Micky Scala has been destined to put on a pair of boxing gloves since watching his father and brother at a young age.
He looked on as the two trained in a local Mesa boxing gym nearby his home, waiting for the day he could put the gloves on himself and begin training. That day finally came at 6 years old, and was followed by his first fight at 8 in Las Vegas, Nev.
His love for the sport, and talent, has only grown from that point on.
“I grew up in the gym,” Scala said. “My brother was fighting so I kind of picked up what he was doing. It was pretty easy for me just because I like to fight, and I liked to watch my brother fight.”
Scala continued to fight at the amateur level as he grew older. He spent time traveling to other states to compete in national tournaments. He won several state and regional championships and picked up two national championships during his amateur career. In 101 total amateur fights that led up to his senior year at Westwood High School in Mesa, he won 87 of them.
Scala, 16 years old at the time, made his professional debut in Tijuana, Mexico in 2019. His opponent, a 24-year-old man who had yet to lose. But that didn’t faze Scala.
The fight went four rounds and Scala was named the winner by decision. His second professional fight several months later, this one in Las Vegas – his United States debut – went his way by knockout. The fight was part of the Mayweather Promotions card, owned by now-retired boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Word of Scala’s win on one of boxing’s grandest stages began to flood the hallways of Westwood. Previously, his peers shrugged off his claim of being a fighter. After his win, that was no longer the case.
“A lot of people were sharing the post after I won and they would say, ‘oh, he’s for real,’” Scala said. “They realized I do this professionally and it isn’t just a hobby. I would go in at lunch and just watch film on fighters. I never really put it out there that I was a fighter but after my fight there were some cool reactions.”
Scala’s win in his U.S. debut did more than just rile up his peers at Westwood, it opened the eyes of those in charge at Mayweather Promotions. So much in fact, the company made Scala the youngest fighter to ever sign with them. He was 17 years old at the time.
Scala said it was a dream come true for him and his family. Especially because of the support each one of them have for him on a daily basis during his training regimens and fights.
From his brother, Chris, who joined the Air Force and was forced to miss his fight in Las Vegas but was there in spirit, to his father, Chris Jr., who is his trainer. His mother, Amanda, has never missed one of his fights stemming back to when he was 8 years old and meal preps for him while his younger sister, Marissa, is one of his biggest fans.
“Getting the call from my advisor and being told we signed, it was one of the biggest accomplishments for me and my family in my life so far,” Scala said. “Being the youngest ever, I’m very happy. But it’s one small step to a bigger future.
“All of my family combined, we put hours into boxing. Just to earn that, it shows the hard work has paid off.”
Scala’s fight that landed him with Mayweather Promotions was also his last since the pandemic began. He had fights lined up, however they were all canceled.
While disappointed, Scala didn’t let it hamper his desire to improve in the ring.
He starts his day with an hour of weights at a local Mesa gym, which is then followed by a few hours of classes at Mesa Community College where he is studying psychology and counseling and currently boasts a 4.0 GPA. Scala recognized the importance of mental health early on in his life and strives to be able to one day help others realize they have a place in this world even if they don’t believe it themselves.
After school he and his father train at a local boxing gym, which is then followed up with running and footwork drills. Before bed, he does pushups and sit-ups.
“I do about four workouts a day and try to study as much as I can,” Scala said. “It’s what has allowed me to be successful.”
Scala is hopeful to make a return to the ring in the next few months. Currently, fights are tentatively being lined up for late spring and early summer. However, another surge in virus cases could once again put that on hold.
No matter when he is able to step in the ring, he vows to stay ready. He wants to improve on his current 2-0 record as a professional fighter and continue to represent Westwood, Mesa and all of Arizona on boxing’s biggest stage.
“People are starting to call me ‘Mesa Mick,’ and I’m embracing it,” Scala said. “To have Mesa backing me, it’s probably the greatest feeling in the world. Mesa is a super prideful city and I’m looking forward to putting on a show for them.”