It’s been 14 years since former female battler Terri Moss (9-9, 3 KOs) walked to the ring for the last time as a professional boxer. But ever since, she’s been continuing to give back to the sport in a multitude of ways, and this Thursday she hosts and promotes two events simultaneously in Atlanta, Georgia. The pressures of fighting and generating ticket sales to line her own pockets may have eased, but Moss tells Boxing Social that keeping events afloat is as stressful as any camp ever was.
“I’ve been really busy. So I’ve done a lot boxing shows in the past 11, 12 years, but with this one, we put it together in a really short time. So due to that, it’s been a big rush for everything. And just a little bit of a day late, so this has got me on my crunch mode for about seven weeks. It looks like it’s going to be an amazing show. We’re super excited. Personally, I’m ready to get it over with, but hopefully everything’ll run smoothly,” concludes the former champion, with gentle optimism detected in her tone of voice.
On Thursday, September 16, two shows will share the spotlight, with one a professional boxing card allowing local prospects to flourish in front of friends and family and the other, a white collar dinner show, generating money for a powerful local charity. The white collar scene wasn’t as prevalent when the Denver-native was competing at the top level, but she understands there’s a place for it, if done correctly and professionally regulated. It’s an evening of entertainment and novice, newbie boxing in the name of benevolence, a reminder that the sport has space for goodwill in the midst of recent, negative publicity.
“Well, it’s a formal-ish event. We call it a black tie, so it’s going to be dressing classy. It’s going to look good just when you walk in the door. We’re going to have all the glitter, the lights, and the smoke. It’s actually one of the smallest venues I’ve done ‘Corporate Fight Night’ at, but it holds about 1,000 people. But they’re going to see tables and people with meals and they’re going to see catering, and they’re going to see tuxedos. And we have silent auctions, of course it’s a charity event.”
“And then what’s coming from the ring is going to be the most fun,” continues Moss, ramping up her own enthusiasm. “It’s a big time show with all of those things, the cameras are broadcasting this on the WBC channel. So we’re really fortunate. I mean, all of our medals are from the WBC, they’ve got their logo on them with ‘WBC Cares’ and they’re gonna be there on the night. And our charity, there is a local charity called Ridgeview Institute, and it’s a place for mental health rehab.”
She continued, talking up the benefits of hosting this show in conjunction with her professional card, titled the ‘Underground Showdown:’ “You can see things and understand the thoughts that go through a fighter’s mind. The fears, the anxieties, the expectations, all those things. So they can see it from a different perspective. And when they watch those pros in there [afterwards], they’ll be like, ‘Wow, I did that. I can’t believe I did that’. So that’s one thing that I really enjoy is hearing the stories about how people were changed by that experience. I mean, some for the better, some take a hard loss, some don’t. It just depends on who they are.”
Featuring in the evening’s non-professional segment is Michael Montero, long-time American boxing writer, who is personally invested in the charity’s mission after losing his brother recently. Moss explained that while Montero’s featuring at the event is circumstantial due to living in the surrounding area, he is a welcomed, valued addition, and she believes stepping between the ropes will add a fresh edge to his work from the media desks moving forward.
The main aim for “Terri the Boss” is to provide the type of platform that often evaded her during the early parts of her own professional career. Christy Martin had recently explained a similar hope to Boxing Social when discussing her promotional journey, as she explained she wanted her fighters to feel like professionals, and to be respected as contenders. Moss also knew all about mistreatment as an aspiring, female professional fighter – one of the initial wave – and focused on making her own professional cards special.
“Our last pro show we had a nine-piece band. I did it in my gym, which is a big, 25,000 square foot facility. So yeah, it’s a big spot there. We actually have pool tables at our show. But we have two rings, so we put a live band in one ring, and then we had a mariachi band marking out our main event, and then or our co-main event at that time. We had Yuri Foreman fight on that card. We definitely try to scale it up a little bit compared to the regular production, the regular shows. People that, in Atlanta, come to our shows, they know that they’re going to see an exciting event that’s put together well and that’s going to have some entertainment. Not just some musicians singing the song in the ring, but something that’s going to be show-worthy. So that’s the thing I’m most proud about.”
While the professional element of the evening has just five sanctioned bouts, Moss knows she has to keep it exciting. Local talent such as 8-1 pro Abel Aparicio, popular prospects and complementary journeymen are the dream, but she doesn’t have the world at her feet. Sitting in front of a shelving unit that carries her own, hard-fought accolades, belts of all colours and framed certificates, she talks passionately about what she would have done differently – and about her hopes for the next crop following in her footsteps.
“Fighters are told all the time, this is a business, but 90% of them really don’t get it. It’s a business, but it’s about them fighting, too. I mean, there is a definite transition behind the mentality of a fighter and then a ‘boxing person’ in the business. You expect things to go wrong. I do now expect them to go wrong. When they go wrong, then you try to go around it, find a new angle, things like that. But when you’re a fighter, it’s hard to accept when things go wrong, fights fall out, contracts don’t come together, and sometime waiting to fight, things like that [can frustrate you as a fighter].
“There are always ways to change certain dynamics about your career while you’re waiting, or while things didn’t work out, or in between those problems. And it’s learning how to be a champion. And when you have to get off the canvas or if your fight fell out, being a champion about it and still getting with the right people. There aren’t a lot of fighters that you would say, ‘Well, look, this didn’t happen, but let’s do this,’ to make sure that there’s the angle there, that you’re still seen and heard, and people know who you are.
“If you’re the brand, then you’ve got to build the brand no matter what it’s doing right then. So yeah, I probably would work it a lot different. You’ve got to sell [yourself].”
On September 16, the echoes of both of these shows in Atlanta may not be hard in far-reaching parts of the world, but they will count for something, and help bring people together – white collar, professional or just enthusiastic spectator – all in the name of boxing. There is always value in that….