Eric Morante Marine Corps
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Eric Morante played cornerback for Spring Woods High School where he graduated in May of 2003. During high school, Eric also started his passion with boxing, training at a local gym after school. He tattooed Japanese kanji letters that spell out the Marines’ Core Values: “Honor, Courage, Commitment” as a sign of his devotion to the marines and his country. Upon graduating, Eric enlisted in the US Marine Corps. In February 2004, his battalion deployed to Iraq for 7 months. Promoted to Lance Corporal while deployed to the combat zone, Eric’s unit took part in Operation Ripper Sweep to cordon off insurgents embedded in the city of Fallujah. His second Iraq deployment was to Al Anbar Province. Eric was a promoted to Corporal while in country. After returning for a voluntary 3rd deployment to Iraq in 2007, Eric’s squad was attacked by a suicide bomber while on an observation post. An Iraqi suicide bomber had driven a dump truck just under the checkpoint and ignited 3,000 pounds of explosives with his cellphone. Eric and his team sustained severe injuries and were flown by helicopter to a combat hospital in Balad, Iraq, where surgeons removed Eric’s right leg at the knee. Eric’s life and the lives of his brothers were changed forever. Eric was subsequently awarded the Purple Heart by President Bush. After retiring medically from the United States Marine Corps in 2010, Eric pursued his passion for boxing and is the first Marine Amputee sanctioned to compete in boxing in the United States. Eric “The Iron Fist” Morante, as a motivational speaker, has inspired other veterans, and children with disabilities at numerous events. He is current goal is qualifying for and winning a gold medal in the upcoming Paralympic games. Eric’s leadership continues outside of the Marine Corps, and he hopes to help change the lives of those who are in need. Eric now holds the title for the fourth year in a row as the NABA featherweight boxing champion.