This is an Interview That The Boxing News Team Made with Donny Bonini (The Pit Bull)
Name : Donny â€œPit Bullâ€ Bonini
Age : 21
Marital Status : Single
Home :Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
What kind of job do you do? For how long?
I work two jobs in addition to my boxing. My primary source of income is T-Mobile, the wireless phone company. I am with the cutomer service section, taking incoming calls from customers, and Iâ€™ve been doing that for about two years. I also work as a loss prevention officer at a department store, JC Penny. Itâ€™s a security job, and my main function is to catch shoplifters. Iâ€™d love to quit working at those jobs and get a sponsor for my training so I could be in the gym all day every day, but itâ€™s hard to find sponsors like that for what we do.
Why do you box?
I box because I love it! At first, boxing was a way to keep me out of trouble. I used to get in streetfights a lot and I never really planned to become a boxer. It was just something that fell into my lap. My coach taught me that there was a difference between a streetfighter and an elite athlete. When he showed me that, I saw how much there was to learn from boxing, and I absolutely fell in love with the sport. I wanted to be a boxer, an athlete, not just some thug fighter. It wasnâ€™t long before I realized that boxing also helped me deal with some of the bad things in my life. That gave me even more reason to train, and as I saw myself getting better and better, loving it more and more, it made me want to be a Champion.
Iâ€™d like to ask about the history of boxing. Are you a student of past boxers? Do you study the history?
Oh absolutely. I try to emulate boxers like Muhammad Ali, Ray Robinson, and Floyd Mayweather as well as Oscar e La Hoya in my own style. I watch a lot of tape of boxers past and present, and my coach and I are constantly analyzing the things that made them successful. Weâ€™ll watch the same tape sixteen different times, each time looking for something specific to add to my training. One time, weâ€™ll watch a fight like Ray Robinson and Gene Fullmer in their sixth bout. Weâ€™ll check out Rayâ€™s footwork and see what he did to make his punches connect, and what he failed to do when his punches missed. The next time, weâ€™ll watch Fullmerâ€™s feet. Next, weâ€™ll look at his head movement and his fakes. Everything a fighter does is important, and I like studying every detail so I can take what works and try it myself.
How many times a week do you train? For how long?
I train six days a week, but the workouts vary. Right now, there are a lot of fights happening, so I train like Iâ€™m going to be fighting every weekend. My average training day is borken up into two sessions. In one session, Iâ€™ll do my conditioning work, like running 2-3 miles, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, weights, and all that kind of stuff. The second session is my gym work. I try to work for twenty rounds per gym session, and that gets divided up between activities like the light bags and the heavy bag, mitt work with my coach, and sparring. I spar two days a week and Iâ€™ll do eight rounds a day when we spar. All total, I train about two or three hours a day. On Mondays and Fridays, my coach and I run for 5 miles together in addition to my regular raodwork. Heâ€™s getting old, though, so I always beat him. Itâ€™s fun. Kind of gives me a break from the regular routine.
How does your body get used to the punishment of taking blows in the ring?
My body has gotten very used to being hit. I know the places that hurt me more and so I can avoid a lot of shots to those areas, but itâ€™s still a matter of conditioning. You just take punishment, and you get used to it, I guess. I never really had a time when punches bothered me a whole lot, and Iâ€™m lucky in that I have a good chin, but I think the constant pounding and lots of sparring definitiely makes you even tougher.
Do you do anything besides boxing?
Not if I have a choice. (laughs) I used to play football, but I didnâ€™t like it nearly as much as boxing. When I get time, I like hanging out with my girlfriend. Sheâ€™s a competitor, too, so sheâ€™s really supportive of all the time I have to put into my own training.
Any special problems with this occupation?
I think the toughest thing about boxing is getting mentally prepared. Itâ€™s a huge challenge to stay focused for so long, and to get yourself in the right frame of mind to go into the ring and face another boxer who has been training for that same thing. Once I get myself to relax, though, itâ€™s like playing. Itâ€™s almost like my body just knows what it needs to do, and the training kicks in and I just go out and win.
What is your best achievement so far in boxing?
Well, in 2006, I won my division at the Colorado State Golden Gloves. It was only my fourth fight, but it was an awesome feeling to win it. It made me want to train even harder for next year. It also reinforced my goal of winning a World Champonship one day.
What are the most important things in your life?
My mother and father, for sure. Nothing in the whole world can ever take the place of family, and no one in my life is more important to me.
How important is money for you?
Money is important, because Iâ€™ve been on my own for a few years now and I need to pay my bills. Itâ€™s something you have to have. Iâ€™d like to make enough so I could take care of my parents someday. Maybe buy them a nice house somewhere and let them enjoy retirement.
What would you change about your life, past or present?
Not a thing. Iâ€™ve made some mistakes, but my past has made me who I am today, and I have no regrets. I think life is like fighting. You donâ€™t look back. You just bite down on that mouthpiece and you fight as hard as you can and never give up. You win some and you lose some, but whatâ€™s important is that you keep getting up and trying as hard as you can. Just like Iâ€™d never get caught up in thinking about what I may have done wrong in my last fight, I never get caught up in thinking about what I may have done wrong in my life. I just focus on what I need to do to be better, and I work on doing it.
What are your plans or dreams for the future?
My plans are to keep competing as an amateur for a couple more years. Then, when I feel Iâ€™m ready, I want to go pro and become a World Champion. Outside of boxing, my goal is to have a great family.
Who would you like to meet, work for, or fight against?
I would love to meet Oscar De La Hoya. Iâ€™ve looked up to him for a long time, so it would be a dream come true to fight for Golden Boy Promotions when I turn pro. As far as a dream opponent, Iâ€™d love to fight Manny Pacquiao. Heâ€™s amazing. So much energy and talent, I think it would be a real experience to fight against someone like him.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
â€œItâ€™s better to die trying to get somewhere than living and never trying.â€
Can you give our readers an idea of what it costs to live in Colorado Springs, USA?
Yeah. My monthly expeses are about $1500 per month. Rent on my apartment is around $500. I spend about $100 a month on food for myself. I have a payment each month for my Tahoe, too. My health insurance costs me about $126 a month. A slice of pizza costs around $2.25, and a decent pair of shoes runs you maybe about $65 – $100.
What about a pack of cigarettes?
I donâ€™t know. I donâ€™t smoke. If I started smoking, my coach might start beating me on our five-mile runs. I canâ€™t have that, now can I? (laughs)
One last question. Where do you train?
The gym I train out of is called Old School Boxing. Itâ€™s what I call a â€œfighterâ€™s gym.â€ The people there are really great, and thereâ€™s a really focused atmosphere to the place. Itâ€™s one of those gyms that doesnâ€™t try to be all flashy or pretty. Itâ€™s just one of those places you can see Jack Dempsey or Rocky Marciano training when they were coming up. Perfect place to learn real boxing. Itâ€™s near downtown Colorado Springs. The address is 3125 North El Paso Street, Suite B in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The phone number is (719) 632-1982. We have several coaches there, all of whom are world class. Most have worked with Olympic teams, and a couple of them have trained professional champs like David Reid. My gym is like the best kept secret in Colorado. I love it.