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One on One Interview of Terri Blair
by Edward Sande
October 26, 3006


(OCT 26) This week I got an opportunity to interview IBA World champion Terri Blair.  She talks about the sport, and about some bouts, including her fights with Sumya Anani.

SANDE: You have fought a number of boxers more than onceÖ.what drives you to come back in the ring with them even after losing to them the first time?

BLAIR:   I love to box and I will fight anyone any number of times. I just like to keep busy so I take the fights that I get. And even in my losses, they are great, competitive fights.

SANDE: You have also fought at more than three different categories. What kind of sacrifices do you make to be able to do that successfully?

BLAIR: It takes a great deal of dedication and will power to fight in different weight classes. You constantly have to change the way you eat and train. To stay a busy fighter and fight some of the best fighters out there, you have to be willing to make some sacrifices.

SANDE:Your career record has been regarded as deceptive in that the record does not portray what youíre true qualities as a boxer are. Do you agree?

BLAIR: I believe if a person only looks at a fighterís record they know nothing about fighting. You have to look at everything: if the fighter has ever been stopped, if the fighter always fights on the road, how close were the fightsÖ A fighter is extremely underestimated if a person only looks at their record.

SANDE: Sumya Anani. Thatís arguably you biggest moment in boxing? Stopping the boxer who has been known to be the most avoided and also never been stopped before. And you did it twice.

BLAIR: It was my biggest moment in boxing. To beat a fighter (twice) with her reputation was a great moment. However, I respect and have learned something from every fighter that Iíve fought, so each fight in itís self has a special meaning to me.

SANDE:  Keli Cofer says you are the boxer she respects most, why do you think so?

BLAIR: First off let me say that Keli is not only a great fighter but sheís a great person as well and I have a great amount of respect for her also. Itís icing on the cake when you can make friends in this sport, not only with other fighters in general but with other fighters youíve fought as well. I think most fighters respect a fighter who is willing to fight anyone, anywhere, at any time. Thatís the kind of fighter I am. Iím not caught up in the ďgameĒ of boxing i.e. a perfect record, how many belts one hasÖI just want to go out and do what I do-win, lose or draw.

SANDE:  You seem to have blossomed later in your pro boxing career. Why is that? Is there something you did not do right at first that you are doing well now?

BLAIR: I donít think I did anything wrong in the beginning. I feel with every fight you learn something about yourself. With every fight you gain confidence and comfort in the ring. Boxing is a tough sport; especially coming from a background in team sports all my life. Itís just you in the ring, and 75% of the fight is the mental fight you go thru with yourself before, during and after the fight. And again, you canít go by my record. Every fight Iíve been in has been a great, competitive fight. Iíve had some bad decisions and some close fights that could have gone either way. Thatís the sport of boxingÖif a fighter canít accept that, theyíre in the wrong sport.

SANDE:  You have a reputation as boxer who has not had the opportunity of fighting in front of your home fans. Why? Are there no events in your hometown that would present your hometown fans a chance to see you fight?

BLAIR: Unfortunately, even though Louisville is the hometown of Muhammad Ali, boxing here is barely a blip on the radar. My only fight in Louisville was the second Anani fight. It was great to fight in front of my friends and family but unfortunately Anani and I were not paid for that fight. Until the Kentucky Boxing Commission makes some drastic changes to protect their fighters, I do not plan on fighting in Kentucky again. Itís a shame because I love Louisville but itís embarrassing that Kentucky has a reputation for not paying their fighters.

SANDE:  Your alias is ďRoad WarriorĒ and now you are to fight in Africa Ė halfway around the world. What does coming to Africa and this fight mean to you?

BLAIR: I love to travel and this sport has given me the opportunity to do a lot of that. Iíve always wanted to see and experience Africa, and to be able to go there and fight on a card with other great fighters is an honor.

SANDE:  Your opponent in Kenya is Mona Lisa Sibanda from Zimbabwe. Do you know anything about her? How would you approach an opponent who you know nothing about?

BLAIR:I really donít know much about Monalisa, but Iím confident in my ability to adapt and change with any situation I face in the ring.

SANDE:  You have been boxing since 2001; you have an impressive number of fights since then. What has changed in womenís boxing since then?

BLAIR: I donít really think a lot has changed. I think the women are only getting better, but unfortunately until women start getting more television time and getting paid what theyíre worth womenís boxing isnít going very far.

SANDE:  What in your opinion is the future of womenís boxing?

BLAIR:I donít really know what the future of womenís boxing is. Until the women start getting the recognition they deserve the sport is really at a stand still. This is unfortunate because there are many great female fighters out there with so much heart and talent and theyíre not getting the respect they deserve.

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