Multi-World Champion "Amazing" Layla
McCarter: Up Close Interview!
by Sue TL Fox
November 11, 2015
(NOV 11) Layla, first of
all, I would
like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule
to be interviewed by WBAN. Your career, as you
probably know, began at about the
same time that WBAN came into existence in 1998.
Fox: When you
first entered the arena of professional boxing, what was your
impression as to where the sport was going at the time?
Thank you Sue. Always an honor to be included in a WBAN article.
Great question! When I turned pro in 1998, Christy Martin was
becoming a regular feature on Mike Tyson events. These were
major fight cards promoted by the most famous promoter of all
time, Don King. There seemed to be no limits to the potential of
Fox: You had a rocky beginning in the sport and yet, you appeared
to be determined to get to a point that you would eventually
succeed, which you obviously have done throughout the
years. What changed your career around?
I was always focused on becoming the very best. I knew through
hard work and determination that anything was possible but
needed to make the choices that would take me there. I moved to
the boxing capitol of the world Las Vegas, Nevada to find a
manager and trainer that would give my career a chance. I was
very fortunate to meet Luis Tapia who did just that. Aside from
my own efforts, I owe all my success as a fighter to Luis Tapia.
He prepared me for war, we took every fight that came, but this
time around I won! Also, throughout my journey in boxing Iíve
been blessed with others who helped or inspired me, especially kickboxer Marc Costello who did both.
Early photo of Layla McCarter and
her longtime Trainer/Manager
Fox: In about what year did you relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada, and
how did you end up meeting and working with Luis Tapia?
McCarter: In early 2000, almost 16 years ago, I left Spokane, Washington
to make Vegas my home. I was almost 21, checking out the local
boxing scene and trying to survive. I was training at Richard
Steel's Nevada Partners gym and working at Pat Clark Pontiac. I
booked a fight with America Presents on Fox TV at the Regent
Hotel/Casino in Vegas. My undefeated opponent didn't show up, so
my fight was cancelled. Heavyweight contender Friday Ahunanya
was on the same show vs. Augustine Corpus. Friday was managed by
Luis Tapia. One of my sparring partners Dexter Williams
mentioned that Tapia managed many fighters and owned the world
famous Johnny Tocco's Ringside Gym.
Dexter briefly introduced us
at the fight and Luis told me to stop by the gym. Tapia had me
spar some guys there because he thought they would beat me up
and he could tell me to get lost. Didn't happen that way. Luis
eventually gave in and decided to help this persistent kid (me)
and the rest was history.
Fox: I know that sometime during the time from being in Las
Vegas, in your earlier career, you were attending college and
you earned a two-year degree in Criminal Justice, is this
something you look at in the future when you retire from boxing
to get in a law enforcement type of profession or do you see
yourself working outside the ring, but working with other
boxers, etc,. or both careers?
McCarter: Maybe both. Perhaps working with juvenile offenders. I have
assisted Luis with other fighters' conditioning etc. and have
worked as his cut person throughout the past 15 years. In the
future I'll continue to assist and advise young fighters to help
them make the right decisions in the ring and in life. I think
they can learn from my experience.
Fox: You have fought JUST about any and everyone in this sport,
and multiple times, I might add. I know you have been
wanting to fight Cecilia Braekhus (which do you think that will
ever be a reality for you?), But with that added to this
question, who else is on your hit list?
I would like to fight Cecilia Braekhus. That would be a great
fight. It just depends on whether K2 or any other promoters are
willing to pay us closer to what we are worth. The only people
left on my hit list are boxing promoters. Lol!
Fox: We have really hit a lull in womenís boxing at
late, especially in the United States, with you as a current
boxer in the sport, what do you think could be done to reverse
what we are seeing with the lack of activity on boxing cards for
McCarter: It is entirely up to the promoters to change the sport. Females
are being kept out of the game because of antiquated mentalities
about women and their roles. It's hard to show them what we can
do when good female fighters are never given a platform to be
seen. I want to take that next step and become a promoter. Iím
currently working toward this goal with some friends. I want to
ensure that young boxers, especially females will have a place
to build their careers. Hopefully by then, the networks and big
promoters will have a change of heart and promote women's boxing
the way it deserves to be promoted. UFC has done it with Ronda
Rousey. She is an excellent MMA fighter but no one would know
that if she was never allowed on the big stage. Good fighters
plus good promotion equals money!
Fox: Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you think you
will continue to fight for that amount of time or do you have
other ideas what you may be doing?
I'd like to fight as long as I'm able to enjoy it. The lack of
promotion and negativity is a downer but my instincts tell me to
keep going to the gym and keep pushing. Perhaps in 5 years I
will be promoting others from outside the ring. I also play
Texas Hold-em poker and will continue to do so.
Fox: If you were to give any advice to new female boxers on the
scene, what would want to tell them from your veteran
McCarter: There is currently no gold at the end of the rainbow but donít
give up if it's really your passion. Follow it as long as it
makes sense to you. It's not only about the money. The
experiences I've had in my life because of boxing are worth much
To make a living you must be realistic and make money at
something because belts and memories don't pay the rent. Look
out for yourself because no one else will. Carve out a secondary
passion and work at it too.
Also, to get respect we must never lower the standards that male
boxers aspire to. Don't ever limit yourself. Due to jealousy,
insecurities, and other factors, people will always try to kill
your passion. Fight to keep it alive as if your survival depends
on it. ..It may in fact!
Fox: Any last comments, anything I may not have asked,
any other things you would like to say to boxing fans and the boxing
Thank you to Sue Fox of WBAN for your tireless and fierce
support for lady warriors. Takes one to know one! You are an
inspiration to me. Special thanks to all the fans and members of
the media who support and shed light where it's most needed.
Battling it out on our behalf in person and on the net, you are
appreciated more than you know! Thank you Sue Fox, Mary Ann Owen
& Butch Gottlieb, Stephen Blea, Amy Green, Franco
Fontanero, James "Quick" Tillis, Vanessa Williams, Jaime Estrada, Randy Howe, Steve Carp, David
Avila, Raymond Spencer, Rich Marotta, Rod Mahaffey (RIP), Chris Robinson, Jody
Kohn, Rich Mortars, Michelle Corrales-Lewis the NVBHOF, Michelle
Rosado and so many others!
To the fighters: we are here for a
short time and we must give the best of ourselves and what we
stand for. Your efforts may have the power to inspire the
changes that we are striving for today! Love and respect.
ďAMAZINGĒ LAYLA McCARTER
Recent Video Interview of McCarter about Rhonda Rousey: