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Manny Siaca jr


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Manny Siaca jr is a guy who has had a rather long and eventful career. Only once did he get to hold a world title and that didn't last too long. He was however arguably cheated for another title in his first world title fight, against Bruno Girard in 2000. Also his third fight for the same title against Byron Mitchell had question marks around it, being very close. Siaca was a tall super middleweight for his era at 6'1 and has an exceptionally long reach at 78 inches. He was game and tough, but could be stopped if he took enough punishment. He hit hard and was a hard worker in the ring. He was one might say fortunate to have a successful trainer-fighter relationship with his own father, Manny sr of course. He also holds the distinction of so far being the only Puerto Rican world champion at 168 and one of the few above 147.


Born Manuel Alejandro Siaca, November 21 1975 in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, he was exposed to the sport early as his father was a respected trainer who trained Edwin Rosario and Wilfredo Vazquez, two greatest Puerto Rican boxing stars of the 80's. Manny jr started as a pro in 1997 and won his first 7 fights, all but one by ko. He then lost for the first time to Patrick Lewis, back then 3-0, by an MD4, in his second fight in USA. In February 1999, he won the WBA Fedelatin smw title by a TKO8 against Carlos Robles, in Venezuela. He made one defense of it against Danny Garcia (no, not that one!) by a TKO2 in November same year, before vacating it. He then challenged the reigning WBA-champion, the tall and crafty Bruno Girard of France. Of course, Siaca had to come to France and fight, which he did September 16 2000, in Chateauroux. The complete underdog from Puerto Rico surprised everyone by giving the home favorite a much tougher and closer fight than was expected. But, in the end Girard still went home with the belt, as two judges scored it for him and the third for the challenger. Manny jr and his father then protested the verdict and asked for a rematch in USA, which Girard and his people refused. That led to WBA stripping Girard and ordering the fight between Siaca and Byron Mitchell for the vacant title. Mitchell had lost the same title to Girard previously, by close scores. The fight took place at Mandalay Bay, March 3 2001 and it was an exciting and even one, but Siaca was down in round 9. Despite that, he was ahead on two of the scorecards going into the last round, when he was again down and stopped by a TKO, with less than 30 seconds remaining. Mitchell showed himself as a gracious champion by giving Manny jr a rematch, recognising he was worthy of a second chance. It happened on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins-Felix Trinidad fight, September 29 that year, at the Madison Square Garden. This time, both men would taste the canvas once, Siaca in the first and Mitchell in the last round, but Mitchell remained the champion after winning by a close and disputed split decision.


Siaca went back to the drawing board for a while and returned next year, stopping Demetrius Jenkins in a fight at 175, by a TKO4. Being a popular fighter because of his aggressive and energetic style, he was again given a chance to win the WBA title, this time against Anthony Mundine, who was making his second defense of it. Fighting away in Sydney, May 5 2004, he finally realized his goals when he dropped Mundine in the second round and went on to win by an SD. 6 months later however, he went to Denmark to defend for the first time against their great hope, the 34-0 Mikkel Kessler and got a beating for 7 rounds before quitting in the corner. A sad farewell to his hard earned title. He went up to 175 after that and first won the WBA Fedelatin title there by stopping Tony Menefee by TKO2, before fighting Silvio Branco for the WBA belt, July 27 2006 in Milan. Siaca could never get a fair treatment from the judges, fighting in his opponent homeground, where Branco was very popular. In the end, he lost by 119-109 on all scorecards, which was far from the real result. Someone seated in the VIP section even threw a crash helmet in the ring as a sign of protest. Once again getting denied by the judges, he went back to fighting at home, before suddenly getting an invitation to fight Danny Green for the IBO cruiser title Down Under. Siaca was never really a cruiser and weighed in at 181 for the fight, to Green's 184 3/4. The fight was at Challenge Stadium in Green's hometown of Perth, April 14 2010. Siaca was down in round 2 before getting knocked out in round 3 in this ungrateful fight. He then went all the way down to 160 for his next fight in October 2011, where he stopped Jhon Berrio by a TKO1. He then won his last belt, the WBA Fedecaribe middle one, by UD10 against George Rivera. He fought sporadically for the next 3 years after that and retired after getting stopped by Rohan Murdock, once again in Australia. He had to retire after 6 rounds due to mouth bleeding. He was now almost 39 and chose to retire, with a record od 25 wins, 20 by ko, and 8 losses, 4 by ko.


Manny Siaca jr was an action fighter who came to fight and was almost never in a boring fight. However, too many goings up and down in weight seemed to have taken their toll on him, at an age where it was not recommendable. His father died in 2018, aged 74. He has since taken over his father's legacy and become a trainer in Puerto Rico. During his prime, Siaca was only beaten down to size by Kessler and that was likely when his prime ended. His performances in his early stage of career against Girard and Mitchell clearly showed he was a serious talent. I hope you enjoyed this presentation.

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