I fought in Madison Square Garden. It was back to back and it was good. I really don’t care about where I fight at. The only time I care about it is when I am going to be the main event. That’s when I feel like I accomplished something. Right now I feel that I really didn’t accomplish anything by fighting on the undercards. It’s really just a step closer to where I want to be at.”

Getting the call to spar Pacquiao…
“I just remember waking up early in the morning and getting that call. My manager called me and he asked me if wanted to spar with Pacquiao. I was like ‘Hell yeah’. It felt crazy. He’s one of the best boxers and he’s one of my favorite fighters right now. It was a great feeling.”

Stopping in Los Angeles at the Wild Card Boxing Club…
“L.A. was cool. I remember Freddie [Roach] being quiet and just observing me the whole time and not talking to me at all. The only two words he said was ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’. He was being very quiet and looking at me and seeing how I was. I just went in the gym and sparred on the first day but he still didn’t say nothing to me. The second day he saw me train a little bit and I sparred again. The third day I trained hard and I could see him looking at me from the corner of his eye. The fourth day, that’s when he started talking to me.”

Forming a friendship with Roach…
“Afterwards I got to meet him and me and him are very cool. He’s a very great guy. He just started introducing me to everybody who came into the room and we started having conversations back and forth. I was with him more than I was with Pacquiao. More than anybody else. I was with him from L.A. we where on the plain together and we arrived in the Philippines together. And over there we were together training in Manila. He held the pads for me and he taught me so much. It’s crazy. Every day I learned something different and I was soaking it up like a sponge.”

Experiencing the Philippines…
“Once we got there it was something that I had never seen before. It was something I never experienced. There were cameras right there. They were at the airports asking us what we were going to do and the media was out there. It was crazy. We were on T.V. everyday for like two, three weeks. I was on T.V. everyday. All the people already knew me and they look up to Pacquiao so much and just because I was his sparring partner it was like I got famous. Just to be out there with everybody and go to the mall and have people around you and asking for autographs, it was great. It was good to feel that and now I want that a little bit more.”

Working with Pacquiao…
“I went out there for one thing; to give him the best work and get him ready to fight Margarito. That’s what I went out there for. I’d never been in the ring with someone like [Pacquiao]. He’s not a lefty or a righty. He’s so explosive when he fights. You’re not fighting a lefty or a righty. He will hit you, pop you, and spin. Pop you and spin you. It was kind of difficult but I was giving him very hard work. I didn’t care who I go in the ring with, I don’t get star struck with that. Once you are in the ring, that’s it. But he is very fast and I know now why he’s one of the best.”

Returning to America for his October 30th fight…
“I felt actually bad. When you are in training camp, sometimes you are there for someone else. I was there for Pacquiao. Nobody was there for me. Nobody was training me to get ready for my fight. I wasn’t really training myself. I had to slow down and get ready for my fight. I came back that Saturday and less than a week later I fought. The day of the fight I woke up at 5 in the morning. The first round I remember just going in and not feeling myself. I was sitting on the chair and like ‘Wow, I’ve got five more rounds to go’. That’s what I was saying to myself. I felt sluggish. That’s how bad I felt. But I sucked it up. I went in there to defeat the guy but I was mad that I didn’t give the fans a better show. I got my jaw broken in the third round, he hit me with an elbow actually, then I kept fighting and I won the fight.”

In Dallas for Pacquiao vs. Margarito…
“It was great. Once I got there I saw a lot of Filipino fans and I met everybody. There was just so much love from everybody. It was a great environment. I had my jaw broken and I was so mad that I couldn’t eat anything over there. I was with Pacquiao for a little bit too and Freddie too and it was good to see them again. I hadn’t seen them for two or three weeks. They’re great guys.”

The start of my life…
“I signed with Top Rank and this is just the start of my career. This is the start of my life, my journey, where I want to be at. And I’m not even close to where I want to be at so I’m going to keep working harder to get where I want to be at. Once I am there I am going to work a little harder. So keep working out for me because I am going to give you a show every time out.”

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