David Hopper of 8CN got a chance to speak with model and Top Rank ring girl Rosie Roff. As one of the “Knockouts,” the 24-year-old from Cornwall, England is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable ring girls in boxing. She can be seen at many of the biggest Top Rank fights. Roff will be at the HBO tripleheader in Corpus Christi, Texas on Nov. 9 and the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios superfight in Macau, China on Nov. 23.
DH: For the readers who aren’t familiar with the the Top Rank Knockouts, talk about what being a knockout entails.
RR: We go on tour with the boxing company and we attend the press conferences. We do the ring girl walk, which is the most fun. Generally we’re just kind of there to make the whole package more of an event. We kind of add decoration I guess at the conferences [laughs]. It’s a really fun job.
DH: I heard you say in an interview that Top Rank actually discovered you on Instagram and brought you to the U.S. from England.
RR: Yeah, they did. I was modeling in Milan and someone with Top Rank asked me if I’d do a Skype interview. Then we did that and I came to try out in Dallas. I had such a good time. It was the perfect excuse to come over.
DH: When did you become a knockout?
RR: It was about three months ago so I’m new to the whole scene. Some of the other girls have done it a bit longer.
DH: You’re a representative of Top Rank. How does it feel knowing that you are one of the faces of a major boxing promotion company?
RR: It’s amazing. I wasn’t familiar with boxing. I’d only seen a few pay-per-view fights in England. It’s a brand new thing for me. It feels amazing to be such a big piece of history. Ultimately I think that’s what boxing is. It goes down forever. Those fans are such big fans. I think more so than any other sport in the world. It feels great to be part of something so historic.
DH: I would imagine you interact with many fans at weigh-ins and before fights. What’s that like? And how would you characterize boxing fans in general?
RR: I love it. They’re really respectful and friendly. We get up and close and personal with them. We take pictures with everyone. We stand and take pictures with the fans for about two hours prior to every fight. We try and tweet them back as much as possible, and even on Instagram. It feels really nice because we start to recognize some of the fans that come to all the fights. I feel like I’m part of the boxing family now. To me, the best part of being a Knockout is meeting all the fans and being a part of the whole scene.
DH: That brings me to my next question, what do you like most? So meeting the fans and the ring walk is your favorite part?
RR: Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. The press conferences can be quite tiring. We’re sitting still for two hours. I’m high-energy so I find that hard. The ring, especially at the Miguel Cotto fight [Oct. 5 in Orlando, Fla.], it was such a big Puerto Rican fan base. For me, that was the best time in the ring because the crowd was so pumped up. There was loud music and everyone was screaming. It felt really amazing. You get quite pumped up.
DH: You wrote on your Facebook page that the Miguel Cotto-Delvin Rodriguez fight in Orlando had the best atmosphere of all the fights you’ve attended. I had a chance to go to the fight and cover it for 8 Count News. The Puerto Rican fans were so loud I couldn’t even hear the ring announcer.
RR: They were so loud. I loved that all the women were so loud as well. Cotto and Delvin are both attractive guys so they had a lot of female supporters who were shouting ‘Baby!’ and ‘Go Baby!’ That was really funny.
DH: What were some of the other better fights in terms of the atmosphere and venue?
RR: Venue wise I guess Macau. That was the second fight I worked. I’ve only done three so I haven’t got many to compare it to. It was nice to travel and go to such a big venue. The crowd there was a little quieter. They were more reserved.
DH: You get to meet a lot of the top boxers. Have you got a chance to talk to some of them?
RR: Yeah, you meet them again and again, even though it’s usually just momentarily. You get a sense of who they are and what they’re about. Sometimes you meet their wives and their kids at the press conferences and then you see them fight, which can be quite strange. Because if you watch boxing and you're not familiar with the boxers themselves, when they get punched or they lose or they win, it doesn't have quite as much emotion behind it. But now you can really feel for them, especially when they lose. It’s more intense when you watch a boxing match, I think. In Macau, because Brandon Rios and Pacquiao were doing their press conference tour, afterwards all the crew would go for drinks. The Top Rank crew would go for dinner and you’d meet everyone. Brandon has got real energy to him, I think, so it will be interesting to see him fight. You start to follow them on Instagram and follow their career. I think that's why I feel so different now when watching a boxer fight.
DH: Do you plan to go to Macau for the Rios-Pacquiao fight?
RR: Yeah, I hope to. I have to go to Milan on the 2nd and come back over and then fly straight to Macau from there. I’m definitely looking forward to it. And Pacquiao, I’ve got so much respect for him. I just think that he’s such a superstar. You can see how his fanbase treats him. He’s like royalty practically. I think that’s going to be an amazing fight. His story is so amazing. I can’t want to see his movie, "Manny." The trailer looks fantastic. I think his life story really adds to watching him when he fights. I spent months in Hong Kong just recently and the promotion over there is huge. I think it’s going to be a huge, huge fight in Macau. It’s posted everywhere, on the subways, on the buses, which is kind of interesting being a knockout and knowing I’m going to be a part of it too.
DH: You now live in L.A. Is that right?
RR: Yeah, I live in north Hollywood. It’s definitely fun being here.
DH: What are some of the main differences between living in the U.S. as opposed to England?
RR: It’s the weather and also the work, how they approach work here. Because the entertainment industry is so big you can constantly be working, whereas in England you have longer amounts of downtime. Since I’ve been here I’ve been super busy, which is an amazing feeling. We just started to promote the knockouts worldwide so it’s about to get busier, I think.
DH: I understand you travel a lot for work, whether it’s for fights or photo shoots. What are some of the more exotic places you’ve been to? What’s been your favorite?
RR: I like to go to Italy because the food is so amazing. When we model you have diets prior to shoots. I diet for two or three weeks at a time. And obviously it’s not like boxing. I’m not that restricted, but it feels so good to, at the end of shoot, to go and eat and drink wine. Hawaii is very nice. I’ve been around. I started modeling when I was 17 and I’m 24 now. I look for jobs where I can travel.
DH: As a model you obviously exercise a lot. Have you tried a boxing workout?
RR: Yeah, I have. I went to Thailand recently and I did Muay Tai boxing, which was really, really difficult. Also, I trained at Freddie Roach’s gym about three weeks ago. I trained with Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach, Marvin, and he was brilliant. I can see why Pacquiao is in such good shape. He worked me out. I’m the most clumsy skipper in the whole world. I skip like a 5-year-old girl, which is really embarrassing in front of Freddie and all these other boxers.
DH: So you liked punching the heavy bag and everything? Would you like to incorporate boxing into your workout more?
RR: Definitely, I really want to. I want to have something where I can get trained.
DH: Do you see yourself becoming a boxing fan? Do you enjoy watching the fights?
RR: I do. I feel like I’m a boxing fan already and more and more every time I attend a fight and hear from fans. I have a lot of respect for the boxers. We go away for weeks at a time at press conferences and the boxers would all be downstairs in the gym. I’d see them down there. The workouts they go through are so intense. You have to respect anyone who puts their body through that and knowing themselves enough to kind of put themselves through that. I’m definitely a boxing fan, for sure. I like the technicality behind the sport. I think it’s a nice thing to see.
DH: You mentioned Marquez, Pacquiao, and Cotto. Who are some of your other favorite boxers to watch?
RR: Well, I like to watch Mayweather. I think he’s a good character in the sport. He’s the king really. As far as English fighters go, I like to see David Haye. I would say Pacquiao was always my No. 1 fighter from an outsider’s view.
DH: Britain has its share of boxing stars, including David Haye, Amir Khan, and Tyson Fury, among others. You haven’t worked any fights in England, have you?
RR: No, Top Rank doesn’t usually go over there. If they ever do, I would make sure that I was on the flight with them. I think it’d be lovely to do it in my hometown. People in England will phone me up and say, ‘I just saw you on HBO.’ I think the UK is really proud of me for being the only English girl here involved with Top Rank.
DH: Talk a little more about your modeling career. What are some of your goals as a model and what do you hope to achieve?
RR: I’d like to move in to acting and more TV work, more so than modeling. These days, in modeling, if you have other skills, like if you are an actress, then you’re modeling career just slides off the back of that. I’d like to combine the two of those. I’ve been casting for things like sitcoms since I’ve been here. That’s my ultimate goal. When I go to Milan, I will probably shoot the cover for Playboy, which isn’t something I’d ever dreamt I would do. For me, I think the Italian Playboy would be quite a nice move. I just want to keep working and doing what I’m doing at the moment because I’m busy most days, and just continue working for sports companies. I want to move more in the fitness side of things because I feel like I can do that longer term than doing the swimwear or fashion stuff.
DH: Is there a particular magazine or company you’d like to shoot for that you haven’t yet had the chance to work for?
RR: I’d really like to shoot for Maxim U.S.A. I’ve shot for many Maxims around the world, but I really want to kind of conquer the Maxim U.S.A. I want to get a front cover over here, and I’d like it to be connected with my work with boxing and Top Rank too. That would be a big goal.
DH: You started modeling when you were 17 so you’ve been doing this for about seven years. What advice would you give to young women trying to break in to the highly competitive modeling industry?
RR: I would say to find a manager that you trust. When you’re young you get excited and you agree to do any kind of work. I would just say to be selective with who you shoot with. Make sure you like the images. They’ll be around forever on the Internet. Especially with the Internet, you can’t shake off things that you’ve done that you’re not necessarily as proud of. Just be selective from the outset and even if you’re losing money short term, long term you’ll make a lot more.
DH: Anything you’d like to add or say to your fans?
RR: I’d just like to say hello and come and visit me at the next boxing fight.
Follow Rosie Roff on Twitter and Instagram @RosieRoff. Her official website is http://rosieroffmodel.com.
8CountNews.com caught up with boxing promoter William Hunter who heads up “Rite Hook Promotions” and got his thoughts on his May 2nd fight card. Some say he’s crazy for doing such a thing being that May 2nd is the big Floyd Mayweather Jr Vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. Don’t be so quick to laugh though because Hunter has a plan, and that plan is working like a charm. For 35 bucks you can get into the fight and watch 8 live action packed fights, and then after the show that same ticket gets you access to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight on the big screen. The card will take place in the beautiful Hard Rock Live, in Biloxi, MS. Here’s what Hunter had to say. 8CN - Tell the readers what you got coming up on May 2nd down in Biloxi, MS at the Hard Rock Casino. Who's your main event? WH - We have 8 live fights and then we will drop a massive screen and stream the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight. l have light heavyweight "Hot Rod" who is certain to be a future world champion as the main event. He has been ranked as high as #8 in the WBA and has a good fan base and should draw fans from Tampa Fl with 2 other fighters Mike Bisset and Manny Woods on the card are also from Tampa Fl. On our shows we try to find that 1 guy that's a few fights away from the "prime time" as main event. We have hosted Wille Monroe Jr. and Mike Seals on past events. So I thought Hot Rod was a great fit for this show. 8CN - This is a famous date. Of course it's the night of Floyd Mayweather Vs, Manny Pacquiao. Any concerns with ticket sales or attendance? WH - Honestly I think me and my associate were probably the only people in the sport of Boxing that didn't want Mayweather and Pacquiao to fight on May 2nd. I negotiated a deal with the Hard Rock Biloxi months before. Since that was the first date available I took it on. There was talk of the the Canelo Alvarez fight which I did not think would effect my local market very much. When they announced the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight I knew I had to do something. I was in too deep to turn back with over 10 contracts signed. I decided to incorporate the PPV event with the 8 live boxing matches and tickets sales are doing great. 8CN - What's your vision for the rest of 2015 and 16. Do you plan on putting on more boxing shows in Mississippi and other states? WH - We plan on doing at least 3 more events in Mississippi before the end of the year, and have 2 events we are working on for 2016 already. We also have a few options on the table and if they play out we will begin to promote shows in 4 other states throughout the United States. 8CN - What's the most challenging aspect of boxing promotions? WH - Honestly the most challenging aspect for me is time. I only do boxing promotions as a hobby. I couldn't image what Rite Hook Promotions would be capable of if I had the resources to focus on it as a full time profession. 8CN - What's your history in boxing? WH - I boxed amateur in the late 1980's. I was a really small kid and it was hard to get matched so I moved to other sports. I got back into the sport a few years ago to help out a friend and here we are today. 8CN - How much are the tickets for your May 2nd card? WH - Tickets start at $35.00 and go up to $105.00. There are also a few VIP tables left for $1,000. 8CN - How have ticket sales done so far? WH - We have less than a week left and I think we are on pace to sell out. Even the larger promoters that bring TV have problems selling out in this market. We have a great street team and we have a very aggressive fight week advertising campaign that launched today. We do hundreds of TV and radio spots in all the major markets along the Gulf Coast including New Orleans. 8CN - Who do you think will win between Manny and Floyd? WH - I have learned my lesson. Don't bet on the Superbowl and don't bet against Floyd Mayweather. I have to go with Mayweather UD12, Especially with Bayless as referee.
It is one of the pressing questions regarding the Premier Boxing Champions fights this past weekend. Why hasn’t Danny Garcia looked good since he beat Lucas Matthysse? Many, including myself, thought Matthysse held the firepower not only to out punch Garcia, but to even knock him out. Before their respective fight, Garcia had fought Zab Judah in April 2013 and for the first time looked vulnerable post his big knockouts of Amir Khan and Erik Morales. Garcia governed the early latter, but Judah was able to bully Garcia in the later rounds and open a few wounds. After the final bell, Garcia was declared as the winner. Lucas Matthysse on the other hand, obliterated Lamont Peterson in three, only a few weeks later. Garcia, who was present at the fight was shown in the crowd, looking rather dead-eyed and fueling speculations that he feared a matchup with Matthysse and a fight between the two was unlikely to happen. But Danny proved us all wrong, he fought Matthysse that September and won convincingly and even knocked down the hard-hitting Argentine. However, since then, Danny has looked a tad mediocre in two of his last three fights. Considering how these fights have went, it should be agreed upon that ‘Swift’ has gotten maybe a little too ‘hook happy’ in there, as his left hook was the formula for the biggest wins of his career. He does very little else, but stand flat-footed, use little head movement, wait to throw one of his signature ‘no-look hooks’ and hope to get lucky. He fought Mauricio Herrera in a coming out party to an all Puerto-Rican crowd but wasn’t able to deal with the awkward and crafty style of ‘El Maestro’ for a greater part of the fight. Garcia spent most of his rounds sporadically landing or swinging at air versus Herrera, who even with little power, was successful in leaving Garcia bloodied in the end. Surprisingly, Danny Garcia was awarded the victory. The Rod Salka fight that followed isn’t noteworthy enough to talk about, because it shouldn’t of even happened in the first place. A total mismatch that many have found hard to even give any credit for. Moving on, here we are and the Lamont Peterson fight has just happened. Peterson made the same mistake as Zab Judah, of not being active enough in the early rounds, but stayed mobile and disallowed Garcia the ability to ever really land any decent punches on him. He also further exposed the flaws of his opponent, one being his inability to cut off the ring against anyone who won’t just stand in the pocket and allow him to tee off. Needless to say, the late rounds came and suddenly Peterson was turning the heat on and bossing Garcia around the ring, once again leaving his face a bruised mess. But someway, somehow, despite the obviousness that he simply chased and was ineffective for a huge percentage of the fight, Garcia’s hand was raised in the end. Its possible that Garcia has gotten very reliant on his devastating hooks to pull him through, but it has become apparent that his recent victories leave many questions unanswered as well. And considering he doesn’t seem to be a fan of giving rematches, I doubt we’ll ever get any of those answers. Danny has won too many of his recent fights, by the skin of his teeth for him, his fans, or anyone else really, to be confident that that ‘0’ on his record will stay for much longer. A move up to welterweight may not be the solution either, bearing in mind that the opponents only get bigger, stronger and considering how Danny has struggled to beat relatively ‘B’ fighters a class lower, there’s a question mark attached to a shift up in weight. But hey, Garcia has defied the odds before, who says he can’t again? All that can be said is that if things don’t change, ‘Swift’ will meet his maker in the ring at some point very soon.
On May 2nd, 2015, yes you heard it right, May 2nd, the same night as the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao mega fight; Rite Hook Promotions and The Hard Rock Casino Biloxi are bringing boxing back to the Gulf Coast with Biloxi "Sweet Science 3” live boxing and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao live streaming on a 35ft screen. Together we have an event that is unlike most live boxing events. Rite Hook Promotions in conjunction Phil Juliano, his experience in the casino industry along with his vision to bring boxing back to Biloxi made this event possible. Combined with Robyn Smith, Director of Entertainment at the Hard Rock Biloxi, this event will solidify the Hard Rock as a new player in live boxing on the national level. We will kick-off this Spring 2015 series with a hard-hitting main event featuring Tampa's undefeated Radivoje "Hot Rod" Kalajdzic, 17(11)-0-0 currently ranked in the Top 40 in the world. He is a Serbian, undefeated prospect that should start to step into the "prime time" boxing scene very soon. Rite Hook has hosted fighters such as Willie "El Mongoose" Monroe who will fight GGG as the main event May 16th. Hot Rod is on a similar path to becoming a world champion. He is a slick athletic fighter with KO power and is always enjoyable to watch. In our co-main event Mike "Concrete" Bissett, a Biloxi native who fights out of Tampa, will be in action. He is a durable cruiserweight that is not scared to fight anyone. Even with a record of 8(6)-7(4)-0 which may be deceiving due to the level of competition he has face in his professional career. He will be matched against fellow boxer-puncher James "King James" Johnson of Louisiana. Johnson is a veteran fighter with 73 fights under his belt. There are 4 welterweight prospects that will complete this card. Manny Woods Jr. (12)4-3(0)-0 also a resident of Tampa is ready to step back in the ring in preparation to advance in rankings in one of the most talent filled divisions in the sport. Bobby Bryant 15(9)-0-0 from Memphis is scheduled to make his return to the ring after a 3 year layoff. Eric "Babyface" Johnson 9(4)-0-0 from the Roy Jones Jr. camp is ready to display his Roy-like skills which always seem to be a problem for his opponents. Local professional Tom "Hitman" Howard 8(4)-2(0)-0 will also be in the action. Hard-hitting heavyweight and dual sport professional prospect Tony Johnson Jr. 1(1)-0-0 will be in the ring and ready to make his opponents night a short one. Johnson is fighting live on Spike TV April 10th against Alexander Volkov who is currently ranked as high as #3 in some professional MMA rankings. He will be back in the boxing ring May 2nd as he wants to fast track the boxing rankings also. He has showed promise in training camps working with world champions in sparring. With his confidence at an all time high, Johnson will be a force to reckon with in the world of boxing for years to come. So remember the name Tony Johnson Jr. Cameron Springer 5(2)-0-1 from Atlanta will be ready to put it all on the line. He is a hungry young fighter with an excellent amateur pedigree. This fight is brought to you by Rite Hook Promotions in conjunction with Kevin Dever of Reved Entertainment, New York and Ivan Echevarria, director of marketing and owner of Pier6 Promotions, Tampa. Tickets to the live fights including the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao stream, priced at $35, $50, $65, $90 and $125, are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com, the Hard Rock Box Office, or by calling (228)-217-5555. For more information, visit www.ritehookpromotions.com, www.hardrockbiloxi.com, or follow us on Twitter at @Ritehookpromo.