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Mancera announces retirement... again

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"That's it for me for boxing," said Mancera, a Phys Ed teacher at the Richard R. Green HS Of Teaching in Manhattan who won the silver medal. "I should have gone right through him. I fought like this was my first amateur fight. That's it. I am 25 now. I should have turned pro four years ago."Mancera spent the last two years trying to find a manager or promoter to back him so he could start a career in boxing, during which time he fought a total of three times in the amateurs. When those plans fell through, he fell back on his amateur career and was hoping to win impressively at the Empire State Games to once again attract interest from people with money.Mancera, on his way to finishing up his Masters degree at Queens College, fought the first round as if he was playing patty-cake with his opponent. He regrouped in the next three rounds, and knocked Thompson down with a swooping overhand right hand in the second that was ruled a slip by the referee."My footing wasn't right," Thompson said. "No way that was a knockdown."During the next three rounds, Thompson landed the higher volume of punches with Mancera landing the harder ones, leaving it up to the judges to determine which style was the winning one. They voted for Thompson by a 3-2 margin."His awkward style messed me up," said Mancera, who won two local Empire State Games and tallied a 53-7 record in the amateurs. "I need more sparring to get me prepared for these types of fights."Outside the ring, Mancera is thoughtful and polite, and moments before he stepped into the ring his teammates asked if they could use his camera to film the fight, setting off a strange scene in which Mancera, embellished in head- gear and boxing gloves, rummaged through his bag to find the camera to appease his teammates. Mancera's statement that he was retiring should ring hollow since he has retired from boxing three times before only to come back, and he has a good reason to return. In the semifinal bout of the Empires, he beat Long Island's Hamed Mateen, a highly decorated amateur whose brother, Ernest Mateen, is a fringe contender in the cruiserweight division."I'm probably a little upset right now," he said. "I should probably think about it and decide what I should do. Maybe I won't retire." Serge NgandaSerge Nganda could do nothing but look at his hands. They had let him down in his match with Ronald Lewis, a resident of Syracuse competing for the Central Region in the first round of the Empire State Games last Thursday. Nganda, a former resident of Jamaica, hurt his right hand in the first round and couldn't throw any power punches the remainder of the bout. Nganda, who was born in Zaire and was as a youngster nicknamed George Foreman for his fighting prowess, lost 5-0 in the 165-pound division at Binghamton High."I did the best I could," said Nganda, who works in a luggage store in Manhattan. "My right hand was my strong hand, and I couldn't throw it like I wanted to. I couldn't hurt him. That's it for me in the amateurs."Nganda, a frequent sparring partner for former IBF junior welterweight champion, Zab Judah, is considering turning pro, but with his hand troubles a persistent thorn in his boxing career, Nganda may have no other choice but to abandon those plans. Considering what he has already dealt with in his life Ñ from sleeping on park benches and in subway cars when he first moved to the United States Ñ Nganda may find it tough to leave his dream of becoming a world champion behind."I want to fight, I just have to take care of my hand first," he said.Fight DoctorDr. Osric King, a physician for the New York State Athletic Commission and for USA Boxing, had a storybook moment Friday while ringside at the Empire State Games.During one of the matches, a fighter threw a punch and missed, slipping backwards and falling on his right shoulder. At first, the referee ruled it a knockdown, but upon further inspection, it was clear the fighter was in serious pain, and it wasn't from a punch. Up into the ring jumped King, who quickly recognized that the fighter was suffering from a dislocated shoulder. As he began to pop it back into place, the fighter, who moments before had been writhing in pain, put his suffering on hold and asked suddenly: "Wait a minute. Are you a doctor?""I had to hold back to keep from laughing," Dr. King said. "Then a little while later, outside the ring when he saw me, he looked at me and asked again: "Are you a doctor?"Just a typical day in the life of a fight doctor.King, who has a private practice in Fresh Meadows and is affiliated with the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, was at his usual ringside position whenever a fight breaks out in New York, working his third Empire State games in four years.Just as boxers develop styles inside the ring, fight doctors develop ways of watching boxers to see if they require medical attention or if a fight should be stopped, which in New York State they have the authority to do."You have to really pay attention," he said. "You can't just sit there and get lulled to sleep by the action. You want to get a sense of how the fighter interacts with his corner, if he is real talkative or if he is just sitting there; then later in the fight, if he changes his behavior. You have to make sure that his personality doesn't change. You watch how he is throwing punches, if he is only using one arm, things like that."King has been a fixture on the boxing scene since 1995, when he first began working matches. The boxing bug bit him after he attended a Don King promoted card in St. Petersburg Florida where he was doing an elective in sports medicine at a local hospital there. He sat slack-jawed as Francois Both, Mia St. John and current Light Heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver, in his pro debut, all appeared on the card."From there I was hooked," he said.He applied to the New York State Athletic Commission shortly thereafter and the rest is well, medical history.Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

Posted 7:17 pm, October 10, 2011
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