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Three In One Interviews!
by Chris Akers
July 31, 2009


(JULY 31) Chris Akers of ultimateboxingresults.com had an opportunity to interview three women boxers lately and shared the interviews with WBAN.  The three women boxers interviewed were Donatella Hultin, Olivia Gerula, and Ann Marie Saccurato.  Check out the following interviews!



Photo by Mary Ann Owen


During the last decade, Scandinavia has produce some of the best fighters in the world. Mikkel Kessler and Amin Asikinen been two examples. But now there is a third example. Donatella Hultin has the potential to be one of the best boxers in the sport. Despite been a neophyte as a professional, she has learned and more than boxers with more experience. Managed by two of the top managers in the United States, trained by a former world champion and sparring with a current world champion have given Hultin the platform to move her career along. Aided by a steely drive and determination, Hultin is adamant that she will achieve her goals while in the sport. And with the natural talent she possesses, who would bet against her.

1 – What first attracted you to boxing?

I love contact sports, I like that it is just me and my opponent in the middle of the ring. I love boxing because it is a one on one sport, I get charged when I am able to connect combinations on my opponent.

2 – You are managed by Butch Gottlieb and Mary Ann Owen. How did the link up with them occur?

I saw a photo of Butch & Mary Ann on womenboxing.com. Butch has managed several female World Champions so he is very familiar with female boxing. Mary Ann does all my photos & PR for me. They are not only my managers but are family.

3 – Your trainer is the former world light heavyweight champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. In what ways has he improved you as a fighter?

Eddie is improving me in every way, I am learning how pros fight and it is different from what I learned in the amateurs. You cannot learn boxing fast, it is a long process, everyday I learn something new. Eddie treats me like a fighter, not like a girl. He is tough when he has to be and understanding when he sees I need it.

4 – You moved from Sweden to the United States to further your career. Just describe the boxing scene in Sweden and what you think it lacks in order to make a huge impact worldwide.

It's a big difference, I never trained in a gym with any professionals boxers or ever sparred with pros. In Sweden we trained in groups up to 20-40 people...So, I didn't have a one on one with my trainer,we work most in pairs and we didn't spar too much. Now, I am around all professionals and I have the opportunity to excel to the best of my ability.

5 – For people who have not seen you fight, how would you describe your style of fighting?

I don't know, I only had one Professional fight so I don't know about my style yet. Maybe in the future I will have a special style. I feel strong, but I don't want to depend on strength. I want to be able to to box correctly and have both good defense and offense.

6 – You sparred with Vic Darchinyan before his bout with Jorge Arce earlier this year. How did the opportunity to spar him come about & how do you rate Darchinyan as a fighter?

He's a incredible fighter, I never seen a boxer train like he does. He trains different then most boxers. He has really inspired me to be my best. I like to watch his fights, he has a very special style.

7 – Who is your favorite fighter and what is your favorite fight?

My favorite fighter has always been Floyd Mayweather Jr. My favorite fight is Mayweather vs Castillo or Tyson vs Holyfield or Rafael Marquez vs Israel Vasquez, all great fights.

8 – What is the toughest part of being a boxer?

Everything, a fighter always has to be in good shape, eat right, road work, it is a job. A fighter has to have a schedule with eating, road work, training and it is everyday.

9 – Finally, it is early days in your career, but what would you like to achieve in the next twelve months?

To become a much better fighter.





Canadian boxing has undertaken a bit of a revolution over the the last few years. One of the boxers that is part of that is Olivia Gerula. A kick boxer before taking up boxing professionally, Gerula has made the transition seamlessly and has achieved great success. She won the world title in her last fight by beating Jelena Mrdjenovich. Yet she is not resting on her laurels and there is a lot she would like to achieve in the sport. Hopefully the next stage of her career turns out to be as joyous as the last stage and she achieves all her goals and aspirations.

1 – You were originally a professional kick boxer before converting to professional boxing. Why did you make the switch?

It was a natural progression from one sport to another. Lack of competition in kickboxing and better opportunities in boxing had a lot to do with the decision.

2 – Your last fight was against Jelena Mrdjenovich for the world title. How would you assess your performance against her?


3 – Who would you consider your main rivals in your division?

As you can tell my division is stacked with talent. That being said I don't worry about my opponents. I focus on training to the best of my abilities and then pushing it a little more so that when I step into the ring I am well prepared and the best fighter I can be.

4 – What would you like to achieve in the next twelve months?

Over the next 12 months I plan to successfully defend the WBC Super Feather Weight Title. My first opportunity being Oct/Nov against Myriam Chomaz in France. I also have my sights set on a highly speculated defense or title unification bout in Peru with the WBA champion Kina Malpartida in early 2010. Other then that there are a few old scores I'd like to settle and a Canadian title I let slip through my fingers but first things first...

5 – The boxing scene in Canada has really increased in prominence over the last few years. What improvements have you seen made to the boxing scene there that have helped it enhance its reputation worldwide?

I believe the growth of the sport is directly affected by the growth of skills women are bringing to the table now a days. In my 12 years as a professional boxer it has been a privilege to witness the increase in talent and a thrill to rise to it.

6 – Female Boxing, while gaining more recognition worldwide, still does not have the high profile of the men’s game. What do you think can be done to improve the profile of women’s boxing?

If I knew what would do the trick I wouldn't hesitate to speak up! I am the WBC World Champion and as great of an achievement as that is, how prestigious the honor, there are billions upon billions of people who have no idea I even exist.  I hope there comes a day when female boxers become house hold names and sell out the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with ridiculously obscene paydays. I also hope I'm around to see it!

7 – What in your opinion is the toughest part of being a boxer?

I know this comes off sounding harsh but for me there is nothing hard about 'being' a boxer - It's in me. I just am.

8 - If you could have any fight, against any opponent, at any venue, what would it be and why?

Now that Jelena is out of the way, the opponent would be Mia St. John. The venue - anywhere, anytime! We fought to a draw a number of years ago and some trash talking ensued, fallowed by a healthy rivalry. I was very disappointed when she retired. I would love to put that one to rest. How about it Mia?

9 – If you were not a boxer, what would you be instead?

Wow loaded question. Currently I am many things besides a boxer but the list is long so I will not elaborate overly much. I have a passion for writing and all things carpentry. One day I may even get around to publishing one of my books or finish building my house. I was a professional athlete at 17 but always thought I'd grow up to be a police officer or a fire-fighter. Both remain strong possibilities and I'm still working on the growing up part.

10 – Finally, do you have a message for your fans reading this?

Always fallow your dreams. Never be afraid to take the hard road; sometimes the pay off is sweeter and most importantly enjoy the ride, even when it gets a little bumpy!






The English playwright Noel Coward once said that 'the key to success is how you survive failure'. Very few people in the boxing world have displayed this more that Ann Marie. Despite been told by doctors that she would never walk again after a car crash, Saccurato demonstrated enormous drive to defy the odds. Not only did she walk again but after becoming professional, she achieved great success became a world champion on three separate occasions. She has never lost her titles in the ring. She had to relinquish it when she challenged for another sanctioning body's title.

As if inured by what went on before, Saccurato has become a world champion on three separate occasions. She also inspires people in another capacity by doing public speaking as well as continuing to be at the top of the sport.

The word 'warrior' is uses too often in the game today. But for Saccurato, it is a fitting description to explain what she has overcome, how she overcome it and the many achievements she has gained since. Long may her success continue.

1 – What first attracted you to boxing?

What attracted me to boxing is that it really pushes you to see what you have inside, it tests you in ways nothing else does. It pushes you to see what you really have inside and how bad you really want it. It is just you in that ring battling, and winning or losing many times comes down to how deep you dig, how hungry you are, the strength of your heart and what lies within you. It is a true test of heart and desire.

2 – Despite being told by doctors that you would never walk again after the car crash you suffered, you manage not only to do that, but to also win a world title on 3 separate occasions. What gave you the strength to prove everybody wrong, despite the injures you sustained?

I always knew that I was meant for more in this world. I knew that the car accident was going to happen before it happened, I had a feeling that entire year that something life threatening was going to happen to me but I would overcome it. when it happened I knew I'd be fine and that I'd be back. I knew it happened to me because I was strong enough to overcome it, and now I hope to inspire others from it. So, I guess it was my heart, and my inner warrior spirit that gave me the strength to prove everyone wrong, and continue to do so. That, and the continued love and support from all my friends, family, and fans.

3 – Who do you consider the main rivals in your division?

As far as I am concerned anybody can be a "main rival" on any given day. But, in my weight class I look at Layla McCarter as someone I would look forward to being matched up against.

4 – What would you view as your greatest assets as a fighter?

My greatest assets as a fighter are my conditioning, my power, my strength (inside and out), but most of all my heart, hunger, and desire to be the best and leave a legacy in this sport.

5 – What do you think is the best performance of your career to date?

My best performance to date has been my fight against Jessica Rakoczy in California. That was definitely one of the best fights in the history of the sport. It was a 10 round battle between 2 great warriors in and out of the ring. We went toe-to-toe for 10 rounds, then with 2 seconds left in the 10th round I threw a right hand that landed Rakoczy on the canvas. That was named the fight of the year for 2007 by the WBC and WBAN as well as Biggest KO of the Year.

6 –Who do you consider your hardest opponent to date?

My hardest opponent to date would have to be Jessica Rakoczy because she is a true warrior, and a very skilled boxer.

7 – There is a strong possibility that women’s boxing will be included in the roster of the 2012 Olympics in London. What are your views on it been included and how do you think it will affect the professional side of the sport?

I cannot wait for women's boxing to be included in the Olympics. It is long overdue, and it will only better the professional side of the sport by bringing more support to the sport. It will open the eyes of many people who are still very closed minded to the capabilities of women in boxing and how far the sport has progressed. It will also hopefully propel the popularity of the sport and further its growth as well as the financial opportunities given to the professional athletes in the sport by way of sponsorship, endorsements, and bigger purses. Women boxers have long deserved the opportunity to represent their country and showcase their skills in the Olympics, and I feel as though it is a right that has been withheld from us for so long. Especially because it was the only sport without a female component in the Games even after meeting all the qualifications to be allowed in.

8 - Female Boxing, while gaining more recognition worldwide, still does not have the high profile of the men’s game. What do you think can be done to improve the profile of women’s boxing?

I think the first step to improving the profile of women's boxing is allowing it into the Olympics. The next step has to be promoters getting more involved and supportive of females in the game, and getting them on cards on a regular basis. I have been to numerous fight cards where the female fight was hailed as the fight of the night yet we are paid substantially less then our male counterparts, and I was showcased on the main event of an all female fight card that was aired on Fox Sports (a nationwide major cable station) and that fight brought in their highest ratings that season yet nothing has come of it. There has got to be more financial support and backing for the females, and promoters need to keep supporting us by putting us on their cards in order for this sport to grow the way it deserves to.

9 – You also are a guest speaker in various places. Are there any themes in particular that you talk about when addressing people?

When I have the opportunity to do any public speaking I like to focus on inspiring people to believe in themselves and their dreams. I share my life story (at least up to this point) and hope it helps people to keep pursuing what is in their hearts no matter what obstacles they may face or what anybody tells them. I am a big believer in the law of attraction, and am living proof of it so I want to send that message out to our youth because there are not too many positive stories out there today for hem to follow and give them hope, and I love to lift the spirits of those going through hard times or challenges in their lives and give them strength and inspiration to overcome. Touching one life in a positive manner is a blessing in itself, and gives all of what I do and have been through new meaning to me.

10 – What would you like to achieve in the next twelve months?

In the next 12 months I would like to face Layla McCarter and come out victorious then win back my WBC belt that I will have to give up in order to take that fight against Layla, and then who knows. I will face that next step when the time comes. But I would also like to help raise the purse's that females fight for and hopefully gain more financial sponsorship, as well as hopefully an endorsement deal. I would also love to do more public speaking and continue to be a positive force not only in boxing but as a professional athlete.

11 - Finally, is there a message that you would like to send out to your fans?

The message I would like to send out to my fans is first and foremost THANK YOU for all of your continued love and support, you have no idea how much your words, letters, and emails mean to me, and how much they inspire me and give me the fuel to keep the fire lit within me. I would also like to tell them to "keep working on their dreams, leave a legacy, and never stop believing"

Thank you for your time and your interest!
With love, respect, and sincerity,
Ann-Marie Saccurato

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