|“||Jimmy... I don't care what anybody says. I always knew you were a boxer. You remember what I said? Boxers are made, they're not born.||”|
— Tony to Jimmy as he beats him
In the 1980s, Tony was a star in middleweight boxing in the boxing venue of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, his career ended when he received a long-lasting injury in a lawn-mowing accident. Tony had since moved on with his life, starting a family and getting a job as a trainer in a local boxing gym in South Philadelphia. He came to employ a man named Lou Manzoni as his bookie. In 2002, he started training an aspiring boxer named Jimmy Hall. However, Jimmy's career as a boxer was unsuccessful, as he constantly kept losing matches. Eventually, he gained a reputation from his losses, being called a "punching bag" and bringing embarrassment to Tony. Despite his lack of confidence in Jimmy's boxing skills, though, Tony became a close friend of Jimmy's, being intimately aware of his son Ryan, who was suffering from leukemia.
The Bittersweet Science
See section on the Jimmy Hall article