A fighter does not learn anything knocking out 0-10 stumblebums from the mid-west. Nor is it wise to put
him in with killers who, even if he wins, may do so much damage that he can't remember his social security numberby the time he's got 20 fights.The key is, give him opponents that stand up, fight back, and show him something different every time out. My philosophy is if my guy has a bad night and the opponent has
a great night, the opponent wins. All things equal, I want 60:40. The A side should win, but have to work for it.
As I write this, I am matchmaking a show at a New England Casino for a promoter and offered an undefeated young prospect, with 150 amateur fights to his credit, a pro debuting opponent with about 40 amateur fights.
The trainer turned it down, said he was too tough. Too tough? It's a tough sport. I suggested nicely that
competitive checkers may be more their cup of tea. As amatchmaker, I do not just throw names out randomly; I take all factors into consideration, first and foremost my 60:40 formula. I did my homework and it was a good fight for the A side, as long as he was prepared. If the trainer believes in his fighter and the boxer is legitimately a prospect, he should take guys with 1/3 the experience and no pro fights!!
A fighter needs to be exposed, under fighting conditions, to a variety of opponents as well. Many trainers avoid southpaws, but the fact is, the most dominant countries in the world in amateur boxing consistently turn out southpaw fighters. Therefore chances are, if your prospect fights at any higher level than the local club show circuit, he will face lefties, so take a few on the way up. Tall, short, fast, slow, fighters come in all shapes. Experience as many styles as possible for when that day comes that you're in line for a title.
Without the ability to fight monthly, it is more important to a young fighter to fight quality opposition as he learns. Don't waste opportunities, and if it turns out to be too tough, there's always checkers.
Mark Vaz is a highly sought after matchmaker. He formerly
trained heavyweight Terry Smith and managed Jermain
Taylor. He's been a cutman for noteworthy fighters including
Glen Johnson, John Duddy and Juan Carlos Gomez. He also
regularly provides color commentary for fights that broadcast
online at NESportsTV.com.
Whenever someone approaches me on the street one of the questions I get asked all the time is, "Who are you fighting next?". It never ceases to amaze me. I want to ask, "Well, what female fighters do you know?", because if I say any other name than Christy Martin or Laila Ali they will look at me with a blank stare. What I find even more astonishing is that was the case nine years ago when I first fought Christy Martin. One would think that nearly a decade later surely new names would have emerged from the sport.
In the 90's Christy and I garnered a lot of media attention for woman's boxing, but with the help of two of the biggest promoters in boxing, Don King and Bob Arum. Christy, being promoted by King, opened for Mike Tyson. I was being promoted by Bob Arum so I opened for Oscar De La Hoya. Christy comes out on the cover of Sports Illustrated, I come out on the cover of Playboy. We did all the A list shows like Conan, Leno, Good Morning America, etc... We were living the life, limo service to and from our fights, 5 star hotels, first class airline tickets, bodyguards. Then one day, it all came to screeching halt and we were all of a sudden "passé". That was it, done, just like that. No parting gifts or farewell party. Nope, just a "don't let the door hit ya on the ass on your way out" attitude.
I picked up my ball and went home, so to speak. But I can never accept rejection very well and I always have to try and prove you were wrong. I did anything and everything I could to stay on top, as one of the most recognized female fighters out there. I put out a book, workout dvd's, signed endorsement deals, reality tv shows, commercials, hosting, commentating, autograph signings, whatever I could. I fought on smaller networks like Fox Sports Net and ESPN for a lot less money, but at least it kept me in the public eye.
FXSN and ESPN soon came to an end as well. It seemed like all the networks in the US had stopped airing female fights. So there was only one thing for me to do, fight out of the country. We were getting paid more to fight out of the US and our fights were still being televised. In October, 2010 I decided to try once again the US and fought in New Mexico. A few offers came from that, but nothing worth taking. Then an unfortunate event happened the following month, Christy Martin was shot and stabbed by her husband. The media was all over it and soon enough I was being asked if a rematch was going to happen. Why after nine years would people be interested in a rematch? The answer was obvious and I was there when opportunity knocked once again. Yes, it was an unfortunate event that took place and no one would ever have wished that upon Christy. But let's admit, it did put her back in the spotlight and with Gloria Allred right by her side of course. I summed it up to my sister's favorite quote from Lemony Snicket; "And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey."
I called out Christy Martin for a rematch on TMZ and then even Arum was interested. So much so that at the press conference for Christy's fight on the June 4th, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. card, he announced me and added fuel to the fire for the media frenzy already taking place. I was amped! I had waited nine years for this rematch and all the cards were in place. All Christy had to do was win her fight on June 4th. It all seemed so simple, if only only boxing were that simple. Instead Christy broke her hand in the 4th round of the fight. By all judges scorecards she would have won the fight had the fight not have been stopped. It wasn't the loss on her record that meant anything significant. Christy and I both have losses on our records and that never stopped us before.
I was more worried about what it would do to her psyche. Would she retire and all the work we put into making this rematch would be in vain? My dream of a rematch after all these years, gone just like that. But I had to remember that she was just shot, stabbed and left for dead and even that didn't stop her! So what made me think she would give up now? Christy's a fighter both in the ring and out. She'll be back. I'm sure of it. When she does I'll be waiting for her so we can finally put this to rest. And after I win, we'll make it a trilogy. What happens after that I'm not sure. What I do know for sure is, we managed to survive nearly 15 years in this sport as two of the most recognizable names in woman's boxing. So whether you loved us or hated us, we made our mark in boxing history.
Mia St. John (46-11-2, 18 KOs) grinded out a ten round unanimous decision over Coal Miner’s Daughter Christy Martin (49-7-3, 31 KOs) at the Table Mountain Casino on Friant, California. Mia St. John claimed the vacant WBC female super welterweight title with the win. After the fight, both ladies announced their retirement from professional boxing.