Is Glen Tapia the Next Arturo Gatti?12/15/2011
By Robert Coster
Among the young boxers prospect-watchers should definitely keep an eye on is unbeaten 22-year-old junior middleweight phenom Glen Tapia, hailing from Paissac, NJ. Tapia (12-0, 6 KOs) is signed by Top Rank and co-managed by Pat Lynch and Sal Alessi. Needless to say, young Glen's rising career seems to be in good hands. He also has an excellent trainer in Buddy McGirt.
Says Pat Lynch, who managed Arturo Gatti, "I see a lot of Arturo in Glen. Grit, a warrior's heart, a style made for great TV fights." The New Jersey's native last bout was on the undercard of Cotto-Margarito and, indeed, he caught the eye of onlookers as he scored a spectacular second round knockout over Mike Ruiz. Glen was rattled by Ruiz before storming back and leaving his rival unconscious on the mat after a four-punch combination.
"It was standard Glen," says manager Lynch, "toughness, super-hand speed and combinations. He was hurt one moment but came back the next."
Tapia heads to the neutral corner after knocking out Ruiz/Photo by Chris Farina.
Tapia turned pro in 2008, two days after turning 19. He had had an excellent amateur career, with a record of 130-13, and won a number a junior Olympic titles, although he likes to point out that his style was more suited for the pros. After being signed by Lynch and Alessi, Glen's next stroke of good fortune came when he was given the oportunity to fly to the Philippines to serve as sparring partner to Manny Pacquiao.
"It blew my mind," remembers Tapia. "Here I was a novice being given the chance to spar with a great champion like Pacquiao. I have learned so much training with Manny."
But the real big break came when Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, visiting the Philippines at the time, caught a glimpse of one of Tapia's sparring sessions and, impressed by what he saw, immediately signed the young man to a promotional contract with Top Rank.
So what is next for Glen Tapia? Says manager Lynch, "In 2012 we want to steer Glen towards the big leagues, fight 8 rounders, 10 rounders, get a lot TV exposure and fight for some regional titles, probably by the end of the next year. We really think Glen is ready to step up!"
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