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.