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Terri Moss: Next Chapter
by Bernie McCoy
October 6, 2017

(OCT 6)  I grew up, in a long gone era, when boxing in New York City competed for primacy in the hearts of sports fans with baseball, college basketball and horse racing.. Madison Square Garden, located on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, was, emphatically, the mecca of boxing, not only in the city, but throughout the country and, probably, the world. But it was the strong foundation of neighborhood clubs throughout the five boroughs that fueled the popularity of the sport. St. Nicks Arena in Manhattan, Eastern Parkway Arena in Brooklyn and Sunnyside Garden in Queens made up the "big three". In addition to numerous clubs throughout the city, active venues extended as far north as White Plains where the Westchester County Center hosted frequent cards. That, of course was then, this is now.

Local boxing programs continue to exist throughput the US in direct contradiction to the "boxing is dead" siren calls and increased competition from mixed martial arts..The sport has been declared dead so often as to remind one of the old pun, "they thought it kicked the bucket, but it only turned a little pail." And the "fake news" of the sport's demise will, I feel, outlast both the naysayers and the "come lately" competition, as has happened since midway through the previous century. Among the numerous reasons for my optimism is a large dose of prejudice and the emergence of two new promoters entering the promotional sweepstakes after years inside the ring. Both are female and both exhibit the determination and toughness that is a requisite trait in traversing the precarious shoals facing a woman entering the boxing ring. Both have endured years of fighting both inside and outside those rings against other determined fighters and a narrow minded sect of the boxing community who voiced inane objection to females in the ring, "just because". Thus entering a different phase of the sport probably seems to present few pitfalls for these erstwhile promoters. Christy Martin is currently operating a successful operation, Pink Promotions, in Charlotte, NC, while Terri Moss has launched Big Boss Promotions in Atlanta, GA.

I spoke with Moss recently, by phone, from Atlanta, to get her take on her foray into the ranks of professional boxing promotion. She is between the first two cards of her new career, July 1 and November 4, both at the Buckhead Fight Club outside downtown Atlanta. Moss initially rose to promotional prominence as the force behind an extremely popular Corporate Fight Night program in Atlanta and she points to that effort as a good learning experience for her move into the professional ranks. "I was thinking about it (professional promotion) for some time and Corporate boxing was a great tutorial for 'going pro'. All the promotional "ins and outs" are the same, all the details associated with putting on a full night of boxing, whether amateur or professional, have to be checked off."

Asked about professional matchmaking, Moss is succinct. "local is key, local fighters bring their fan contingent through the gate with them." The November 4 card, main-evented by top ranked Nigerian female bantamweight, Helen Joseph, has a stacked undercard of male fighters from in and around the Atlanta area. Moss gives another nod to her previous experience, "the Corporate Fight Night put my name out there as someone who can put together an entertaining night of boxing and that has, I think, helped. To be honest, I continue to love, the excitement, those (Corporate) cards and I'm currently working on scheduling one for, hopefully, sometime in December in Cancun, Mexico along with another in Atlanta in early 2008.

But first things first and to a question about November 4, Moss expressed confidence in it's success. "I think we have good bouts, top to bottom competitive bouts, fan friendly, local talent. Will we make a fortune? Are you kidding? I'd be delusional to think we're going to make big bucks, not at this level. I just want to avoid losing money, if that happens, I'm happy, because believe me, I'm not in this to get rich. I'm here because I love the sport, every single aspect of boxing, always have, always will.

Asked about the future, Moss is, as always, straightforward, "who knows, but anything interesting with the sport will interest me. Right now, I've got a pretty full plate, training, running a gym, promoting, but, in the future, maybe there's a move to a larger organization, maybe there's something to put together with the lady up in Charlotte. Christy was at our first show (in July) and maybe something makes sense for both of us. Who knows."

Moss could be the text book example of the old bromide, "if you enjoy your job, you'll never work a day in your life." Terri Moss does, indeed, enjoy her job, but, on reflection, that analogy just doesn't fit the former champion boxer, the inductee into the International Women's Boxing Hall of Fame, the fast moving entrepreneur, the fledging promoter, the non-stop boxing supporter and advocate. It doesn't come close. Terri Moss moves too fast and does far too much to fit into any "never work" pigeonhole. She's a boxing story to watch; she was in the ring, she may well be as a promoter.

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