“God gave me the opportunity to do something bigger with the stage I’ve been given.” – Michael “The Bull” Manna
Life is a journey. Each of us is on an individual quest, and as a human family, we all have a shared story and destiny. To seek, search, question, and wonder is to be human, and to be human is to be perfectly imperfect. The difference between a fake diamond and a real one is that a real diamond has flaws.
“I do not have it all figured out, I am not a saint by any means. I have made countless mistakes. Bad things that happen are not of God. If we allow him to, he can turn them into good 200 times over.“
Michael “The Bull” Manna, 36, from Pittsburgh, PA made his boxing debut in 2011 at the age of 28. Mike took to his stage at a point when many others in his field are approaching, or have reached their prime. As Manna likes to say, “I’m 36 years old, that’s 137 in boxing years.” Boxing for Manna has become a spiritual path; a means to access his deepest inner self, to access his creator in a very personal way.
Michael’s childhood was a very turbulent one, he came to boxing through street fighting. Mike’s heart was burned, and psyche severely scarred at a young age, facing both physical and sexual abuse, and the betrayal of friends. Fighting and boxing became an outlet for Mike, sometimes in very healthy ways, and at others, not as healthy.
Listen to Michael’s story below:
Michael had come to a place in his life, the tension of the crescendo of feeling stuck with what to do to calm the storm inside. He turned back to boxing, trained harder and more focused than ever before, and started his amateur career in 2011. Mike had 50 fights in his amateur years winning only 19 of them, but always by knock out, he always lost on points, though never lost by knock out. He cites the legendary Rocky Marciano as a pivotal boxing influence, because like Marciano, Michael just does not quit.
It was for this style of fighting he was chosen by team Pittsburgh to fight against team Ireland in an international tournament in 2015, which he won. Team Ireland wanted a rematch in 2016, and this time they threw their big guns at Mike, a very seasoned and well-trained fighter; and though this time Michael lost, again like Marciano he did not relent, and even landed quite a shocking knock out. These matches launched Michael’s career in the sense of some name recognition in Pittsburgh and in the larger boxing world.