EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH KATHY "THE
Interview by Sue TL Fox
"I had the
opportunity to meet Kathy Long in Vegas on July 21, at the Karen
Bill/Maria Johansson fight at the Regent in Las Vegas. She was
in Vegas that day to sign with America Presents." TL Fox
TL Fox: What made you decide to transition from Kickboxing to Boxing?
Long: I took notice of Christy Martin and the publicity that she received, I
realized that I had a real shot at beating her and pursued that avenue quite
heavily as I had connections to Don King at the time. It did not pan out however, so I decided to get into boxing with the hopes and goal of winning
world titles in all three womans boxing sanctioning bodies.
TL Fox: When you got into boxing, who matched you
with Sandra Yard
and Lena Akesson?
Long: When I signed with Event Entertainment now Event Sports, Brian Allan
was the matchmaker for them. He made those matches and I've come to find out that he is no longer working for that company. I am no longer signed
with them either.
TL Fox: What made you decide to hang up the gloves?
Long: Well, with out speaking poorly of the previously mentioned group, lets
just say I was not happy with the situation I was in. For a variety of reasons,
I decided it best to walk away for a while.
TL Fox: Would you consider getting back into the sport? Especially in light of
the fact that it is getting much more popular and fights are being televised?
Long: YES!! I have already begun training and I am going to be fully
sponsored to do so. I have not stopped learning this intricate sport, and I
look forward to upsetting a few title holders. Mia St John is one of the first that I will focus my attention on. Though I hate fighting only four
rounds, I would still love to dance with her.
TL Fox: What have you been doing since retiring from Boxing and Kickboxing?
Long: I have been doing a lot of things including taking Harp lessons,
painting, catching up on missed reading and putting together a one week "self defense" training camp in September of this year. In the training
camp, clients will learn how to defend themselves from a variety of hand and
knife attacks. They will learn Brazilian Jujitsu (grappling) and pistol shooting. (yes, this a shameless plug) Their hotel room is included in the
price and the first one will be held September 11-15th, at the Hard Rock
Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. For more info please call; 800-798-7313.(thanks!)
TL Fox: Are you currently training in either sport?
Long: I am training in boxing and I'm still working kicks on the heavy bag for
TL Fox: Who was your toughest opponent in Boxing or Kickboxing?
Long: I would have to say that my toughest opponent was a woman named Danni
Rocha from a little town named Plea'sire just outside of Paris, France. This
woman had the WKA (kickboxing) world title at 124 lbs. (featherweight). I was the challenger coming from America, even though I had already won two
World titles in other Sanctioning bodies. We were fighting for the WKA title, which she had and was defending. (Oh and by the way, we were the main
event, and the under card were all men)!!. I was there for ten days before I even saw her, which was just as well because she was a very formidable looking opponent (she was solid as a
rock). When I stepped on the scale at the weigh in, my weight was a perfect
124 pounds. She came in, stepped on the scale, and was 15 pounds over the weight we agreed on. The promoter, who was attending the weigh in, said that
it was OK because she was the Champion and she could do what ever she wanted. I felt I was doomed from the start. I thought at that moment that I
was not going to be a pussy American and go home, but instead, show her what
Americans were made of. I accepted that she was over weight and took the fight anyway.
They gave us 6 ounce gloves to continue with the way the day had started, my knuckles were black and blue after the fight was over. When I
finally came into the ring the crowd was cheering loudly and I felt well received, until the announcer started talking about Danni. In
French the announcer asked, "Who is the woman we want to see? The crowds response was
defining, Who is the woman we all love? Who is the best champion in all of
France? and so on... I had never heard anyone respond to a fighter that way.
I had to cover my ears the cheering was so loud it hurt. Everyone was stomping their feet, clapping their hands and chanting her name. It was awe
inspiring and simply amazing. Needless to say I was growing more and more intimidated by the moment. Until she finally came out.
She was wearing a very ratty, dirty bath robe with many holes. (it didn't occur to me that it was probably a good luck robe.
) I couldn't fathom being a WKA world champion which is THE most prestigious title to own, and wear such a filthy garment to a title match. Well, my respect and fear of her
went out the window right then and there. The fight was scheduled for 9 rounds, and the first three she had her way with me. I felt like a helpless dog that she was beating. I had never been
hit so hard and with such skill by a woman in my life! I think in the third
or fourth round she knocked me down with a single right hand that needless
to say rang my bell. I saw the referee coming towards me and I knew that I
could not afford a 10-8 round so I got up and started yelling at the ref about some imaginary water on the matt that he had to clean up so I wouldn't slip on it again. I yelled so much that he believed me and didn't give me a
standing eight count.
Meanwhile the room is spinning and I can barely keep myself from swaying. Fortunately for me, the bell rang about fifteen seconds later and I
recovered. A month or so before the fight I had been studying Mike Tyson's
fighting style. I knew she was taller. I felt I had gotten the hang of Tyson's weaving under the right and countering with a wicked left hook.
I had planned on applying that to my opponent along with kicking her in the
shins as hard as I could. That mostly worked. I remember hitting her with a
hook after weaving under her right hand, while I was weaving I thought "this
is it, I have her right where I want her, I'll nail her with this hook and
finish her with a combination. I put everything I had into that hook. I connected perfectly, and she just stared at me, as if to say, Is that it?
OH SHIT, NOW WHAT DO I DO?!! It was all I could think of.
The fifth and sixth rounds, I started turning the table on her. I was connecting with more and more combinations, they were spraying nerve deadener on her shins, she was developing a large golf ball on her left jaw
line and her right eye was starting to close. I put the pressure on I knew I
couldn't let up. The last three rounds, I knew I had her, she was starting to
shy away from my attacks and would not engage as much. But still, every time
she hit me, it was like a sledge hammer coming down on me. I was grateful that she was slowing down.
When the fight was over, I had no idea who won. I was overwhelmed with
adrenalin and emotion and I had no conception of how well or poorly I did.
When they announced me the winner, I was stunned. I knew that in France you
have to practically knock out the champion in order to win. She suffered a fracture in her jaw and her right eye was completely closed,
and I fractured my shin from kicking her shins so much. All in all it was the most exciting fight I've ever had. I have tremendous respect for that
woman. She brought the best in me when I wasn't sure I would survive much
less over-come and win.
TL Fox: What would you like to say to all the boxing fans that I am sure
would love to see you get back in the sport?
Long: Yes!! I'm back!! and God willing, better that ever!!
Copyrighted July 30, 2000 - Sue TL Fox
UPDATE: Long never returned to boxing,
even though she was very serious at the time to re-enter the sport.
Sue TL Fox - September 5, 2004