On December 10, 2005, in Budapest, Hungary, Terri Moss fought
Hungary, and fought Krisztina Belinszky in a 10-round bout
for a WIBC world title. Terri Moss contacted WBAN and expressed that
she would like to talk about what had occurred in Hungary...
Terri Moss wrote the following:
I feel it necessary to speak out for my team, and myself even if we only
gain a tiny bit of justice by giving WBAN readers an accurate portrayal
and at least warn other American female boxers about how “team Belinszky”
plays ball. The first point I want to make is that I clearly won this
fight. Admittedly, it wasn’t my best performance due to the fact that I
suffered a broken nose early in the fight and was in the ring with a
person who in my opinion has never learned to properly throw a punch
other than a slow jab. I knew she was less of a fighter going in to this
fight, but I didn’t realize that things like combination punching,
range, and boxing, were foreign concepts to her. I guess I expected more
from a “World Champion” who is ranked #1 across the board. What a
disgrace to Women’s Boxing. I wonder if those ranking her have ever seen
her fight? Most likely they have not. They just look at the Belinszky-bought-and-paid-for
During the fight it was often difficult for me to get off because she
would rush in and hold. Eventually I returned the favor. In spite of
this I still got off some solid landing punches every round, though
there were a few extremely ugly rounds that were more like a wrestling
match. Belinszky however may have landed three or four solid punches the
entire fight. Of course she had the crowd with her, so if she swung,
whether or not she connected, the crown went off. It was as if they knew
nothing of boxing, but most likely they just didn’t care. I can
understand that, that’s boxing. Whenever we did get a chance to actually
box, this fight was a mismatch. I popped her from the outside, made her
miss, and spun her then she would rush in again swinging wildly like a
windmill and we would tie up. By the way, the ref will call you if you
spin your opponent. I guess you’re supposed to stand in one spot and
swing wildly hoping to connect. I’ll have to learn how to do that.
I do want to address the press release put out by Hungary’s “Jolly Dee.”
I don’t know the gentleman, but have always assumed him to be an
accurate boxing reporter since I see him reporting all of the European
fights on WBAN. His opinion came into question however, when I saw how
he reported the Belinszky – Stephanie Dobbs fight.
I watched that fight three times and I found no way to say that
Belinszky won that fight. The fight was a lot like the fight with me,
only it was much more ugly when I fought her. She didn’t connect three
or four solid punches to Stephanie the whole fight.
While Jolly Dee said I got a “bloody nose in the fourth round” and was
deducted a point for excessive “head butting,” I was just glad to
finally know what the point deduction was for. The Italian referee spoke
English, but for some reason decided not to speak it during the fight or
tell me what he was warning me for or what the point was for. And to
think I thought he was looking out for my broken nose.
According to the reporter there was a fourth round “nose bleed”, which
was a second round broken nose coming off Belinszky’s elbow, shoulder,
or both, since they both hit me when it broke. You would think that the
reporter would have the rounds in tact, wouldn’t you? A mistake, I’m
sure. The freak clash I take responsibility for since I should not have
put myself in that position.
Of course the break threw me off a little and made me more concerned
about getting robbed due to the influence the blood would have on the
judges. I became more aggressive, not willing to look hurt, and since
Belinszky had a thing for rabbit punching and hitting while you hold, I
played her way. She did the same thing with Stephanie Dobbs. Admittedly,
my trainer told me for three rounds to calm down, and when I finally
began to listen it was no contest, and I easily controlled the rhythm
and pace of the fight.
So according to the Hungarian reporter I had “dirty tactics?” Lets talk
about dirty tactics.
We had no contact with “team Belinszky” or any of her people until a few
hours before our flight. We didn’t know who was putting the fight
together and had no contact person to talk to about our travel
arrangements, accommodations, or any other detail.
We wrote emails and were not answered. The only person who seemed to
know anything about what was going on was the director of the WIBC.
Okay, so at least he’s an American, and local, we can work through him,
right? It should have seemed fishy when he kept speaking of how great
Belinszky’s people treated you. But then again, we should have clarified
that he meant the officials.
We came in the day before the weigh in, an unacceptable amount of
acclimation time, and checked into a hotel that didn’t have the comfort
of a Red Roof Inn, complete with no working showers, windows that didn’t
close, and a noisy intersection to deal with.
In fact, the only way we could get them to turn the heat on in our room
came the next morning when I bribed the hotel owner with the flowers
handed to me at the airport for Belinszky’s “photo shoot”. It was not a
place where a fighter fighting for a World Title could rest, especially
on a short acclimation time. Then we go to the weigh-in where we are
told by the WIBC director that we would have to take part in an
extensive rules meeting at the venue the next night before the fight.
The “rules meeting” never happened. In fact, at the venue we were told
to wait for the rules meeting and informed that we were the last bout on
an 8-bout card. There were actually only seven bouts and we were the
sixth. The only way we knew we were up to fight was when my trainer
looked out to the ring and saw the director of the WIBC standing in the
ring with the belt. No one mentioned anything. Meanwhile, we’re still
waiting for our “rules meeting”. Good thing we were suspicious enough to
wrap and warm up early.
As for the fight, here’s my honest blow by blow: I easily took control
of her in the first round, took the second round but I’m sure the broken
nose near the end of the round swayed the judges, the third I’ll give to
her since I really did nothing to win the round and tried to work
through the injury, fourth, fifth, and sixth nothing really happened due
to the wrestling match, but I still out-landed her considering she
couldn’t land anything clean while I was able to do so, seventh through
tenth, I boxed her and took every round easily. Even taking the point
deduction for… whatever it was, I still won this fight clean. As for the
head butting, I can only ask how a person with a broken nose can
aggressively head butt? Ouch.
To WBAN readers, I really apologize for my foul mood when talking of
this experience, but it has truly been the sleaziest experience I’ve had
in boxing. I just want to send a warning out to any other American
willing to fight this girl or any other fighter under this group of
people in Hungary. I realize there are other promoters there in Hungary
with World-class fighters that seem to be doing a great job. Just be
leery of these people. We all expect when we go in another country that
we’re not on fair ground, but this organization definitely goes above
and beyond your wildest imagination. Careful consideration should be
taken before going into an agreement to fight under their control.
FROM XAVIER BIGGS:
I’ve been in boxing for more than thirty years; a time ranging from my
own pro career, to playing a key role in the development of the pro
career of my younger brother, 1984 Super Heavyweight Olympic Gold
Medallist Tyrell Biggs, and then on to a career as a professional boxing
trainer in Atlanta. In all of my years in boxing I have never had an
experience as bad as the one I just experienced for this fight in
Budapest, Hungary. This kind of thing truly insults the sport and puts a
black eye on the nobility of a World Championship Bout. The
accommodations were pathetic and can only be described as outright
abuse. When a fighter enters the ring to compete, he or she puts their
life, health, and career at risk. Were I, and when I have been the
promoter in such bouts, my conscience would not allow me to provide
anything less than the best and most comfortable accommodations I could
manage. This would be especially important if I were to bring a fighter
overseas with almost 24 hours of travel time and barely a couple of days
rest before the fight. Fighters train hard to get into peak fighting
condition. Such training requires great discipline, major sacrifice, and
extreme physical effort. The mind, body, and spirit must be trained in
unison to gain the goal of peaking for a good and safe performance.
Because of the grueling nature of boxing and the dangers of the sport,
it is important that fighters to enter the ring with 100% of their
faculties, and be well prepared and rested. In my opinion, to take away
from that would be inhumane. Again, I’ must say that in more than 30
years of boxing, I’ve never experienced anything worse than what I
experienced in Budapest. It was outright abuse of the worst form. During
our eleven weeks of training for this fight I was never contacted or
able to contact the promoter of this fight until the day we were
scheduled to fly to Budapest. In fact, all of the communication,
negotiating, and matchmaking for the fight was conducted through the
head of the sanctioning body.
Things began to fall apart as the time neared to leave when I inquired
about the accommodations. When, after much insistence, the name of the
hotel was finally given to us by the head of the sanctioning body who
assured us he knew nothing about the place and couldn’t find it online,
and we looked it up only to find it described as a “youth hostel”, which
is compared to a type of dorm building. Right then, I demanded to talk
to the promoter, threatening not to get on the plane. There was no way I
was going to have my fighter fight under those conditions. After finally
reaching the promoter, he assured me that the hotel was not a hostel,
and was comfortable, and that if we found it otherwise he would make
sure we were put somewhere comfortable. My mistake was taking him at his
word. After a grueling 24 hours of travel we arrived to what can be
described as exactly as we had seen it online and worse. There were no
phones with outside lines in the rooms, no smoke detectors in rooms that
reeked of cigarette smoke, the furniture and showers were falling apart,
and the beds looked like mattresses on the floor, and there was no
security. In fact, the lights were off for most of the time making you
feel your way down the dark halls to get to your room. The worst part of
it was the busy intersection the hotel sat on, with windows that didn’t
close and cars whizzing by day and night. It was no different than if
our beds were right on the sidewalk, making rest impossible.
The entire stay I feared for my fighter’s safety and welfare, but Terri,
being the soldier that she is, constantly reassured me that she was fine
with the conditions and would still perform. As convinced as she was, I
knew that these things would still affect us all, but fighters are just
that; they are fighters and will seldom back down. Besides the couple of
the officials who were made comfortable by other means, the only fighter
in this hotel was an African from Kenya who was there for another
championship bout against a Budapest fighter. This fighter for some odd
reason had no team, no corner man or second to work with him in his
bout. Can you imagine fighting for a Title with none of these things?
The way it turned out, I was able to help him in his corner with the
assistance of Terri whom had just finished fighting for a World Title
herself, and a third member of our team who had come at their own
expense. It seemed the fighter from Kenya was encouraged by finally
having a team and pushed a good twelve rounds to finish the fight.
On the accusation of Terri fighting dirty, I found that her aggressive
behavior was only an effect from the dirty tactics that were dished out
to her from the moment we entered the venue. As Terri mentions, we
waited for the so-called rules meeting and a physical the doctors were
supposed to perform before the bout, neither of which happened,
including no pregnancy test or medicals. The sequence for the bout was
secretly switched from being the 8th bout to the 6th. It was pure luck
that I noticed the director of the sanctioning body standing in the ring
with the championship belt after the 5th bout, so I was able to warm
Terri for the fight.
The director of the sanctioning body told me after the bout that
Krisztina’s trainer, the promoter, decided to change it at the last
minute. The bout was an ugly one with a lot of holding, rabbit punching,
and kidney punching from both girls, however, the referee only warned
Terri and went as far as deducting a point for an action unknown to us.
Both fighters were running in to each other, and if head butting was
called it was only due to the height difference with Terri being
slightly shorter and some of Terri’s defensive style, which often
includes ducking under, punches. Throughout the fight Terri was the only
one warned and nothing was said to Krisztina. During the rare times they
were actually separated to box, Terri easily out-pointed Krisztina.
Right after the fight the director of the sanctioning body rushed into
our dressing room and said he would like to see a rematch, saying that
they would do it in the States if we were willing to do a “purse bid”.
This to me was ludicrous; because this was the cheapest purse I’ve ever
been involved in, male of female, for a championship fight.
I am a true boxing purest who came up in a solid boxing culture in
Philadelphia with old school masters of the art. I was fortunate to
travel for several years to many world-class training camps with
world-class fighters and champions. Because of this, I’ve developed a
deep love and respect for the sport of boxing, and I believe a true
champion should represent honor, nobility, and be looked up to with
respect and admiration for their accomplishments in the sport. After
this fight, when I saw Krisztina parading around the venue holding the
championship belt, I had to wonder what the sport of boxing is turning
into. My hope is that there are still some true boxing purists out there
who are willing to take a stand and put an end to this type of fiasco
and make boxing a legitimate sport again.