The Light welterweight (64 kg) division in Season V of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) is one of the most fiercely contested weight classes in the entire competition.
The number one ranked Vincenzo Mangiacapre has been named as the fifth WSB Boxer of the Week, and with just one match of the Regular Season to go, he is on the cusp of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Italia Thunder’s Mangiacapre has amassed a 5-1 record over the course of this campaign, and has 25 points in the rankings, the same as second placed Azeri fighter Gaybatulla Gadzhialiyev.
Both boxers are a point ahead of the third and fourth ranked Raúl Curiel García and Yasnier Toledo, with two Rio 2016 Olympic Games quotas available.
After losing his first match of the season to Gadzhialiyev, Mangiacapre has established a five fight winning streak, including victories over Jan Rivera, Damian Kiwior, Askhat Ualikhanov and Tra-Kwon Pettis.
After his latest triumph over Ronan Nahuel Sanchez, the Italian spoke to WSB regarding his season so far, and his hopes for Rio 2016.
– The Light welterweight division is one of the most competitive in WSB this year. Four boxers are separated by only one point before the last bout of the Regular Season in Week 13. Do you think that you can qualify through WSB to the Olympic Games?
The WSB events are very difficult and important because they test our boxing style and also our humility of being men.
I’m first in the 64 kg rankings, and I can say that I see me inside the games. But I’m a man who is never satisfied and I always want the best for me. There is only one more match to qualify, and I’m very convinced that I can win because there is a medal in Rio waiting for me.
– In Week 13 Italia travel to Venezuela. The Caciques have some of the most passionate fans this year with an excellent home record. The venue will be a tough place to visit, and you need to win if you want to qualify to Rio. How will the atmosphere determine your performance?
For my way of being I’m not swayed by anyone, neither by the atmosphere, not of being the first ranked, nor my opponent. I only think of myself, and this is important.
– What has been your best performance this year, and which boxers surprised you when you fought them?
You have yet to see my best performance this year. You will see it when I will be in Rio.
– You won a bronze medal in London 2012, do you feel you can win gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games?
I was in London aged only 23 without experience and I was happy. After that came the Olympic bronze and I was very happy because my efforts deserved a very good result.
But remember how I said before that I’m a man who never is satisfied and always want the best – I think that to win an Olympic gold medal is all for an athlete, and I want this.
– You are one of the most experienced WSB boxers having competed in many seasons. What do you think overall about the competition?
I don’t have rivalry with anyone and I think that everybody has to give his best to reach their goals. Our team has these kind of people and this is very important. If you win or you lose, you only have to accept the reality and learn from this defeat.
– How has WSB changed over the years?
WSB have changed me for the better. It has given me a lot of experience and confidence in myself. Fighting for one objective is something very important for an athlete.
– After two 5–0 victories at home against Argentina Condors and USA Knockouts, Italy are in good form and ranked third in Group B. Can Italia Thunder compete and win against the big guns in the competition, Astan Arlans Kazkahstan, Russian Boxing Team or Cuba Domadores?
Italia Thunder has a lot of young boxers, and I think that my team can win against any high level team. And if we have a little bit of luck, all the better.
– What are the goals of the team this year?
The first goal for everybody is to qualify for Rio. And in the worst case, win a lot of experience.
– How would you describe your boxing style?
I can’t describe my boxing style, it is a present of nature. I don’t know how to explain myself. I’m in the ring, and the rest is all instinctive.
– Which boxer (active or inactive) have you always wanted to box against?
My next goal is Rio, and I want to fight with American boxers.
– If you hadn’t been a boxer, what would you have been?
I don’t know the answer. But I know that I would not be a dancer!!
- Boxing is passion
- My hero is Muhammad Ali
- My opponents for me are no one
- World Series of Boxing is an opportunity
- My favourite food is gnocchi
- My favourite drink is Coca Cola
- How I see my future serenity
- A Knockout in my mind is it happens
- Italia Thunder are a united team
- My dream is to be remembered as a hero
|Date Of Birth||17/01/1989|
|Place Of Birth||Marcianise, Caserta|
|Club||Gruppo Sportivo Fiamme Azzurre|
|Number of bouts||109 (83-2-24)|
|Best Results||London 2012 Olympic Games – Bronze
European Union Championships – Gold
AIBA World Boxing Championships – Gold