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.
Hello ladies and gentleman, Smooth Cat is back!!!! Today I want to touch on a legend in the sport of boxing, Roy Jones Jr. He has accomplished almost every goal he wanted to achieve in his career, but still has one goal he hasn't accomplished yet. That's winning a legitimate Cruiserweight championship. As we all know he isn't exactly the same fighter he once was, when he amazed the boxing world with athleticism that was rivaled by no one. But those days seem so long ago. Actually it has been an extremely long time since we have seen Roy at his very best, but with that being said, his mission will continue this weekend against Paul Vasquez. This will be the second time he's fought in 22 days. We all ask, why Roy why? He's already a first ballot Hall of Famer, he was voted fighter of the decade for 1990's, and has won championships in multiple weights classes. So after reading a recent interview of his, Roy is quoted saying "I don't want to get to heaven and have God say you could have won a world title at 46." He's motivated to put his name in the record book with another accomplishment that will further add to his already great accomplishments. Honestly, Roy doesn't need the Cruiserweight title to validate anything, but when you're a fighter and you're motivated to do something, that fire inside of you can be your worst enemy in some cases. In this situation, the fire in Roy might I say, is very inspirational, but in all honesty this recent run of wins Roy is on, has him actually believing he's reversed the effects of father time, who is an opponent who's undefeated against all fighters who have stuck around too long. I wish the great Roy Jones Jr. the best of luck, as a huge fan of his, but he needs someone to truly let him know that enough is enough already. He is an excellent commentator for HBO, where he does great work of covering fights, and giving the broadcast team the point of view of a fighter. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sure that I can't be the only one, who doesn't want to see this legend stretched out on the canvas unconscious! With that being said, I know he isn't going to stop until he gets the fight with Marco Huck, the current "Man" of the Cruiserweight division. If that fight gets made, maybe, just maybe, Roy Jones can turn back the hands of the clock one more time and put on a vintage performance, resulting in him possibly pulling off the upset against Marco Huck! Regardless of what happens, as a true fan of boxing, I just can't help but worry why is Roy Jones Jr. hanging on too long?
8CN’s David Hopper caught up with Baltimore-based boxing promoter Jake “The Snake” Smith. The 49-year-old Maryland and DC Boxing Hall of Fame member has owned and operated Baltimore Boxing Club and promoted fights for more than 20 years. DH: Please give the readers who aren’t familiar with you a brief introduction. JS: My boxing name is Jake “The Snake” Smith. I started boxing when I was 12. I had a 39-4 amateur record and an 11-6-2 professional record. I was Maryland light heavyweight champion and super middleweight champion. This was is in the ‘90s, late ‘80s. I’ve promoted over 200 some fights in the pros and amateurs. I’ve owned a boxing gym, Baltimore Boxing, for 23 years. DH: Talk some about the card you’re promoting on Friday, March 27. I heard that it was nearly sold out. Are there still tickets available? JS: We’re pretty sold out. I’ll still be trying to sell some at the door as long as the fire marshal doesn’t come up. [Laughs]. I expect about 1,200. DH: Does Baltimore have a thriving amateur boxing scene? JS: I’ve been doing shows for over 20 something years now. Just after I finished fighting pro I took my clientele with me. It just keeps getting better. In the last six months to a year, boxing has been going crazy. My kids have been real busy. DH: Do you feel like you will benefit from the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and boxing returning to network TV in that that should create more interest in the sport? JS: I’m thinking it’s opening up a lot of doors. MMA has helped boxing a lot too. It’s opened up a lot more eyes to contact sports like boxing and wrestling. Now that they’re seeing how exciting boxing is, all the fans from MMA are starting to lean more toward boxing. DH: That’s an interesting point because many say that MMA has been pulling fans away from boxing. But you feel like it’s had the opposite effect? JS: Oh yes, indeed, it did at first, without question. I just can’t stand the way MMA people bang boxing and say how it’s bad and dying and all this stuff. But it did bring more attention to the sport of boxing. A lot more eyes are coming on to boxing because of the standup game. With MMA and boxing you wanna see somebody get knocked out. MMA you get on the ground and roll around and whatever they’re doing, I not into it. DH: What are some of the things you enjoy most about promoting amateurs? JS: When you’re doing the pro stuff, when money gets involved, it really makes things a little shady. Not really shady, but a little greed gets involved. In amateurs they’re competing for a trophy and they’re not lying down in the ring so they can get paid or throwing the fight. These guys are fighting because they want to win and they want to do something with their life. It’s more relaxing. DH: Are you able to predict which amateurs will turn out to be good pros? Of course, some amateurs have more of a pro style, and some standout amateurs end up not having much success in the pro ranks. JS: Yeah I feel as though I have a pretty good eye for that. I’ve been doing this since I was 12 years old and it’s an everyday thing for me. DH: What are some characteristics of the amateurs who turn out to be good pros? JS: You definitely have to be able to take a punch. You got to have speed. The obvious is basically what it is. You have to have all those things. You have to be a bit of a character too if you want the public to really like you. DH: What’s your prediction for Mayweather-Pacquiao? JS: I’m probably gonna change my mind 10 times before the fight but right now I’m going with Mayweather. I would love to see Pacquiao but I think Mayweather will pull it off. I hope it’s an exciting fight because I know everyone’s expectations are real high on this. I don’t think it will be a good fight, I think they’ll be feeling each other out too much. Either way I think it’s gonna help boxing no matter what. If it’s a great one, boy, I’ll have to open up a few more gyms I think.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-1-1, 32 KOs) returns to action on April 18 whan he faces Andzrej Fonfara (26-3-0, 15 KOs) at the StubHub center in Carson, CA. The former middleweight champion Chavez Jr. will debut on Showtime, and end a thirtteen month layoff due to a dispute between his advisor, Al Haymon, and his former promoter, Top Rank. Chavez Jr., of Sinaloa, Mexico, and Fonfara, a Polish native now living in Chicago, will compete over twelve rounds at a catchweight of 172 pounds. Fonfara usually fights in the 175 pound light heavyweight division but does not feel the three additional pounds he must lose is an issue. "When I fought [Adonis] Stevenson, I was 173 [pounds]," Andrzej explained. Fonfara challenged and lost to Stevenson for the WBC light heavyweight title last June. Rather than focusing on the catchweight, Fonfara and his trainer, Sam Colonna, emphasized that their team chose this match with Julio over several other names. "Julio Cesar Chavez is the fight we wanted." Colonna stressed. "His style is perfect for us. This fight will take us to the top. It will be an action fight ... Julio Cesar Chavez is going to be right in front of us." By contrast, father Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. felt otherwise. "I didn't want the fight," he explained. "Andrzej Fonfara is very strong. But my son wanted this fight because it will build his credibility." Chavez Jr. feels Fonfara will be an obliging dance partner under the bright lights of the open-air ring that seems to bring out the war in fighters: Marquez-Vazquez I, Bradley-Provodnikov, and Matthyse-Molina, to name a few. "I've shown people I can fight. I [will] put on a good show for the people," Julio promised. "Andrzej Fonfara is a good fighter. He has a good chin." Chavez Jr. does not plan to move up to light heavyweight, however. "After this fight I want to go to 168 ... I feel good. I am ready to win another world title!" Team Chavez moved camp from Los Angeles, CA to Lake Tahoe, NV last week. Trainer Joe Goossen is pleased with Chavez's progress. "Julio is very serious. He's willing to work very hard for this fight ... I can't tell you happy I am to work with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.," Goossen exuded. Chavez Jr. is equally upbeat about their partnership. "I've known Joe Goossen for a long time. He's a great trainer and a great motivator and he's a hard worker like me so I think we will be successful." Chavez Jr. vs. Fonfara will be broadcast on Showtime at 10 PM ET/ 7 PM PT on April 18, 2015.
One of the more anticipated announcements that fans awaited during this week's press conference that formally announced the Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao super fight was the multi-city press tour or the 24-7 schedule.No such announcements were made at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles where over 700 media credentials were issued for reporters from various parts of the globe.The rationale of a multi-city tour and a 24-7 production is to drum up interest for the fight in the hopes of maximizing pay-per-view buys. In this case, however, none of the promotional tools are required.This duel has been anticipated for years and the lure is the contrasting fighting styles of the parties involved as well as their clashing personalities.At stake for the 38-year old Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) is his unbeaten record and the his place in boxing history as an undefeated champion following the footsteps of the great Rocky Marciano, who was 49-0 with 43 knockouts as heavyweight champion of the world.For Pacquiao,36, an eight-division champ with a 57-5 slate with 38 knockouts, Pretty Boy is another mountain to climb as he cements his place among boxing's immortals.Tickets for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight range from a low of $1500 to a high of $7500.