Ed Mack's major at Temple University is risk management, but he could very well conduct seminars in time management.
Mack, who meets Palmer Park's Andrew Maynard tomorrow night in a North American Boxing Federation light-heavyweight title bout in Washington, is awake and doing road work in the morning before most are out of bed, and is hitting the books at night after most have turned in.
"I have a very strict schedule," said Mack, in between workouts at the Philadelphia Boxing Club. "It's very tough."
For while he is making a charge through the light-heavyweight division, Mack, who is nicknamed "The Attack," is also holding down a part-time job for the federal Department of Veteran Affairs in his native Philadelphia, while holding a 3.0 grade-point average as a junior at Temple.
During the school year, Mack's day begins somewhere around 3:30 or 4 a.m. and ends sometime around midnight. In his move to the top, there have been some interesting moments.
"There was the time where I had two papers due and a fight the next day," said Mack, who wears the Temple insignia on his trunks.
"I was up all night typing and turned the papers in. I got maybe a couple of hours of sleep and then I had my fight. I was so tired. But I won."
Surprisingly, with all the demands on his time, Mack, who says he also is a pretty good tuba player, has carved out a pretty nice boxing career, accumulating a 13-1-1 professional record, with eight knockouts.
And the list of vanquished opponents is impressive, as Mack turned back former champion Matthew Saad Muhammad in February, and beat No. 1 contender Booker T. Word last month to set up the fight with Maynard.
Mark Kondreth, Mack's manager, says that the 22-year-old has made tremendous progress over just the last few months.
"He was basically a slugger, but he has developed himself into a real fighter with a little more depth," said Kondreth. "He's a solidly built kid."
So much has happened so soon that many have wondered aloud if Mack, who was runner-up on the 1987 U.S. Pan-American Games team and was supposed to be fighting for the Pennsylvania state title in July, isn't rushing things.
"People were saying that, but they don't know me and they don't know what I can do. You have to take a look at my amateur record," said Mack, who claims to have had more than 100 fights before turning pro.
"Besides, when is it supposed to start? I can't see myself going back. Once you take that step, you can't go back. Anyway, Maynard won the title when he had had about the same number of fights."
Alas, there has been a casualty in Mack's march toward the title. Namely, he has decided to leave Temple and his major, which deals with insurance claims, temporarily, though he plans to get back to it as soon as he can.
"I've always had a dream to be champion, but I knew that something was going to suffer," said Mack. "I'm not Superman and I want to do well in everything. But my mom is very insistent on me getting my degree and I will."