Alfredo Meli ready to give up day job and become full-time fighter
ALFREDO MELI is ready to give up his day job and throw his heart and soul into being a full-time fighter.
The Immaculata middleweight, who takes on Sam Sheedy (16-1) in a Commonwealth title eliminator at Sheffield City Hall on Saturday night, currently divides his time between plying his trade as a car mechanic by day and forging a career as a fighter in the evenings.
But unbeaten Meli (11-0-1) realises something has to give and he’ll happily hang up his overalls - if a promoter makes him an offer, he won’t refuse: “Hopefully, I can get a promoter who’ll say ‘look, stop working and come and box’,” he said.
“I’ll stop work because, at the end of the day, I want to box, I don’t want to be working all the time. I can always go back to the trade - that’s the good thing about being a mechanic, you can go back to it. If a promoter is willing to take me on and say ‘right, come on lets go’, I would go.”
On the afternoon of his Celtic middleweight title fight against Conrad Cummings last November, Meli should have been resting, but a friend called at his house and found him taking the engine out of a broken-down car. The fight ended in a draw and, since then, Meli has realised he needs time to train and recover if he is going to fulfil his fighting potential.
“I was hmm-ing and haa-ing [after the Cummings fight],” he admitted.
“That’s because, that night, I was boiling up a bit, but once I sat down and thought about it I realised that I can always go back to my job. A lot of boys aren’t lucky enough that they can do that, but I know I’d be able to go back to being a mechanic.
“If a promoter would take me on and pay me, then I would say ‘yes, not a problem’. That will give me a chance because, at the minute, I’m burning the candle at both ends.
“People don’t understand that, people ask: ‘what do you mean by that?’ But that’s why, when it comes to 9pm or 9.30pm, I’m falling asleep right away because I’m sapped, I’ve no energy - it’s all gone.”
For Meli, it’s early to bed and early to rise. He’s up at 6.30am and in bed for about 9pm at night: “I’m training hard as usual and working hard too, I have to,” he said at the Immaculata ABC gym last Friday.
“It’s the routine I’m in and that’s it. I have a normal day, I work hard and then I get home and straight to training. That’s my life and I’m happy with it. I couldn’t complain.
“Sometimes, I run down to the gym, it’s about three and-a-half miles. There’s not much really in it, but it’s still a good bit before a hard session. After a hard day’s work, jog down to the gym, then train, so it’s tough enough. But by the time I get here, my head’s clear and I know what I’m doing, I’m focused on the boxing.”
He’s focused on beating Sam Sheedy on Saturday night. Sheedy has only lost once in 17 outings - to Navid Mansouri in an English super-welterweight title rumble last July.
“I haven’t watched him and I won’t watch him,” Meli said.
“I didn’t watch Cummings, I haven’t watched any of my opponents. I know he’s a southpaw and he’s awkward, but all southpaws are awkward. I fought plenty of them when I was amateur, so I have that knowledge in the bank.
"I know it will be a good fight and I’m confident I’ll come out with a win.”