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Biofile Kathy Duva Interview

Status: American boxing promoter and CEO of Main Events.

First boxing memory: Good question because I’ve never heard it before. I think when I went to my first fight with my late husband (Dan Duva) at Embassy Hall in North Bergen. I don’t even know who fought, Randy Neumann, I think? I’ve never seen anything like it – lots of people screaming, cigarette smoke in the air – any of the clichéd standards you can think of. It was really exciting.

Early pro boxing memory: Rocky Lockridge knocking out Roger Mayweather, rather unexpectedly, already in the first round, winning the world title. And Don King was Mayweather’s promoter, so it was even more beautiful (smile). As he walked into the ring, Roger was wearing dark glasses and to this day I am firmly convinced that when he took them off he was blinded by the lights and as soon as the lights came on and the fight started, Rocky walked over to him and knocked him out with one blow. I remember that when Mayweather was in the ring, he was saying something, so my father-in-law (Lou Duva) ran up to him, they stood face to face and literally escorted him to the corner that way.

Highlights in my career: There were many … The first that comes to mind is Evander Holyfield knocking out Buster Douglas (Main Events was promoting Holyfield).

Saddest moment: Arturo Gatti’s last fight with Gomez. This is on the same level as the moment I found out about his death. I don’t know which is worse.

Last read book: Ann Patchett: “State of Wonder.”

Favorite movie: “High Society.”

Favorite sport outside boxing: American football.

Weirdest boxing memory: “When a paratrooper fell into the ring (during a Bowe – Holyfield 2 fight).

Weirdest Boxer: Livingstone Bramble, though he wasn’t the freak he was supposed to be. He could put on a show … (Bramble liked, among other antics, going out into the ring with a snake slung around his neck).

Funniest memory: Again, there are so many… George Benton trying to sneak salami on our way back from Italy. He put the salami in his pants and we pretended he had a problem with his leg (laughs).

Favorite songwriter to watch: Pernell Whitaker… is first on the list for many reasons. Also Arturo Gatti, but for something completely different.

Totowa Ice World Memory: Lou Duva told me that Tom Cruise’s father used to bring his son to our fights at the Ice World ice rink facility in Totowa, New Jersey. Tom lived in North Jersey in the early 80s. When I watched “Risky Business” with my husband, the first film in which Tom played the main role, I immediately said that I knew this face from somewhere. I was helping out Ice World boxing back then with the press service, we all worked around the ring. Many, many years later, before the Holyfield-George Foreman fight, Cruise was standing with Lou, so I walked up to him saying, “You know what? Do you remember when we watched boxing together at Ice World?”

Most Valued Feature: Honesty. What do we call the inverse of different games? Directness, straightforwardness. And loyalty.

Education: Montclair State BA English.

About Scoop Malinowski

Author of six books including "Muhammad Ali: Portrait of a Champion" and "Heavyweight Armageddon: The Lewis versus Tyson Championship Battle" available at amazon