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SUE TL FOX GOES ONE ON ONE WITH BOB HOLLOWAY, WHO KNEW JOANN HAGEN.... HAGEN IS THE  ONLY BOXER TO EVER BEAT BARBARA BUTTRICK!  
December 1, 2001

TL Fox:  When did you meet JoAnn Hagen?

Bob:  I first met JoAnn in the fall of 1956 at LaGuardia Airport in New York City when she arrived for her appearance on the Steve Allen Show. Prior to that we had been put in touch with each through a mutual contact, and had a brief correspondence and exchanged autographed boxing pictures of ourselves.

TL Fox:  Was it your influence that got JoAnn into boxing, or was she into the sport when you met her?

Bob: JoAnn was already into boxing when I met her.

TL Fox: She was on the Steve Allen Show, that some boxing fans still remember. Can you give me any and all details that you can remember about the show, how the show came about, and what happened on the show?

Bob: Even though I am a boxer, my profession is in show business as a musical arranger/orchestrator, and a friend of mine at the time was a theatrical agent with connections in TV. Through her, myself and John Nate, who was the manager/promoter for JoAnn and the other girl boxers in South Bend, Indiana, we made arrangements for JoAnn to appear on the Steve Allen Show, which was a prime-time variety-type show along the lines of the Ed Sullivan Show. She would appear at first in a dress, be interviewed by Steve, change into her trunks, put on gloves with Steve to fool around, and then have a very brief sparring session of less than a minute with Phyllis Kugler, who John Nate sent along for that purpose.

TL Fox:   I know that you were and still are a boxer. Did you ever train with JoAnn in the gym? If yes, what was the best attributes JoAnn had as a boxer?

Bob:  No I never had the pleasure of working out with JoAnn. However I was in her corner during her last fight and she was an excellent boxer. (Her last fight was with Phyllis Kugler in December 1956) She had good offensive and defensive moves, was quick, and had fast hands.

TL Fox:  Do you remember anything about her boxing training regime?

Bob: I don’t have any knowledge about her training routine. She trained at John Nate’s place in South Bend which had a heavy bag, speed bag, and small ring downstairs from his bar&grill where all of his girls trained. How he conducted their training I don’t know. JoAnn would be the person to talk to if possible.

TL Fox: Did you know JoAnn when she fought Barbara Buttrick, and gave Buttrick her one and only loss?

Bob:  No I did not. I only know that the fight took place in Calgary and JoAnn won an 8-round decision.

TL Fox: How was JoAnn treated by other boxers and people because she was boxing?

Bob: As far as I know she was very much respected and is still respected even today. One of the girls at our Boxing Club – a very good lightweight fighter and unbeaten in the Golden Gloves – calls JoAnn “awesome”. The same kind of reaction was expressed by former pro boxer Kate Sekules.

TL Fox:  Did JoAnn have another profession at anytime, or was it solely boxing?

Bob: I can only say that after she had “retired” from boxing she worked as a baker in a bakery and was also a cook in a South Bend restaurant. It’s quite possible that she also did some  of that while she still was actively boxing.

TL Fox:  Was JoAnn on any other television programs?

Bob: Yes. “What’s My Line”.

TL Fox:  To your knowledge, did JoAnn ever fight a male ( I have a photo of her with an inscription saying she fought a male and beat him), and if so, do you remember when, or where this would have occurred?

Bob:  JoAnn never discussed this with me. However if she did fight a male, and he was in her weight class, I would not be surprised if she beat him. She was good. In 1957 a Michigan promoter wanted her to box for him but couldn’t find an opponent, and she and I discussed a possible exhibition bout between us with 16 oz gloves, but that never materialized – possibly the promoter wasn’t interested in her boxing an exhibition, but it would have had to be that since at the time I was two weight classes heavier than her.

More on JoAnn Hagen: 

TL Fox has been in contact with JoAnn Hagen's sister-in-Law.  Apparently JoAnn is in fairly poor health at this time.... 

Hagen's Boxing Trivia:

When JoAnn Hagen was boxing, they did not have "White" boxing shoes.  Hagen took a pair of ice skates, and took the blades off, and wa...la... Hagen had a white pair of boxing shoes!

Comments from Barry Nistor:

I enjoyed reading the interview about Hagan, especially the references to the Steve Allen show. The show was a scream, and if you're ever in NYC, stop in to the Museum of Television and Radio where they have it on tape. Unfortunately, they won't let you record it (or anything at the museum) since they don't own the copyrights, but if you found out who had the copyright to the old Steve Allen shows perhaps you could get a video copy of it (Actually, I thought copyrights expired after something like 50 years).  Too bad she's in poor health, it would have been interesting to talk to her, I'm sure. I'd have loved to have seen her on "What's My Line". I'm sure no one would have had the nerve to guess that the pretty blond was a boxer-and I'm sure there were a lot of dropped jaws when she told them.  Maybe her sister-in-law can find out when the "What's My Line" show aired.Incidentally-she did say on the interview portion of the Steve Allen show (that was conducted while she changed from her dress to her boxing trunks on stage, behind a partition!) that she had fought with, and beaten, several men. 

MORE ON JOANN HAGEN, GO HERE

 
     
     

 

     
     
     
   
         
 
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