Well, we have joining us right now on the phone is probably the coolest kid any of us are ever going to meet. Vito Mielnicki. I’m probably pronouncing his name wrong. He can correct me. Vito is 17 years old. He had an amateur record of 147-22, and was a four time Junior national Golden Gloves champion. He is in high school. He’s 2-0 in the pros with two KOs. He is fighting on the Deontay Wilder under card. Vito, are you there?
Vito Mielnicki: Yes, I’m here. Thank you for having me.
Jose Guzman: He’s probably the most popular kid in high school right now.
Curtis Jones: I know. How many people ask you out to the prom yet?
Jose Guzman: How many prom dates do you have?
Vito Mielnicki: Oh, my prom was last year. My prom was last year, and that was when I wasn’t pro.
Curtis Jones: Oh, that’s what’s up.
Vito Mielnicki: But, yeah. But.
Larry Goldberg: Vito, tell us. You were the first ever 17 year old to ever fight as a professional in the state of New Jersey. They had to give you an exemption. How did that happen?
Vito Mielnicki: Well, the commissioner, Larry Hazzard, he’s watched me grow up as a fighter, and as a person. He saw my progression … When I was younger to now that I’m older, and he knows that I was a talented amateur. I guess he thought that I was capable of fighting before the age of 18.
Jose Guzman: Vito, I was actually at your pro debut. In the Prudential Center.
Larry Goldberg: So was I.
Jose Guzman: You had a packed house. You probably sold the most tickets that night. More than Shakur Stevenson. You were the draw that night. I remember seeing you walk down. I’m like this kid is a baby. He has a baby face. I remember when you went in to the ring, and that bell sounded, I’m like you sort of tagging this guy. I was like this guy has a baby face, but he could punch like a mule. I remember when you knocked this guy out. I thought he was dead on the floor. I was like wow, this kid is going to be a star. He’s only 17 years old.
Vito Mielnicki: Thank you, thank you.
Jose Guzman: What are your thoughts? Making your pro debut, in your hometown.
Vito Mielnicki: It was great having my family and friends watch me fight as a professional in my pro debut. It’s something I worked for my whole life, but it was good. Having people behind me just lifted me up even more, and motivated me even more than what I even was, before that.
Jose Guzman: Now, another question I have for you. I know after that first round knockout, you had a lot of promoters behind you trying to follow you. What made you make the decision of signing with Al Haymon?
Vito Mielnicki: I believe he has the top fighters in the game. He has probably the best stable, best platform not on an app. It’s on a TV. In my third professional fight, I’m going to be fighting on Fox Sports 2.
Larry Goldberg: Yeah, that’s incredible.
Curtis Jones: … That’s incredible.
Curtis Jones: Okay. That’s what’s up. Vito, yo, man, question. Yo, what weight are you going to be campaigning at?
Vito Mielnicki: 147 welterweight.
Curtis Jones: Wow. The 147 welterweight. That’s a deep division there, champ.
Henry Deleon: That’s a tough weight class there.
Jose Guzman: Listen, he’s a big boy, though.
Curtis Jones: He’s a big boy.
Jose Guzman: He’s a big boy.
Curtis Jones: How tall are you?
Vito Mielnicki: I’m 5’11”.
Curtis Jones: Oh, wow. That’s what’s up. Where do you see yourself fitting in in the near future at the welterweight division?
Vito Mielnicki: To be honest, I don’t think, I’m probably not going to be a welterweight, I don’t think … I think I’m still growing. But I would love to stay at the division … Probably the most exciting division in boxing.
Curtis Jones: Definitely. 54’s pretty exciting, as well.
Vito Mielnicki: 54.
Vito Mielnicki: For me? All of the top guys. I’ve been watching them since I was growing up, and for me to even be put in a conversation with them right now is crazy.
Henry Deleon: Did you find much of a difference in going from amateur to pro, Vito?
Vito Mielnicki: Most definitely. I believe I’m a puncher. Having an eight ounce glove on the side, not having a 10, definitely I believe is the biggest difference for me.
Henry Deleon: Do you feel that your preparation for an amateur bout and your preparation for a professional bout, is it much different?
Vito Mielnicki: I believe it’s more intense. Just the environment I think is different. Just you’re going to a professional fight, no head gear. Your life is on the line every time you step in that ring.
Curtis Jones: Definitely. Another question. Being that you made your pro debut at 17, and you’re 18 years old now-
Larry Goldberg: No, he’s still 17.
Curtis Jones: Oh, you’re still 17?
Vito Mielnicki: I’m 17
Curtis Jones: All right. But I’m just saying … Professional boxing, I know by firsthand, you know what I mean, because I’m a former fighter, there’s a maturity level that comes with being a professional athlete. How do you manage a regular child, well, I mean, you’re not a child, you’re at the end of your teen years, and being a professional at the same time? How do you manage that? It’s X-Box, Call of Duty, what is it?
Vito Mielnicki: Obviously, there’s going to be sacrifices I have to make still as a senior. Just going out with my friends over the weekend. But I’ve been doing that, I’ve been sacrificing like that my whole life. Whatever it takes for me to get to that next level, where I want to be in the game, that’s what I’m willing to do.
Jose Guzman: I have a question for you.l you have a great manager. Anthony Catanzaro. How did you come to meet him, and what made you end up signing with him as a manager?
Vito Mielnicki: Well, Anthony Catanzaro, he’s from the first time we ever talked to him, he … Just seemed like a perfect fit for us. He was, he fit in with my family’s open, he’s very how can I put this? He’s just, I feel like he’s just one of us. He fits in with my whole team. But I met him through Danny Milano, the cut man.
Curtis Jones: Oh my God. The cut man. Danny’s a good guy. One of the best cut men in the world.
Vito Mielnicki: Yeah, he’s my cut man, and he tells us all about how Anthony was Paulie Malignaggi’s manager, and that’s how we got to know him.
Jose Guzman: Also, I believe your father is a promoter also, right?
Vito Mielnicki: Yeah, he’s a promoter.
Jose Guzman: You had a very good team behind you.
Curtis Jones: What’s the name of the promotion?
Vito Mielnicki: GH3 Promotions.
Jose Guzman: GH3, so-
Larry Goldberg: Of course.
Jose Guzman: You’re basically, and how many years do you see yourself as a world champ?
Vito Mielnicki: I know I’m 17. I’m not in a rush for anything, but hopefully, at the age of 21 or 22. Four or five years. That’s probably the goal.
Larry Goldberg: Well, last question for you, Vito. Since you’re balancing school and boxing, what are some of the craziest things your friends at school have said to you, since you’ve gone pro?
Jose Guzman: Lend me some money.
Vito Mielnicki: I keep my circle small. I’ve had this thing in front of me since I was a kid, and I don’t know. You could tell when people are just trying to jump in your circle just because they see you doing good, but yeah, I just try and keep my same circle that I’ve had, and keep my team small.
Larry Goldberg: Well, Vito, thank you very much for joining us this week.
Vito Mielnicki: No, thank you for having me today.
Larry Goldberg: Good luck to you on November 23rd. Follow Vito on social media, twitter.com. Vito Mielnicki. Am I saying that correctly?
Vito Mielnicki: Yeah, I’m Vito Mielnicki on Instagram, and at Vito Mielnicki Jr. On Twitter.
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