2014: Top Tips for Female Boxers to get more Exposure in the Sport! by Arnie Rosenthal
The basic given is that the fighter, female or otherwise, has a good trainer, trains daily, spars regularly, and has no dilutions about earning big money in the sport. After that it’s the “Three M’s”, Management, Media, and Matchmaking.
1. Management– any fighter, female or male, must have representation to get fights on a regular basis. This is even more important for female fighters as the fights are scarcer. Calling promoters on your own looks unprofessional and you will ultimately be taken advantage of. Unless you are coming with a pedigree, ie. Olympic medalist, do not expect a manager or promoter to support you. Just look for one who is well connected, has worked with women before, and has some passion for the sport rather then just being in it for the money. Understand that if you’re making very little then the manager is making a small percentage of “very little” so treat him or her with respect but also try and make sure they are actually doing something and you are not just losing time and standing still with no fights.
25% is a fair percentage to pay managers especially if they aren’t fronting any money or expenses. Make sure to have goals built in to any contract you may sign with a manager or promoter. This means a minimum number of fights per year, minimum purses, increased number of rounds per fight, and title opportunities over time. No contract term should exceed 3 years and any default in “goals” by the manager or the promoter should allow you to terminate the agreement.
Finally, never advance any money to the manager or pay any of his or her expenses. If anything it should be the opposite if at all.
2. Media – Self marketing, especially once again in women’s boxing, is very important. Try and get a televised fight wherever possible. If it’s not televised, try and have someone in the audience record it for airing on You Tube and other outlets to show off your talents. Obviously do not do this if you look poor or lose.
Take every available opportunity to get press, in print or on line. Make sure to seek out all journalists at weigh ins. Have business cards printed and give them out to any and all press, promoters, etc. Have a good photo of yourself ready on line to send to press and promoters as well.
Try to have a good story about yourself that differentiates you from the rest of the pack. It won’t be good enough to just say you trained hard and are in good shape. That’s a given. You’re going to need more. Do not depend on your manager or promoter to get you press even though they should. Self promotion is mandatory and do not look at it like you’ll be perceived as an egotist. If you don’t take control of it no one else will.
Use social media as well but be careful not to write about silly things, like what you had for lunch, and not to be an exhibitionist, constantly shooting pics of yourself on your iPhone. Just let people know when you’re fighting, or that you’re available for a fight, take pics of yourself with other well known fighters, and anything else that would be subtle but helpful.
Journalists are always looking for someone to write about and to talk to. You can make their job easy with the right approach. But it will take time for them to know you, trust you, and be comfortable with you. But it will happen.
Also, don’t just be on time, be early. Be the first at the press conferences, the weigh ins etc. The less crowded things are the better chance you have to get someone’s ear.
3. Matchmaking – the number one mistake made by women fighters is taking matches way over their heads just in order to get a fight and a small pay day. This is always a disaster and fighters wake up all of a sudden with an 0-5 record and basically suspended by the athletic commissions or unused by the promoters because they can no longer get matches approved for this fighter.
Learn to say “NO!”. If a fight looks bad on paper then it likely is. Also be weary of fighters that have had extensive amateur background, but few pro fights. (see Jeanine Garside who surprised many pros after a stellar amateur career, but initially no one took her seriously as a pro).
A good manager should know how to match you properly as you gain experience. A loss is not the end of the world but a loss because of a lopsided match up is a waste of time and effort. Also make sure not to move up from four round fights until you can easily go four and are ready for a six, and then an eight, etc.
Stay in your proper weight class. Women boxers tend to cruise all over various weight divisions, either in order to obtain fights or to not have to make a difficult weight. Either of these reasons is poison. You don’t want to give away size nor do you want to be weak from losing weight to get down to where you shouldn’t be.
Finally, seek out help and advice. Other fighters and trainers for the most part are helpful as are various journalists. If you’re not sure about something, ask. WBAN, among others, has set up a very good support group to advise fighters of all levels.