Up Close & Personal
1.When did you fall in love with boxing?
When I was twelve years old my dad took me to a fight in the gym of Paterson High School. It was a card of mostly young, local fighters, David Toledo, Dennis Sharpe, are the names that stick in my mind. I met a few fighters and took some pictures with the likes of Lou Duva. I was hooked, and have been at my dads side at every fight since.
2.What about Boxing drew you to it?
At first, it was a way to get to spend time with my dad, and his cool friends. As I got older I began to realize there was a real science to it, and I began to understand the history of the sport. When my dad took me to Arturo Gatti v. Micky Ward II, I knew this was something I wanted to be involved in forever. The way the crowd reacted, Boardwalk Hall was actually shaking, and those two guys fighting the kind of fight they did (three times nonetheless), just had me. It is a memory that sticks with me.
3.Who was the fighter that first grabbed your attention?
Bernard Hopkins. Actually, I didnt have a choice in this one. My dad is a die-hard B-hop fan and i was pretty much brainwashed, but, to be fair everything my dad taught me about why he is such a big B-Hop fan is true. Even now, as his career is in its twilight, I am still a die-hard Bernard Hopkins fan.
4.What 3 things do you love the most about boxing?
1.) The boxers, the real people that lay their lives on the line for our enjoyment.
2.) The science. I love that there is no real way to learn the science of boxing other than watching it.
3.) The atmosphere at ringside, or even in the cheap seats. Being at a fight is my happy place.
A lot of the people who know me, or have read this far, are expecting a totally different answer. Yes, I love Micky Ward, Arturo Gatti, and Bernard Hopkins; but, my favorite boxer is Shamone Alvarez. I met him early on in his career and have had the joy of sticking by his side all the way through it. Win, Lose, or Draw, the feeling i get when he fights, sitting with him before a fight, and after, there is nothing (boxing related) that makes me happier.
6.Favorite Boxing Movie?
Million Dollar Baby. I love this movie. It exemplifies heart, determination, and the family bond that many people get in the boxing community. It is based upon a short story that is so fabulously written by F.X.Toole, that i almost love the book better!.
The Fighter: I have had the pleasure of spending time with Micky Ward and members of his family (I even met Alice). To see this story portrayed so honestly and accurately made me smile. Little Known Fact: up and coming prospect who also happens to be Micky’s nephew, Sean Eklund makes a cameo in the movie!
7.What do you wish to accomplish with what you are doing?
I would love to get to a point as a writer where i could do it full time. For me, I never want this to be work. I never want to wake up and say “ugh i have to go to a fight/weigh in/ press event today” I want it to always be as exciting as it is now. I would love to publish a book, have a column on a mainstream website like ESPN or GRANTLAND, and be well known within the boxing community.
8.Who inspires you?
My Dad- He is a true blue boxing fan, the best kind. Knowing that there are people like him in this world is so inspiring.
My Aunt Mary-Who is a writer of sorts, and the chicest lady I know.
Joyce Carol Oates-Her book On Boxing is basically about what she learned sitting next to her dad at the fights. It has opened my eyes to realize sometimes the best teachers are right next to you the whole time.
Kathy Duva- A successful woman in boxing, who always has a good word of advice at the ready!