Career Change: Manningham Switching from WBA to SFC in Stunning Move
BOSTON — In a shocking press conference that no one could have expected, Heavyweight boxer and fan favorite, Ralph Manningham, has announced his intentions to move from the boxing ring to the Octagon. The bombshell was announced on the heels of his second round knockout of #1 Heavyweight contender John Arnold at the United Center in Chicago. As many experts were predicting that the 7-0 Manningham would get his shot at the WBA Heavyweight Title as his next fight, this transition begs the question “why?”
“I’ve been getting into scraps since I was six”, Manningham told reporters. “When I was ten, my pops signed me up for boxing as a way to keep from getting the snot pounded out of me, but I’ve always felt that something was missing. I miss the days of schoolyard scraps and somewhat dirty fighting. Many people don’t know this, but before I started boxing professionally, I fought a bit in the underground circuit to raise money for my family. I want to get back to that.”
Manningham, known as the “Boston Brawler” for his powerful punches, would be far from the first fighter to switch from boxing to mixed-martial arts, but never has a fighter this close to the title made the switch. His lifelong trainer, Marco Perin, was uncharacteristically supportive of the move.
“Ralphie knows what he’s doing. We’ve spoken at lengths regarding such a switch, and I knew it wasn’t a matter of if, but when the switch would occur. If it were me, I would’ve stuck it out and won the title first, but I’d rather Ralphie be happy and challenged in mixed-martial arts than miserable and bored boxing.”
Manningham has opted to join the SFC, where he hopes to move up the rankings as quickly as he had in the WBA. He and his trainer, Perin, have started contacting gyms and will decide on one here in the near future.