PMI and Henry Milligan: Henry's Epilogue

TSD readers have been following the adventures of Wilmingtonians Murray Sawyer, John Riley and Kevin Reilly who, along with boxer Henry Milligan, formed a management company to promote Henry’s career in the ’80s. [Read the series here.] The series’ denouement, some thoughts from Henry himself, appears below.

“My thanks to my boxing manager John Riley (that statement sounded like an oxymoron) for making this story come to life again for those of us that lived it, but also for the everyday person who could experience it through John’s eyes! John’s recall is spot on, and most of this happened almost 30 years ago!

Today I am an adjunct professor both at Wilmington University and Goldey-Beacom College in their graduate business programs, and also keep my hand in boxing by giving personal fitness training lessons, using boxing as the aerobic part of a personalized workout. While admittedly not as exciting as my days in South Philly, it is a lot safer!

I am also in the midst of an entrepreneurial venture, having filed a patent pending application for a new way to buy lottery tickets called ‘The Milligan’ (not surprisingly). What I have found from my athletic days is that once you get to the top, you always want to get back there – always, always, always – in whatever you do, because the view from the top is pretty sweet.

As I look backIMG_0037 on all of our trials and tribulations (and there were many of them), I am so lucky that I had amazingly diverse people along for the ride. John, Kevin Reilly, Murray Sawyer, my brother Mike and even ‘Mountain’ all played huge parts in making my dreams come true (or close to it). I can’t go anywhere in this immediate area without somebody recognizing me and shouting out ‘The Hammer’ even 30 years later, and I am extremely thankful for that. The dreams of champions from years past die very hard, and in fact never really do die. Aren’t we all always 25 and in our prime – in our minds!

Thank you John, for helping me to relive the craziest and most exciting times of my life!”

–Henry Milligan – 1983 National Heavyweight Boxing Champion

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  • While persuading my doubting PMI partners, who were properly skeptical about our boxing venture with Henry Milligan I responded by saying, “just think of the great stories we will have to tell some day”. Late last year while at a business meeting in Chicago the topic of boxing came up at dinner. I listened to the conversation for a while and interjected that I once managed a fighter, a fighter who was once favored to beat Mike Tyson, a fighter who was the scholar athlete of Princeton University and graduated with a degree in engineering. The five strangers at the dinner table looked at me with extreme doubt written all over their faces but wanted to hear more – so I told the story I always love to tell. When I finished someone said, “you should write a book”. This was more of a short story but I am grateful to TSD and Henry Milligan for the chance to finally put it in writing. It was an exciting personal adventure, but the best part was building a lifetime friendship with “The Hammer”.

  • Great story! So very true what “The Hammer” says, “Aren’t we all always 25 and in our prime – in our minds!”

  • Thanks to John Riley for persuading “The Hammer” to provide comments. Some people believe
    veterans always like to get together to swap war stories, exchange pictures, to shoot ther bull,
    etc. Not true, per an unknown author, men who have been to war gather not to tell stories or look
    at old pictures, but rather to be with men who had been through something together. Surely this
    transfers to the boxing profession, the NFL, etc. But I especially like the “aren’t we all always 25
    and in our prime?”