Antonio DeMarco watched a kid throw his half-eaten pizza in the dumpster and remembered how hard life had been.
He had to eat people’s leftovers from garbage cans to dumpsters just to survive.
This humbling experience is what keeps him grounded after all these years. It’s what keeps him moving forward with every failure or setback that happened on his career.
He had stood his ground against the late Edwin Valero. However, he was clearly outclassed and out boxed by an offensive dynamo on his first-world title fight.
Antonio never took it as a sign to give up…the will to survive…the will to get up. He can’t think of anything worse that could make him quit, maybe when you’re in the bottom for too long, you just get used to it.
Antonio is popular among Mexican boxing fans, not because he is a Mexican, but because they can really relate to his struggles. He becomes a symbolism for those who felt helpless and unwanted. This is a person who basically has his clothes as his only possession and became successful because of sheer will and determination.
Last October 15 was not only the culmination of his success but also the story of his life. He was trailing on the scorecards against the two-time champion Jorge Linares. With a welted and grotesque face, DeMarco rallied and scored an 11th round stoppage.
Many could have folded out and quit if they were in his shoes, but Antonio never doubted himself. Never did he think about losing, even if he was way behind. He could have absorbed three more rounds against Valero on 2010 but it would’ve still been for a losing cause. He lost to the better fighter that night and his trainer wanted him to quit.
This time against Linares there won’t be any white flags standing. This is how he goes through life. Poverty was never an excuse and when everybody expected him to fail and live his life in a dumpster, he strived to fight his way to the top.
Fighting back his tears, Antonio looked at his belt for one last time…from eating on garbage cans to winning a world championship belt, it was such a remarkable feat.
When they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, Antonio literally means it.
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