DailySport goes Stateside and catches up with ex world champ Terri Moss in Atlanta

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20131125_110819PZ:      When and why did you star boxing?

 

TM:      I started boxing by accident really. I was training for a half triathlon and up to that point had been in and out of gyms most of my life. I told people, when Olivia Newton-John was ‘Getting Physical,’ so was I!

 

It was at the time that J Lo came out with the film ‘Enough’, which was a film about the husband beating his wife up, and she took up boxing and beat him up. My friend was going through a divorce and saw the movie and said to me, ‘I want to take up boxing and kick his butt (her husband).’ I said, ‘you’re crazy!’ but we found a gym near where we live and a boxing trainer there, and gave it a go. We were actually on our way to an aerobics class and she said, ‘let’s just stop quickly and speak to the boxing trainer.’ We had a good chat, took part and two months later I was still there, but my friend had given up!

 

I was 34 years old at the time and didn’t have a previous boxing career, so all that said, this was a late entry into the sport. The first trainer I spoke with told me ‘You are too old to fight. Just enjoy the training. If you want to work in the sport, learn how to be a cut man and how to write up contracts, and learn how to work a corner in general. In that way you can have all the boxing you need.’ I did that initially, and turned out to be a good cut man! I worked the corner for over 30 fights before I even started boxing. However, the whole time I was training, I realised that I didn’t want to do this, I wanted to fight, contrary to the advice given to me.

 

In the end, my trainer gave in, and I trained for my first fight in 2002. I was now 36 years old, and went straight into the pro game.

 

PZ:     Tell me more about your professional career.

 

TM:      I had 18 fights. Lost nine and won nine. I did however have a slow start, losing my first three fights, but in the early days I really didn’t have any high expectations as the odds were against me. I had no pressure to win, I simply went in there and did the best I could.

 

The funny thing was, within 12 months of my debut, I had already fought six times and was ranked No 2 in the world for my weight division.

 

My two most memorable fights were my fourth fight (my first win) and then winning my first world title.

 

PZ:      How would you describe yourself as a boxer?

 

TM:      When I started off I was like a brawler, but over time I focused on my power, balance, fast reflexes, and realised I had matured which made me a good box-fighter.

 

PZ:      Your favourite punch?

TM:      Straight right hand. However, the older I’ve got, I’ve used my jab has become better and better.

PZ:      You are now a well established boxing promoter. Tell me more about your events and who your target market is.

 

TM:      After my initial boxing training, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia to be trained by Xavier Biggs (Tyrell Biggs brother), who trained me throughout my professional boxing career.  When I retired, I was left thinking, ‘What am I going to do with myself?’ After about two years of drinking too much wine and wondering what to do, I decided to start the corporate fight nights.

I’ve now done eight corporate fight nights which have gone incredibly well. I realise the UK is really up there in terms of white collar boxing, and I would love to have the chance to have a USA versus UK competition at some point!

20131125_105559PZ:      Tell me more about Buckhead Fight Club.

 

TM:      It’s a 15,000 square feet gym based in a heavy populated Latino area in Atlanta. Around 90% Mexican, and the balance is black and white people. It’s important to stress that everyone from every race and background is encouraged to walk through these doors. There’s no barriers at Buckhead Fight Club.

 

Those who don’t speak Spanish are trying to learn the language and those needing to strengthen their English also do so. It’s like a mini college at times. When I first started here I was a little concerned because boxing is a very decorated Mexican sport, and as a non-Spanish speaking blonde lady, I ticked none of the boxes. I was afraid I might not be embraced. I was thankfully proved very wrong! After a short time, they understood my motives for starting the gym, respected my world championship status, and totally took me in.

 

PZ:      I believe you are hosting the Georgia USA Boxing State Championships in December. Is this the first time you have done this?

 

TM:      That’s correct on both fronts. Compared to ‘Corporate Fight Night’ this is a breeze! We are hosting the state championships here at the gym and we expect a great evening of competition. The only thing about this kind of event is that they lack a little bit of the entertainment factor which corporate nights bring, so I will intend to add a little more of that element to the evening, bringing in round announcers, ring card girls and having a VIP area to tone the evening up a little bit.

 

If my name is attached to anything, I want to make sure it’s a success.

 

PZ:      Tell the public about the film ‘Boxing Chicks’….

 

TM:      The producer, Fredrick Taylor from Tomorrow Pictures wanted to make a documentary about women boxers. Initially I don’t think he really knew where he wanted to go with the film, but he soon developed direction!

 

Most male boxers tend to tell the story of how they got into boxing due to some hardship, and the theme is quite similar. I’m really not trying to be disrespectful when I say that either. The theme with women’s boxing is usually along the lines of a bad or hard upbringing, got pregnant, perhaps got beat up by their boyfriend and or abused by a family member, and am now fighting to balance their life out and prove everybody wrong, including every man!

 

With Boxing Chicks, the film doesn’t end on a down note, which is so different to so many other stories. What I was trying to get across with this documentary is that women boxers tend to come from different backgrounds. Many are college educated, have careers and families, and have also decided to box. They are not boxing to prove a big thing to the world, or to express a sob story. The film doesn’t focus on the down side of things and looks to talk about women’s boxing as a positive experience.

 

The film zooms in on about six women, one of them being me, and I’m the least educated of them all! I was however a highly decorated cop before taking up study, so there’s a story behind this boxer also! Another chick is a PhD graduate and another a psychology student etc… It’s a great blend, which makes for great viewing. Take a look at the preview! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kjvLI5jcQ4

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PZ:      Tell me one thing about yourself not many people know.

 

TM:      I’m petrified of cockroaches!

 

PZ:      If you could spar three rounds with any past boxing legend, who would it be?

 

TM:      Sugar Ray Robinson.

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