Emiliano Marsili, Class 1976 Born and raised in Civitavecchia (Rome), four time European champion, former world champion lightweight IBO, with 31 victories. When you look him in the eye you immediately notice his inner calm, which is the same during every meeting in the ring.
Emiliano is also a dockworker and he is the pride of all his collegues that always support him.
Fresh from victory K.O. last January 25 against the Hungarian Gyötgy Mizsey Jr., he tells us all his love for this noble sport, drinking with me a healthy pineapple juice.
Emiliano how did your passion for boxing begin?
I was very young, I was about 15 years old and it all began thanks to some of my friends that brought me to their their gym, Civitavecchia Tibbs. The late Peppe Pedis was my first teacher, I discovered this passion thanks to him.. After only two months of training I had my first official fight, immediately winning the title of regional champion, then interregional and eventually Italian champion.
After these titles what expectations did you have?
Look, for me it was always a pleasure, a hobby, I never thought of it as a job. I saw it as a sport, beautiful, fun, full of sacrifices but never as an ongoing commitment. So much so that when he died, my I walked away a bit ‘from boxing, I trained sporadically and perhaps doing a fight a year. This, for many years, until I decided to start taking it seriously.
To beat a young man of 22, is it more about experience or training?
Surely preparation is the key element. In fact, fighting with the same guy, in the match of September 2014 I won on points because I could not do adequate training because I was alone. I could only train for 20 days. For a guy of 38 it’s too short. But training alone never exceeds the threshold and the desire to go further. The trainer is used to that, to give us the right incentives to push us over the edge. In the last meet however, with a solid two and a half months ofvery hard training, the result was remarkable and we won by knockout in the seventh shooting.
Boxing is really a tough sport, in effect, especially because it requires such early sacrifice, difficult training very , and constancy, even at the amateur level.
When you are in training, what is a typical day like?
When I train a life becomes really hard; it requires great mental discipline. I have two months to lose weight. I have to get from 69 kg to 61 kg ; it stresses me, killing me physically and mentally. I have to train twice a day. I get up at 6, at 6:30 am go to the gym I go to in Ladispoli, at 7 training starts and finish at 9, I take a shower and at 10.30 am at home. I make a snack then I give myself a free ride until noon, then I’m going to take my daughter to school, lunch at 14:30, I go back to the gym until 16.30 and then I go to the physiotherapist for the pain that come always out. After the massage session at 19 I come home, have dinner and 21 are already sleeping. Do not smoke and do not drink.
Have you ever been afraid in the ring or outside the ring?
The fear is there and will always be there, otherwise I would be an unconscious person. The more fear you have and the more you concentrate, the better your performance. Never underestimate your opponent because that would be a big mistake.
Outside the ring instead fears are different. There are fears or worries for example for my daughter who is 15 years old and leaves on a motorbike with all the dangers of the road. She is my first supporter together with my wife.
You recently participated in a video clip of Tiromancino who was honored at Rome Videoclip 2014. How did this meeting?
I met Federico Zampaglione about two years ago through a mutual friend and we took to each other immediately because he has a passion for boxing. He trains and is very up to date on everything from most popular gyms to the world’s most important instructor. He also knows more than me. Today we are very good friends and it was a wonderful experience to take part in a music video. It excited me much see him on the big screen.
Have you ever been in the US?
No, but I was in Puerto Rico in 2006 for the world meeting between Gianluca Branco and Miguel Cotto in an arena with 30,000 people. Huge! It was a beautiful feeling.
I also had the opportunity to train there where boxing is the real deal, where it is considered almost like football. A little but like in the US, which of the sport have always been a source of pride, raising great champions who have marked the history of the world then.
I’ve seen gyms equipped with 3 or 4 rings inside and for me, used to training in a basement with a single ring of 4×4, it was really exciting.
And according to you why is it not like that in Italy?
Because here we have been unfortunately killed by e media. There is no communication, no printing, no television except on the day of the match. There is no boxer life culture, boxer training and there is the whole story of the boxer. Up to thirty years ago it was still a big sport where a European championship could earn e 100 million to 120 million lira. Today this reality no longer exists.
In Germany and England instead this is still a serious discipline where it is not easy to win, especially for us Italians. I became world champion just in England, America, and abroad. and abroad are, Unfortunately, to my great regret, today the category IBO in Italy is not recognized and it is sad that, after reaching the highest goals, I must work for a living because boxing, alone, would not support me.
Who is your idol?
I have always been inspired by Manny Pacquiao, left-handed like me, moves well, strong and fast.
Your wish at this time?
I hope to continue to fight for two more years at the highest level and would love during this period have the opportunity to reconnect children to the sport, maybe through television, to talk of boxing that young people love madly.
I should do the world championship at the end of June and I do not deny that the dream would be to do it here in Italy. I know it’s still very unlikely, because it would take a lot of money, at least 500,000 euros for a night, but it would be wonderful.
If I were to invite you to ask a question, what would you ask?
I ask anyone who was interested and could make a contribution, maybe even an athlete, a football player, to support boxing and try to bring the world championship here in Italy, given that today welack a title, a champion. Also involving institutions perhaps we could reactivate the sport, doing enthuse even the athletes and the stars who have had more luck in other disciplines.
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