The boxing coach who won Angola’s first gold medal: Paulo Muhongo, Londoner #127

Yeah my name is Joseph Paolo Munohongo. Nickname
is ‘Shilola’. I’m a boxing coach. I started boxing in 1978 in Angola, where I was born.
I got the first Gold medal in the country in my sport. So it was a really amazing feeling
for me, I was the golden boy then in the country. I know I just was really very fast because
I remember when once in one of my fights, we fight and we finish and the other player
comes last and starts to cry and I say woah what happened Miguel – why are you crying?
And he says no it’s this boxer, how can a human being have four hands? and the guy says
how do you mean four hands? Because he punched me two hands in the head and two in the belly.
Even in this way, it can’t be that Shilolu has an extra power like a voodoo or something.
Coaching is like a second Dad because this is a big responsibility you know in the ring,
if he’s got problems and you let him go in the ring and something happens, I’m the one
that’s going to be there. That’s why I should know very good my fighters you know. And this
instance even happened today with one of my boxers here I saw that he’s not in the way
he’s used to and I spoke to him and asked him what’s going on and he said I don’t know
and I said look, doing this thing I start to know you. I know when you’re OK and not.
He didn’t even tell me but I know he wasn’t OK. Today I met guys who you know they are
married and they have kids and sometimes we take them for training and they have really
bad lives you know walking with knives and all these kind of things, but today he’s a
friendly man you know he’s got kids. He says you know I’ve got to thank boxing, it changed
my life completely. You learn a lot in this work as a boxer. You get knocked out, you
sit down to think where was my mistakes and then you see OK, there was a mistake and you
stand up and you go again and this teach you for life. I’ve just received a message now,
you see exactly what I was talking about.

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