Up Close & Personal
1.When did you fall in love with boxing?
I was born into an Italian family where boxing was tradition. My Mother and Father were both raised in families who loved Boxing so it automatically became our family sport. Growing up my family often huddling around the television to watch boxing and the topic of most dinner conversations were and still are to this day. I guess you can say that I fell in love with Boxing before I really loved anything else. Boxing really was my first love.
2.What about Boxing drew you to it?
The first memory of child that comes to mind is seeing the excitement on my father’s face when boxing was on. I credit my father who educated me on the ins and outs of the sport. My father always played commentator and recorded fights on the DVR playing key moment back to us. Keep in mind this involved rewinding over and over again to watch a knock out or brutal ending.
My Father was always quick to tell us the struggles of each fighter. The fighters’ life story, where they came from and everything they endured in life. It was then that I started to understand that boxing was not just a fight for the purse or the belt, but it was the fight of a lifetime. What happened inside the ring and outside began making more sense to me. Boxing became more than just a competition, it became life.
3.Who was the fighter that first grabbed your attention?
The very first fighter to grab my attention was the late and great Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho. As a young girl, on fight day, I distinctly remember anticipating what outfit he was going to wear into the ring. Yes that’s right, his outfit! I can still envision his sparkly sneakers and flamboyant costumes he would wear. Macho Camacho was the first fighter that pulled me in because of his energy and dazzle. He kept me focused on his fight which expanded my intrigued to boxing 10 fold.
There were other fighters that started to grab my attention right around the same time. Julio Cesar Chavez quickly became the fighter that I would learn the most from as a child. His style and skill were untouchable.
I was lucky enough to meet both men later in life and was there when Chavez was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. That was a little girls dream, come true.
4.What 3 things do you love the most about boxing?
The three things that I love most about boxing would have to be the fighters’ story, the training and endurance they overcome and the relationship between the Coach and the fighter.
Most fighters come from troubled backgrounds and humbled beginnings. Many have used Boxing as a way to get off the streets and into a positive life style and purpose. They push their body to the limit with training, sparing and roadwork. They are the definition of a true athlete. The boxer alongside their coach could be a deadly combination. The psychological relationship between the coach and the fighter could make or break the fight. Preparation and compatibility in the gym and in that corner mean everything. A fighter needs that reliable set of eyes when he steps in between those ropes as the coach is on the outside seeing the overall picture. Every detail about the Fighters training, willpower and relationship with their coach will reflect their show in the ring.
My favorite fighter of all time is the late and great Arturo ‘Thunder’ Gatti. Arturo had something special inside of him and anyone who met him or watched him fight saw this. Arturo taught me so many personal life lessons that I still carry to this day. He was the type of fighter that never gave up, he fought anyone that came his way and did so whole heartedly. He gave every fight his all and never backed down or surrendered. He would keep moving forward even if he was taking punches and gave it %100. He was a warrior in the ring and a fun personality outside the ring. I attended many of his fights at Boardwalk hall AKA, The House That Gatti Built. I spoke to him a few months before his death and got a chance to tell him how much he has taught me in life. He was humbled and not sure what to say back, except ‘Thank you’. I was lucky enough to see Arturo Gatti name inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and I will tell you there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was an unforgettable moment and well deserving for such a warrior that brought so much excitement to the ring.
6.Favorite Boxing Movie?
My favorite Boxing Movie of all time is hands down is Rocky. Rocky brings back so many childhood memories of going to the movie theater with my family to watch every sequel! I can still see the visions of the theater emptying out and every young boy shadow boxing while leaving.
7.What do you wish to accomplish with what you are doing?
I would like to highlight fighters at all levels from Amateurs standouts to Pound for Pound World Champions and everything in between. I want the mainstream to know and understand the strength and endurance it takes for each fighter to prepare and become mentally ready to walk into that ring. It is also important for me to educate the boxing community on all Local, Nationwide and International fights. I like to encourage fans to support their local boxing gyms and take interest in upcoming events. It all starts in the local communities for these fighters before they make it to the big stage. I believe in the sport and I would like for Boxing to be back on the forefront of the American sport.
8.Who inspires you?
The people that inspire me are also the people I do this for, the fighters.