Veteran boxing manager John Seip has signed highly decorated Italian amateur boxer Daniele Marco Scardina to an exclusive managerial contract.
Seip is best known for guiding Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin to the World Boxing Organization (WBO) world middleweight title. The native New Yorker also manages rising British super middleweight Steed "The Stallion" Woodall (7-0-1, 5 KOs).
The 21-year-old Scardina hails from Rozzano, a town of less than 40,000 people in the Province of Milan. He started boxing in 2008 at the age of 16, following in his uncle's footsteps who was a boxer at that time, as well as Daniele's role model.
Scardina, who had 56 amateur bouts, captured top honors in numerous Italian tournaments including the Rovereto National, National Silver Glove, and two National Golden Gloves. He also won a bronze medal at an International event.
In 2013, he boxed for the Italia Thunder Boxing Team in the World Series of Boxing, winning his only match against a German opponent.
Scardina first caught Seip's attention at the world famous 5th St. Gym in Miami Beach, originally opened in 1950 by Chris Dundee, and the home of countless world champions have trained there including Muhammad Ali, Carmen Basilio, Willie Pastrano, Emile Griffith, Archie Moore, Roberto Duran, Sonny Liston, and Willie Pep. The rich tradition continues at the new 5th St. Gym, located nearby at 1434 Alton Street, where top fighters from around the world such as Bernard Hopkins still train.
"I first saw him training at the 5th St. Gym and he looked like a typical amateur," Seip explained. "He threw wide punches and didn't know how to throw a good jab. Trainers Guy Laieta and Dino Spencer started working with him and now he's using his reach, fighting at a distance, and throwing combinations of jabs and hooks. He's passionate about boxing, listening and learning every day. Daniele has good hand speed and power. He's a handsome kid, too. I saw something in him, intangibles, and decided to sign him.
"Dino is an owner who has created a top-notch gym with great sparring opportunities in an atmosphere featuring so many talented fighters who really push each other. It's already apparent that Danielle has improved his skills training there. He's long, fast and powerful. His work ethic is incredible; he's the first in the gym, last to leave. You can't hurt this kid, either. We all believe that he has a very bright future."
Unlike fighters from Russia and former Soviet-bloc nations, as well as those from Latin America who come to the United States to establish their professional boxing careers, Italian-born fighters rarely have followed the same route as Scardina, who moved to Miami last year and sleeps on the floor of his brother's apartment.
The lone Italian-born world champion who fought professionally in America is Vito Antuofermo (50-7-2, 21 KOs), who was the WBC/WBA middleweight champion in 1979-1980. Antuofermo, though, moved with his family to Brooklyn from Puglia, Italy when he was 17 and he learned how to box in America.
"I have always wanted to be a champion in America," Scardina said. "That's the American dream for me. I think I'll have a great opportunity in this country to be the greatest boxer I can be with the right help. John Seip is the right manager for me because he believes we can the world championship together as a team."
Scardina's favorite boxers are Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Miguel Cotto. "I'm working on perfection as an outside fighter and to main my arms closer," Scardina added. I'm fighting to become world champion."
Scardina is expected to make his pro debut this May or June.