Updated: Dec 8, 2019
Tell us about yourself. I am known as "The First Lady of Boxing." Meg Ryan portrayed me in the film "Against the Ropes" and I was on NBC's "The Contender" with Sylvester Stallone. My first book was a self-help book called "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." My new book is an autobiography titled "Between the Ropes." I am a mother and grandmother and I still manage professional boxers. I have been in this male-dominated business for 35 years now. I was married once (to the father of my two sons) and have been divorced for 17 years and have lived with my current boyfriend for the past 13 years.
How did you get to be where you are today? I have always been fearless and loved a challenge. When faced with the chance to enter a male-dominated world more than three decades ago, I marched straight in. Sexual discrimination never stopped me. Neither did gossip, negative energy or the haters who love to see you fail. I always believed in myself and felt it was my right to be whoever I choose to be and do whatever I choose to do. I let nothing get in my way, always tried to remain humble and appreciative, and I try to do something nice for someone else every single day. I ask for what I want. The worst that can happen is a "no" answer.
How do you help others be their best? I do everything I can to bring the best out in the people I come in contact with. I look for the best in people and I try to show them the best in themselves, also. So many people suffer from low self-esteem and they need to see themselves in a more positive light. I encourage my friends to re-invent themselves by attempting new things and giving themselves a makeover--both attitude-wise and looks-wise. I am also a good listener and I always provide a shoulder to lean on for those needing compassion and good advice.
How do you help yourself be the best you can be? To be the best you can be, you need to learn to both love and accept yourself. I never compare myself to any other woman. Life is not a contest to see who is the prettiest, richest, or youngest. For me it is about being the happiest. I constantly remind myself of my blessings--not the things I am missing. I am meticulous about my grooming and always check the mirror twice before heading out the door. I try to dress age-appropriately and don't wear my tops too low or my skirts too high. I have learned the importance of patience and try to keep my anger in check. I don't sweat the small things and never make a mountain out of a mole hill. If I can't control a situation--I let it go and don't waste time worrying about it.
What’s new in your life? My book! It's a memoir called "Between the Ropes" and I had a great time writing it. I was pretty unhappy with the movie that was inspired by my life so I wanted to tell the real story from A to Z. It's on Amazon.com and I hope readers will enjoy reading about my journey. It's been a great ride so far!
Have you ever been fired? I have to laugh at that question. I guess you can say that my husband fired me. After 30 years he decided that he wanted to be with someone else so he left. Ouch!
Tell us about some special in your life? I grew up with a brother--no sisters. My dad was one of three brothers. I married a man who was one of four sons. We had two sons. So girls have always been a novelty to me. When my granddaughter Jenna was born (almost five years ago) I discovered the joy of little girls. We immediately formed a strong bond and she is now my mini-me. She dresses like me, loves manicures and pedicures, adores jewelry, and sleeps over at my place at least one night a week. She is a warm, bright, funny little girl who brightens up any room she enters.
What are your real passions? At the moment, my grandchildren are my greatest passion. I have five of them from 1-17 years old. It's exciting. The littlest ones are learning to walk and the oldest one is applying to colleges. I am also passionate about the cause of battered and abused women. Been there....done that. It's not a pleasant experience so I empathize with women who have tangled with "Mr. Wrong."
If you won the lotto what would you do? I would put away enough for my family to live comfortably and I would use the rest to buy presnts for everyone I love, and I'd build a big boxing gym in Detroit for the kids-at-risk so that they could get off the streets and train for free.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future? I would like to get back to my motivational speaking career full-time. I love the feeling of empowering people and the travel is invigorating. I love airports, hotels and living out of a suitcase. To me, nothing is more fun than addressing a large group of people.
What do you like to do in your personal life? Besides spending time with my family, I love knitting and making ceramics. Both are creative outlets that are relaxing and produce beautiful things when you are done. So it's a win/win for me.
Please give us one or two shameless plugs. Shameless plug #1: Buy my book "Between the Ropes" at Amazon.com. Shameless plug #2: Cheer for my new junior middleweight boxer Leandre "Blue" White. He is undefeated and I want to keep it that way!
Please give us one plug for someone else or your favorite cause or charity. I have to give a big shout-out to Haven, a shelter for battered women in Pontiac, MI. They do a terrific job.
What is your favorite book to recommend to someone else to read Can I say "Between the Ropes"? I guess that's a selfish pick but it really is an interesting read.
What are some of your favorites? (books, websites, etc..) Movies: "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas" and"A Bronx Tale." Books: Anything by Jonathon Trotter. Website: TMZ
Share a secret ;) It's not a secret now that my book is out, but for 14 years I never told anyone that I had been badly beaten up by a former boyfriend. I ended up in surgery and when I recovered, I buried the whole experience and never spoke of it. Until now.