by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
He’s a doctor of Chiropractic and a boxing coach. Doug Mango has been involved in the martial arts scene for a long time.
The Illinois resident has trained many fighters in boxing and Thai boxing. He now serves as the boxing coach at the Curran Martial Arts Academy and is responsible for sharpening the hands of many fighters including Nate Mohr, Bart Palaszewski, and Jeff Curran.
“I did boxing in my late teens, early twenties; I was amateur boxing for a long time. That’s really how I got started,” revealed Mango.
“As a teenager I took karate. Back then we didn’t have mixed martial arts stuff. You either took karate, tae kwon do or you boxed.
“I was taking karate at the time and I met my first boxing trainer. He told me ‘all that karate stuff is crap.’ We sparred a little bit and he hit me with a right hand and I thought I was going to puke. I went to kick him and he grabbed my leg and hit me with another right hand. I asked him if he could train me and I ended up working with my first boxing trainer that way.”
Residing in California at the time, Mango had the opportunity to work with Thai fighters and future trainers such as Danny Kelly and Dave Camarillo.
“I used to train professional Thai fighters. I had world champion Danny Kelly for a few years. I developed him out of San Jose. Javier Mendez out of American Kickboxing Academy, who’s a friend of mine … I used to bring my guys over and spar with a lot of his guys.”
After graduating from Chiropractic college, Mango moved from San Jose, Calif. to Chicago, Ill. He later met Jeff Curran through a mutual friend.
“I was introduced to Doug who was training one of my students at the time in boxing on the side. I met him, took a few lessons and I couldn’t afford him at the time so I quit right away. I loved it,” explained Curran. “So as time went on I realized maybe he would do me a favor. I called and asked if he would train me if I make it up to him down the road. He was all for it.”
Dr. Mango later closed down his practice because he didn’t enjoy the big business aspect of being a chiropractor. Curran offered him a space in his academy to run a full-time office and he graciously accepted.
“It’s been there for about seven years now,” he said.
“There’s not a day I don’t have a guy coming off the mat saying ‘oh my elbow’, ‘my knee’ or something. It keeps me real busy over there; mixing training sessions, teaching boxing and Muay Thai and trying to get patients in between. My days are usually pretty full at Curran’s.”
Jeff Curran is scheduled to fight World Extreme Cagefighting 145-pound divisional champion Urijah Faber tonight in Las Vegas. Dr. Doug has been preparing Curran for what could be the most defining moment of his long career.
“If Faber tries to stand with Jeff, I believe Jeff will have a definite advantage on his feet. No doubt about it, I really do. I don’t think Urijah will be able to handle the power in Jeff’s hands right now and stand there and try to slug it out with him.”