Jeff Eisenberg

  • Toughest jobs in sports: Sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao

    Jeff Eisenberg at Boxing7 days ago

    VENTURA, Calif. — Moments after going five rounds with a sparring partner who outweighed him by nearly 25 pounds last month, David Rodela climbed out of the ring, walked directly to the closest mirror and assessed the damage.

    "You got me good," he told Abraham Lopez, pointing to a welt near his Adam's apple. "I don't know if that was a jab or a hook, but I'm going to feel that one later."

    Bruises like that hardly faze Rodela anymore because he has endured far worse pursuing a line of work in which he gets beaten up for a living. The 31-year-old boxer is a professional sparring partner, one of the least glamorous and most punishing jobs in sports.

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  • Introducing the 'Toughest Jobs in Sports' series

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Turnstile7 days ago

    For the past two months, I've asked the same question to everyone from friends to colleagues to athletes to executives: "What are the toughest jobs in sports?"

    Their nominees have helped spawn a series of stories spotlighting eight dauntingly difficult jobs and the people who find them rewarding.

    Some of the jobs are glamorous; others thankless. Some of the jobs are lucrative; others barely profitable. Some of the jobs are physically strenuous; others don't even require breaking a sweat. The only thing they all have in common is none is an easy way to earn a living.

    Schedule for the series:

    July 21: Manny Pacquiao's sparring partner — From black eyes to bloody noses to broken bones, David Rodela has suffered a litany of injuries trading blows with some of the world's best boxers. He explains why he loves his job anyway. 

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