He hears it, he sees it, he gets it.
He knows you want him to hang ‘em up.
You wanted him to hang ‘em before his latest fight, which unfolded Thursday night in California, on ESPN.
Glen Tapia comprehends and basically respects the calls from the sideline for him to leave the sport, and do something else for a living, and as a reason for being.
“I really don’t care where it comes from,” he told me Friday afternoon, the day after losing a UD10 to Jason Quigley, an Irish prospect. “I hear it, I respect it but I’m going to do what I know I’m capable of doing! The whole world could doubt me but as long as I believe I’m myself, that’s all that matters. I know what I could do in this sport and to tell you the truth, I can’t wait to show the world who I really am!”
He’s a New Jersey guy.
Yes, oftentimes that signifies a certain depth of pride, and stubbornness. Tapia has it.
He’s 27, a doting dad on a little girl, owner of a 23-4 record. He was stopped by James Kirkland in 2013, then Michel Soro in 2015, and by David Lemieux the next time out, last May.
He tells me he’s had extensive tests done, medicals, brain scans. “I don’t live to prove anyone wrong. I live to prove myself right. Critics just care about what is shown in the ring, they don’t care what happened outside the ring. I’m cleared everywhere! There is BS rumors about my health. There is nothing wrong with me, I promise you that!”
People talk about his speech, and Tapia will note he’s always sorta sounded like Rocky Balboa. “I’ve sounded like Rocky Balboa since I was ten! That has always been my voice. People that don’t know me think it’s because of boxing but that’s just me!” And then, he will cease defending himself, because he won’t waste the energy on convincing the unconvinceable.
He will continue to pursue what his heart and soul demand he do; he will continue to box, TO FIGHT, to deliver on what he believes he can pull off.
He is, like most of them are, built differently than us.
They are warriors, they have been born to do this, bred to be battlers, and won’t be easily dissauded from that calling.