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Saturday, August 13, 2022

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Jonathan Mansour Jonathan Mansour

The 1-2 Punch of Education and Boxing

Unable to qualify for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, SDSU student Jonathan Mansour remains passionate about boxing as part of Team USA.
By Suzanne Finch

“School is also very important to me. I chose to attend SDSU because of the great business program.”

Jonathan Mansour’s journey as a successful amateur boxer started when he was eight years old while swimming in the pool at his grandmother’s house.  

“I found out that my uncle was headed to a boxing gym and I told him I wanted to come with him to work out,” said Mansour, a native of La Mesa, California. “I left the family pool party and headed to the gym with him. Once we arrived, I started toward the workout equipment, but my uncle stopped me and advised me to watch the fighters instead. That’s when I started to fall in love with the sport because it was something different from what most people did.”

Mansour returned to the gym the very next day and every day after that to start boxing. Though he lost some fights early on, and his parents were unhappy about his participation in the sport, he kept fighting. But things began to change when he won three straight tournaments. 

“That’s when I realized that all my hard work was paying off,” said Mansour, who recently changed weight classes from featherweight to bantamweight. “I won a national Golden Gloves tournament. After I won gold for Team USA in Dublin, Ireland, during my first international tournament (in 2018), my parents finally consented to let me continue with my boxing dreams because I’d proven how hard I’ve worked for it.”

He’s working hard outside the ring as well. “School is also very important to me,” said Mansour. “I chose to attend SDSU because of the great business program. I’m majoring in finance because boxing is a big business sport that involves a lot of money and studying the value of money will help guide me to the right investments in the future.” 

While school is in session, Mansour gets up at 5 a.m. and trains until 9 a.m., then attends class until 5 p.m. Afterwards, he goes back to the gym until 7 p.m., runs for several miles and settles down at home for the night to study or do homework. He has one more year of this schedule until he graduates from SDSU. 

In the meantime, Mansour will continue to box for Team USA, which he qualified for in 2019 after winning a tournament with 64 competitors from throughout the U.S. After a fifth-place finish at the Olympic Team Trials in 2020, he was named as an Olympic alternate. 

Due to COVID-19 causing the cancellations of Olympic boxing qualification tournaments this year, Mansour did not have the chance to qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo, but remains optimistic for the future. 

“I had a shot at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, but COVID-19 shut down the American qualifying rounds in Argentina and took away my opportunity to compete at the games,” he said. “But I will continue to stay on Team USA until 2024 to compete at the Olympics in Paris.” 

While boxing takes up a substantial portion of his life, Mansour’s near-term goals are clear: “I want to continue with school and to graduate from SDSU with my finance degree,” he said. “Then my goal is to become a gold medalist in the 2024 Paris Olympics for Team USA before I go on to win multiple world championship titles as a professional boxer.”