Q: After such a long and decorated career, how did you come to the determination that promoting your own outfit was the way to go? We really don’t see much of what happens when it does, and there are guys like Oscar De la Hoya that had an army of people backing him up when he made that jump. Does being the big boss behind the scenes show you anything you didn’t know about the sport ahead of time?
It’s definitely a different pair of shoes, but unfortunately—or fortunately—I’m not like Oscar and I’m doing a lot of this myself so I’ve had the blessing of doing a little bit of everything, building this from the ground up so hopefully this will become a bigger platform at some point. The most difficult thing about the transition [from fighting to promoting] is that Fighter will tell you “I want a fight,” we make a fight with Fighter B and everything looks fine until Fighter A comes back and says “I don’t want to fight that guy!” So here I am thinking you told me you wanted to fight? That’s probably the hardest thing to deal with. Fighters don’t want to fight anymore; everyone wants a gift. Pink Promotions is not about gifts.
I was fortunate to work with Don King and really learned a lot. Donna Westridge, a woman who worked with him, really taught me a lot about the business as my career progressed and took the time to explain things to me. It has been a shock, but it’s a building and learning progress.
Q: Boxing is still behind organizations like MMA and even WWE featuring female competitors in main events. You’re one of the more prominent female fighters to have graced the sport and I was wondering if, outside of the Olympics, will females get their fair shake?
It’s going to be tought for change to happen because promoters are not willing to give female fighters an opportunity. Clarissa Shields just fought on Showtime, Mayweather signed Layla McCarter and Oscar is signing female fighters which are all positive things if they are given exposure. They can’t just be fighting on local shows somewhere, buried on an undercard where nobody will see them. If they can do that, then we’ll see women’s boxing take off.
Q: Funny you mentioned Oscar, especially since he runs Ring Magazine and decided to feature Rondy Rousey on the cover instead of Holly Holm.
Oscar is one of those guys that has so much pull with the media and has so much going on for him that if he were to establish a female fighter’s career, who knows how good she could become? She could end up like Rousey was for the UFC. Unless Oscar, Mayweather or the other promoters take the time to build a female fighter’s career, I don’t think we’re going to see that.
Q: You were an active competitor in the sport for over 20 years, which is long enough to see the sport transition through multiple stages and see different stars and personalities come and go. In your opinion, do you feel the sport is moving forward to the point where it can reconnect with fans? Or if not, what do you feel still needs to happen to reinvigorate public interest in the fight game?
Now that I’m out of the sport, I can really only name a handful of fighters that I’m home to watch on TV. Back in the 90s, Don King’s stable alone had guys like [Felix] Trinidad, Terry Norris, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez and Evander Holyfield. The list was a mile long!
I fought on cards with Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran, legends, but it’s not like it was then. The fights back then were wars, but now everybody wants to be safety-first. Thurman-Garcia was a great fight, watching GGG getting pushed to the limit was a great fight, but we don’t see those epic battles we see any more.
Q: Do you feel that fighters are getting paid so much to the point where they don’t want to take those risks?
It’s not like it was with Hagler, Hearns, Leonard. These guys have a different mindset. The fighters from the 90s were the last real group of fighters. Money was significant, but fights got made.
Fights don’t get made anymore, or when they do it is when it’s not interesting any more. Money plays a part. Why take a big risk when the reward is the same fighting an easier fight?
Q: One thing I admire is your non-profit efforts to go along with your developing career as a promoter. Can you tell the fans a little bit about Christy’s Champs and how they can get involved?
Christy’s Champs was established to be a voice for victims of domestic violence, survivors and people who are still in these situations to get out or get counseling. Whatever we can do to help people in these situations and bring awareness. It is not about bruises or physical abuse, it can be mental and a lot of other things that can take a toll on your body and mind and just put you in a terrible place. I think that’s why we need to help people in any way we can to get these people to a better place.
Q: Any last words you want to get in about your show scheduled for April 29th before I let you go?
We have a lot of good talent Stevie Massey, Santario Martin and headlined by Lamar Russ who is very excited for this fight. It’s going to be a great card and we are looking forward to putting on a great show.
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