There’s nothing else I ever wanted to be: Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, former WBA Lightweight champion


Ray Mancini is a self-proclaimed “product of his environment.” Growing up in Youngstown, Ohio, he took the blue-collar work ethic that is engrained in that town and brought it to the ring. This week’s episode gave me the delight of sitting down with Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, a former WBA Lightweight title holder, and talking about many different ideals of sports and life. In our conversation, we discuss how his father’s service in World War II led Ray’s drive to win a title for him, how growing up “on the streets” taught him what he needed to know about life, what it means to prepare for a fight mentally, and how intestinal fortitude can’t be taught.

We dive into how dishonesty ultimately ends up hurting you the most, how living with his trainer helped Ray land into the mindset of a fighter, how the support from his parents paved the way for his own parenting style, and how visualizing your goals can ultimately lead you to them. This is an inspirational talk with plenty of life lessons to take away. Ray is a great storyteller and speaker who takes the lessons he learned as a boxer and applies them to his everyday life. Tune into this special episode and find out how to get a “Doctorate in life” from Ray.

Plus, I want to hear from you on your thoughts on the name of the show! Remember to visit and give us your ideas about changing the name.


  • Where you grow up is such an important factor to how you develop. It’s important to remember not everyone grew up the way you did.

  • Sometimes, it’s just best to move on from someone who doesn’t want to act professionally. They will continue to be a headache for you if they don’t want to change.

  • You don’t know what motivates people. Sometimes, it’s something as simple as wanting to make their parents proud.

  • Find the people who want to get the work done, not the people who are there to look good.

  • Being dishonest is a way for someone to tell you they don’t want it.

  • Life is all about wins and losses. You should win with humility and lose with dignity. Wanting to win every time is the key.

  • Nothing replaces hard work. Talent is one thing, but the effort is what makes someone the best they can be.

  • Visualize what you want to achieve. It will help you get to the level.

  • Don’t doubt yourself because you won’t achieve what you want.

  • Someone’s hunger to be great may not look the same as someone else’s but that doesn’t mean they aren’t motivated.

Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini Career Accomplishments

  • 30-4 (29-5) career record

  • WBA Lightweight title holder from 1982-1984

  • 2015 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee

  • Actor, producer, and sports commentator

Key Conversation Takeaways

  • 5:51: Ray’s upbringing in Youngstown, Ohio and why he wanted something different than a “beautiful life”

  • 10:05: How growing up spending time outside “on the streets” gave him the education he needed

  • 15:00: His approach to handling boxers that can’t differentiate when it’s time to play and when it’s time to work

  • 19:11: How his father’s influence and the drive to win a title for his father led him to the ring

  • 23:27: Defining a legacy as a fighter and how the psychological part of boxing was harder than the physical part early on

  • 25:45: How living with his trainer helped him stay focused early in his career

  • ·5:59: Dealing with a loss psychologically and giving your all in everything you do

  • 43:00: What happens in the gym that tells you the most about a fighter

  • 49:35: Positive mental visualization in life and in the ring

Notable Quotes

  • 7:00: (Growing up in Youngstown, Ohio) “You graduate high school, get a job in the steel mill, meet a nice girl, get married, raise a family. Beautiful, beautiful life. Two cars, put your kids through private school. Beautiful. I just wanted something different. I wanted something more.”

  • 9:38: “People always say, ‘What else would you have done?’ I don’t know. I would’ve been successful. I like to think I would’ve been successful in whatever I chose to do because of my work ethic and my mindset. But there’s nothing else I wanted to do.”

  • 10:08: “I’m not a tough guy. I know myself. I’m a street guy.”

  • 12:55: “My son graduated from Colorado State and, when he would talk to me about college life, he would say, ‘Pop, you don’t understand. You never went to college.’ I said ‘What? Are you kidding me? I went to the college of life, the college of hard knocks. I’ve got a Doctorate in life.’”

  • 17:55: “I can make you number two, but you’ve got to make yourself number one.”

  • 19:08: “Boxing chooses you. You don’t choose boxing.”

  • 25:00: “Once you have a fight, you have a letdown. Then you have to get up again.”

  • 30:05: “Peaking at the right time is a science. The trainer knows, it’s like sharpening a knife. You get the knife to its finest point. But if you keep sharpening the knife, you dull the knife.”

  • 34:15: “Napoleon once said, ‘After 30, a man’s spirit is not made for war.’”

  • 36:22: “Life has a way of kicking your ass and straightening you out.”

  • 39:36: “If you know in your heart that you haven’t given yourself to that endeavor and you took a loss, it’s very hard to live with that outcome because ultimately you don’t like what you see in the mirror when you look in the mirror because you lost and you let yourself lose.”

  • 43:03: “The gym is the biggest liar because it tells you everything and it tells you nothing.”

  • 54:06: “I used to be 10 years old, 12 years old, and then I’d go to bed dreaming and I’d see myself carrying the belt over my head. I’d see my hand raised. I believed it because I used to see it every night in my dreams.”










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