This last weekend I had the pleasure of spending quality time
with Two-Time World Champion Jolene Blackshear-----all of 5 feet
tall----and if it is the "right" doctor
she has a documented 5' 1/4" record. Blackshear said,
"I like that doctor!"
I find it very interesting that I can spend massive amounts of
time on the net to find out what is going on with the female
boxers, and most the time I get it right and stories then go up on WBAN.
But, there is NOTHING to compare with spending a day, in person,
with a boxer, as I had that opportunity to do so on Saturday, when
Jolene Blackshear came to Ontario, California, to attend the
Andre Ward vs. Delvin Rodriguez fight. Spending time with this
pint-size Two-Time World
champ proved beyond any doubt that "size" means nothing in the world of "Blackshear."
Jolene Blackshear (left) Fox (center) Layla McCarter
What was so incredible was seeing the "person",
behind the gloves.
Sharing stories that were for some publications---and other
stories that were not!
Let's just put it this way---do NOT EVER try to steal
Blackshear's cell phone, as one unfortunate male teen found out
at a high school track. AND---don't EVER let her catch you bullying
Blackshear reflected on one of her stories: "A few years ago I saw some punk a... teenagers
bullying another kid out in the alley. So I ran over and
intervened by reprimanding them, and asked how they liked being
picked on...AFTER I picked one of them up and threw him in the
Yep...no stealing from Blackshear, and no bullying!
Another nice thing about seeing boxers in person is we really
talk one on one about the sport. I find out about some of the
real problems that plague the sport in a firsthand conversation.
Now...going back in time for a moment...
The very first time I met
Blackshear was in February of 2000, in Kenner, Louisiana, where
she was fighting Margaret Sidoroff on a televised card on
ESPN2's Friday Night Fights. I was standing in a line at the
hotel where she and her then manager/trainer Herb Cody was also
waiting to check in.
I had only been covering the sport, just short of two years or
so at the time, and I believe this was the third card for me to
actually be present at an event.
One of my most vivid memories,
was how Blackshear and Cody made me feel ---so comfortable, so
accessible to them when I had questions.
So what does one see in a boxer when you spend quality time with
them, in contrast to Facebook, the Internet, and Internet
stories and press releases?
I will tell you. You find out about the person----Their
dreams, their struggles, their past, who they really are, their
humor, and what their focus is, inside the sport and what they
want to do outside the sport.
On the boxing side of things....potential fights that
Blackshear could see herself in: Yesica Bopp, and
Ibeth Zamora just to name a couple.
One of the most endearing moments I shared with Blackshear was
looking at old photos on her phone when she was a teen,
and old fight photos
of past fights, photos I had never seen and more...
All I can say to Blackshear...is that you have come a long, long
way since those past photos of when you were a mere teen!
But lastly-----seeing how Blackshear interacted with another
six-time world champion, Layla McCarter where the two had met
for the first time this weekend.
I do not think I had more fun than being
with these two boxers---
Blackshear and McCarter.
We laughed, shared stories, talked about the
sport, fights they wanted to be in, networking about things that
need to take place in the sport...
This was truly a very unique
experience that I will always remember and treasure.
Seeing the boxers in person, OFF the net--as they say, when
something is indescribable: "Priceless."
Stay tune for my story on meeting up with Layla McCarter.
Biography of Blackshear: