Posts Tagged ‘Striking Beauties Gym

02
Jun
13

The Accidental Boxing Manager: Mary del Pino Morgan

The Accidental Boxing Manager: Mary del Pino Morgan

Mary del Pino Morgan

As a boxing manager, Mary del Pino Morgan is pretty unlikely.

She first walked into the Striking Beauties all-women’s boxing gym in North Attleboro, Massachusetts nearly four years ago wanting to lose weight. She’d been a boxing fan and remembers watching fights with her Argentinean father. One of her uncles was a champion boxer as well, “so, it’s in my blood,” she said in a recent interview with Girlboxing, “if not one way, than another.”

Still, during her first forays in training, Mary did not envision herself as the boxing manager for Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent, a rising star in the East Coast professional women’s boxing world, whose perfect 9-0 record and most recent win against boxer Angel Gladney have netted Shelito the Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) super bantamweight title and a fan base that seems to grow exponentially with every foray into the ring.

The latter, Shelito’s fan base though has a lot to do with her manager, and friend Mary del Pino Morgan.

Shelito Vincent, February 2013, Credit: Mary del Pino Morgan

As Mary tells it, her growing love of boxing and dedication to the sport and the women who practice it led her down a path she never expected.

“I was there [at Striking Beauties] all the time and got to know everyone. It was more like a club than a gym and pretty intimate. At first I volunteered there,” she said, wanting women coming into the gym for the first time to “feel comfortable especially with losing weight.” She felt good about introducing them to an environment that was really safe and supportive no matter what their body type or skill level.

Mary, in her “other” life as a personal chef and wedding cake designer was so good at customer service that she the owner of the gym, Dena Paolino, offered her a job managing Striking Beauties. With several National champions, including two 2010 National Golden Gloves title holders coming out of the gym, Mary became pretty excited about the sport and the possibilities for women. It also brought her to the fights and an awareness of Shelito Vincent who was making a name for herself as an amateur boxer in the New England area. This led Mary to strike up a casual friendship with her on Facebook.

Mary del Pino Morgan and Shelito Vincent. Credit: Mary del Pino MorganOne fateful night, Shelito wrote a post on Facebook that struck a chord with Mary. “She put up a message that said she was in a car accident and stuck. And it was like, January and raining and at night. I checked back in a few minutes to see if anyone was helping her and Shelly had put another message on that said her car was dead and her phone was almost out and I thought, that’s it.

“I wrote ‘You’re in Connecticut right?’ and she wrote back, ‘No. I’m in Providence.’ And then I wrote her to say I’d get in my car to pick her up. A couple of minutes later she got back to me and said, ‘somebody is right down the street, so I’m okay, but I have your back now. You were going to come get me and you don’t even know me!’ and I thought, wow, Shelito Vincent’s got my back.” By then Shelito had won her October 2011 debut match by decision against Karen Dulin and was looking forward to a rematch in March 2012.

Shortly before that fight Mary and Shelito finally met at a boxing match that had women on the card. “We were sitting behind a couple of gentlemen who were having a great time.” After a lot of banter back and forth Mary said, “You need to see one of her fights, she’s really great.”

Of the meeting Mary said, “It really blew his mind that she was a woman and a professional boxer.” At the end of the night, Mary took his email address and she wrote him to let him know the particulars of Shelito’s upcoming bout. As Mary tells it, “He bought a whole bunch of tickets and the night of the fight Shelly said, ‘you’re my manager now,’ and I thought, ‘what does that mean,’ and said yes.”

Mary del Pino Morgan and Shelito Vincent, Credit: Mary del Pino Morgan

Pretty immediately it meant helping Shelito set up for her upcoming fights. Shelito had already inked her deal with CES Boxing (Classic Entertainment Sports) (where she is one of two female fighters on their roster), guaranteeing her five fights a year for each of three years for 4-6-8 and 10 round bouts, though most of her nine fights to date have been four- and six-rounders with the exception of her eight-round title fight this past May. It has also meant working full-time helping to keep Shelito in the public’s eye.

Shelito Vincent Victory Bash 7/28/2012Mary spends hours and hours drumming up publicity for Shelito’s fights working closely with CES. She sifts through speaking engagements, interviews and photo shoots, and lots of press relations with local papers, regional television and radio news outlets, and boxing websites and bloggers–not to mention her forays on social media such as her active Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Mary is also a one woman machine getting fans to pep rallies, pre-fight and post-fight victory parties, as well as keeping Shelito on track with her motivational speaking appearances with school kids which are a true labor of love. The combination of activities can bite into her gym time with famed boxing trainer Peter Manfredo, Sr. and her hours as a trainer at Striking Beauties, but between Mary and Shelito, they make it work.

Peter Manfredo, Sr. and Shelito Vincent, May 17, 2013, Credit: Kelly McDonaldIt has also meant gaining sponsorships for Shelito to help defray the costs, which include the $20 and more in gas money a day needed for Shelito to get back and forth from training and to her various appointments. Mary’s success at that has been phenomenal, having landed several sponsorship deals including the well-known Havoc Boxing who custom make all of Shelito’s boxing trunks, tops and robes for her fights. In the scheme of things when considering paychecks such as Floyd Mayweather’s recent $32 million dollar guarantee for fighting Robert Guerrero this may not seem like a lot, but in the world of women’s boxing where the margins are that close, it is the difference between being able to pursue a professional career and being shut out completely.Havoc Boxing with Shelito Vincent and Mary del Pino Morgan, Credit: Mary del Pino Morgan

But for all of that Mary sees her main job as ensuring that Shelito’s best interests are always in focus.

“I help her negotiate … I have to look out for her. That is my motivation. It is not for anything else. Not for money, it is all for Shelly.” Mary also feels that the other important component is “having a loving trusting relationship with your team,” saying further “that trust has to be there so she knows we are not going to take advantage of her.” That team is Mary, Peter Manfredo Sr. and his trainers, and the folks at CES Boxing who have come through for her at every turn.

As for the frustrations, probably one of the biggest is the lack of exposure for women’s boxing on broadcast and cable television. Mary put it this way, “I don’t know why and I don’t know how to fix it, but I am getting her out there in front of people. CES has been great getting her on their bigger cards on ESPN, Friday Night Fights and NBC’s Main Event, but we haven’t gotten on television yet. It’s really disappointing. We’re all just going to have to find the right people to try to push the envelope. Probably the next generation of girls because they really work hard and women are definitely gaining respect. The Olympics is helping too and bringing new girls up.”

Being a boxing manager who happens to be a woman also has its downside. “I wasn’t getting taken very seriously … they see what we’re doing and see that we’re professional … and then there’s that whole thing about being a woman around all these guys … it happens all the time.”

Still she has garnered respect where it matters, and when it comes to Shelito is most proud of being told that “I was good for boxing because I really took care of my fighter.”

15
Jan
13

An interview with Shelito Vincent, to fight on 1/19/2013!

UPDATE!!!

Shelito Vincent takes it 59-55, 58-56 x 2 over Nydia Feliciano!!!

Per @TalkinBoxing on Twitter, Feliciano came out strong in the first round and used her height advantage well in the second. Vincent dug in though and started to really bring it in the third round. By the fourth and fifth round she was breaking Feliciano down with hard hitting and relentless pursuit. The fight was the war they anticipated with both fighters slugging it out to the end of the bell in the 6th round.

An interview with Shelito Vincent, to fight on 1/19/2013! 

Shelito Vincent, January 19, 2013

Shelito “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (6-0) is readying to fight her seventh bout on January 19, 2013 against boxer Nydia Feliciano (5-3-3).  The six-round bout is set for the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.com ($40 & $125).

Girlboxing had the opportunity to interview Shelito ahead of her upcoming bout.  Here’s what she had to say:

Shelito Vincent & Sherine Thomas, 11/29/12. Photo Credit: Cross Face Productions

Shelito Vincent & Rosie Sherine Thomas, 11/29/12. Photo Credit: CrossFace Productions

Q1.  You’ve got a great winning streak going for you. With the seventh fight on the line, what are you looking to achieve in you fight against Nydia Feliciano, arguably your most experienced opponent to date?

Looking to achieve the W… And a shot at taking her number one ranking in US from her… Yes definitely the most experienced to date… And she is an amazing fighter… It’s going to be a great hard fight… Probably a war… The city and casino will have a great women’s fight that night… Exciting from start to finish… We both going in ready for war… The whole card is stacked and will be dope from the debuts to the main events… I’m honored to be on this card with all these amazing fighters…CES, NBC and Main Events thank you for the opportunity… 

Everyone should grab their tickets and come support this great night… They are $40 an 125$ VIP…Contact myself at 860-574-5227… If in need… No one should be empty handed lol…

Shelito Vincent & Ivana Coleman, 10/18/2012, Credit: Eagle Sports Photography

Shelito Vincent & Ivana Coleman, 10/18/2012, Credit: Eagle Sports Photography

Q2. You turned pro in October of 2011. Now that you are well into your second year as a professional fighter, what is your game plan for achieving a title in the crowded women’s bantamweight division?

The game plan is always the same… Work harder than anyone else… And always give it our all… Of course timing has to be right too… I’ll be the first to tell you… I lack the experience these other woman had… I was 11-4 as an amateur; I won the National Golden Gloves  in 2011… Then turned pro and had 6 fights… Most women have an extensive amateur background… I’m pleased with the pace I’ve been moving… Jan 19th will be the next test…

Shelito Vincent and her team @ Manfredo Boxing and Fitness

Shelito Vincent and her team @ Manfredo Boxing and Fitness

Q3. Peter Manfredo has been training you for some time, how has his mentoring helped you in the ring and how are you both working towards getting you to the next level?

Peter has made me a monster… I look at tapes from my debut and Ammy fighs and compare them to now, and the transformation is miraculous… I owe that man a lot… He gave me a chance and we haven’t let each other down… He gives me a hundred so u’ll never see me give him any less than 150… He’s like the father I didn’t have growing up… He’s there for me even outside the ring too…. Everyone needs a Lil’ Manfredo’s guidance in their lives lol… Great, great man and I’m lucky enough to call my friend…
Shelito Vincent, November 2012, Credit: CrossFace Productions

Shelito Vincent, November 29, 2012, Credit: CrossFace Productions

Q4. Your story continues to be one of triumph over adversity. Now that you have comfortably made the transition to professional boxing, what do you see as the challenges that are most important for you to overcome?

The biggest thing I struggle with is my own mind… I still struggle with bouts of
depression… But that’s also what keeps me motivated an keep moving forward In my career and in life… The fight is often therapeutic…
Q5. The fight card you’ll be on is set to broadcast on NBC’s Sport Network. While your fight might not make it to the broadcast, what is your sense of when women’s bouts will begin to routinely appear on air again?  Have you seen any changes since Claressa Shields brought home the gold this past August or is it more of the “same ‘ole, same ‘ole?
I‘m not sure…but it needs to happen…MMA does so much for their women… People will tune in… An I myself sell more then any male in this area… And Every time I do better… People do want to see it… Plus women are so exciting to watch… We go so hard trying to prove we belong here….I have people that fly in from other states when I fight and I don’t even know them… All we can do is cross our fingers and hope we can get some time… I think it will happen though…
Q6. You are starting to train young fighters yourself. What do you try to instill in your girls coming up and what they can accomplish in the sport and in life?
Hard work and dedication will get you anywhere and all you need… You just have to have the will and drive… And in life nothing can keep you down… Dark clouds eventually separate… Weathering the storm is the hard part… But no matter how gloomy things get there is always a turn around as long as your desire to shine through is there… Never let anyone or anything keep you down… Always talk and let it out… Locking away pain and harboring depression is so hard and draining… Feels amazing once you air it out…

Q7.  What’s next for you after Saturday night’s fight?
March 15th Twin River…. But only focused about getting through this fight right now…
Shelito Vincent v. Sherine Thomas, 11/29/2013
14
May
12

Shelito Vincent set to fight her third bout on May 24th!

>>>>UPDATE>>>>

Shelito Vincent vs Carmen Cruz (female bantamweights) – Bringing a good vibe and an infectious smile, the wildly popular Shelito Vincent (3-0 from Providence RI) pounded out her third win as a professional, defeating the debuting Carmen Cruz (0-1 from Fort Meyers, FL) over four easy rounds. Vincent came on strong in the final round, rocking her opponent with a nifty combination to close the show and leave no doubts. Unanimous shutout scores of 40-36 in favor of Vincent serve to illustrate just how dominant she was. 

 

Shelito Vincent set to fight her third bout on May 24th!

Bantamweight Shelito Vincent (2-0) is set to fight her third bout as a pro boxer on May 24th at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Vincent’s opponent in the ring will be Carmen Cruz in her first professional fight.  (Contact Lew Beasley to purchase tickets at 860-501-4703. Seats are $35.00)

Before her professional debut against Karen Dulin this past October, Vincent had an 11-4 amateur career, capped by winning the 2011 National Golden Gloves Bantamweight Title at 119 lbs.

Shelito has recently begun training with the legendary Peter Manfredo Sr. She credits him with pushing her to the next level as a fighter, but more importantly, helping her to believe in her own potential.

Shelito Vincent, Training

A native of Connecticut, Shelito has not had it easy.  She has overcome tragedy, disillusionment and incarceration, but has found herself back on a more positive road. Her transformation will see her to speak on May 14th at the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School in New London, CT as part of their “Hope Week”  Effective Leadership Conference.  Shelito will share her life experiences, struggles, and talk about what she has done to overcome her demons to move on to a better life.

Girlboxing had the opportunity to pose a series of questions to Shelito about her upcoming fight, but more importantly, about her inspirational story.  This is what Shelito had to say.

Q1:  Your first started boxing as an 18 year old and then found your way back to boxing later in your life having made a renewed commitment to training and to your amateur and professional competitive career. What has boxing come to mean to you?
A1: Boxing means everything to me. I owe my life to boxing. It got me out of depression, out the streets, off booze. When I was incarcerated all I thought about was what if I took it serious would I be here.. Everyone told me I was good enough to get somewhere. Think back then I didn’t believe in myself. Life is a everyday battle some harder then others… I look to boxing as if I can take blows everyday then emotional pains and blows are nothing… I survive beatings everyday… When you win a tough fight u feel great… Same with battles of life… So to me they symbolize the same.
Q2:  A recent article about you discussed how your mother’s untimely death caused you to spiral into a deep depression and eventually some run-ins with the law. What can you tell Girlboxing readers about your road to recovery and how your story can be inspirational to others who have encountered similar setbacks?
A2: Nothing is too big to overcome… Pain is temporary.. You can’t let anything keep you down… With me being openly gay and at a time gay was not accepted like it is she and my Great Grandmother were all I had at that time I lost my grandmother shortly after also… Talk to someone! There’s always someone there… Channel the emotions… These are all things I’ve come to learn… It was a Lil bit deeper then just my that though that pushed me over the edge.. I had a tramatic thing happen to me at 13. Which I’m not ready to let out yet… My team Dena, Mary an Peter my best friend an corner Marcia an Brother Lew keep me focused and on point now…
Q3: You have a loving partner with a four year old son. How has raising a child affected you and what can you share with us about the stability of your family life as you embark upon your professional boxing career?
A3: They make me a better person! Keep me pushing and make me want to obtain bigger goals to build us a better future… His room has all my trophys an accomplishment… I think maybe if these were things I seen everyday maybe that’s what I’d of worked for… Just a theory lol hope it works… He’s a great kid wants to be a ninja an boxer when he grows up lol.. And my woman takes care a me as well as my corner in Peter, Mary, Dena, Marcia, an Lew my Grandmother’s an Father also my family in the Hadley’s an Vincent’s and all my friends that come out an support… I feel complete again… They are my “new family” as well… I have my nieces an newphews that look up to me heavy now… Have to show them what hard work will get you and NEVER let them down!!!
Q4:  It has been quite a year for you. You won the 2011 Golden Gloves National Bantamweight title this past July, and then made your pro debut in October. You are also training for your third professional fight on May 24th with a perfect 2-0 record. What has been the secret to your success in the ring?
A4: Listening to Peter with Hard work an Dedication… An respect for the game… Also listening to what the rest a my team and what they suggest… They all have strong points an roles.. I take it all in.
Q5: Your trainer, the legendary Peter Manfredo, Sr. has described you by saying. “She’ll do anything a man will do and more. She’s looking to show everybody, ‘I’m here.'”  How do you react to that?  What does the gym give you?
A5: Always remaining that person… I have so much respect for Pete… I promise to always give him a 110%… He makes me believe in me and I know we are just going to keep building and getting stronger I mean look at our guys we got Falowo, Ayala, Toca Kahn who is about to shine as a pro! Missy the fury Fiorentino… Look at what JR. did… Being in that building gets me pumped… I love Peter he’s the best… I feel like I found my nest there.
Q6: Women’s professional boxing is replete with women who are finding success in the ring well into their 40s and yet, it is hard to earn a living as a professional fighter. What challenges are you overcoming in order to pursue your dreams of winning a professional world title?
A6: Traveling but it’s worth it… Failure is not an option for me anymore!!! TEAMWORK make a DREAM WORK… I’m chasing my dreams, no obstacles will stop the kid no more!!!!
Q7:  As you look into the future, what do you hope to achieve?
A7:  Happiness, RESPECT, become a role model an counselor to troubled youth… And WORLD TITLES!!!!!! I know this will take a lot of work but I have great support in my team with Dena and Mary an Zack at Striking Beauties an the girls there… And Peter, Diego Periera and Ron, my dudes at Manfredo’s… I give thanks to Jaime Clampitt everyday also, she pulled me back into the sport!!!



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