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Kathy Duva Biofile

Published by on October 24, 2012 filed under BioFiles   ·   Comments (0)
Kathy Duva Biofile  | read this item

Status: Boxing promoter. CEO of New Jersey-based promotion company Main Events.

First Boxing Memory: “Wow, that’s a good question. Nobody ever asked me that before. My first memory of boxing is going to a fight with my late husband (Dan Duva) at Embassy Hall in North Bergen. And I have no idea who fought. It might have been Randy Neumann but I’m not positive. Imagine, I had never seen anything like that – and I walked into the place of screaming people and smoke in the air and every cliche you want to pile on top of each other, that’s what it was. And you’re right up there, up against it. It was as exciting as can be.”

Greatest Career Moment: “Wow…I have a couple of them. The one that jumps first to my mind was Evander Holyfield knocking out Buster Douglas (Main Events promoted Holyfield).”

Most Painful Moment: “Oh, Arturo Gatti’s last fight, the Gomez fight. That is on the same level as the day I found out he was dead. I’m not sure which is worse.”

Early Boxing Memory: “Rocky Lockridge knocking out Roger Mayweather. Quite unexpectedly, in the first round. To win a world title. (Mayweather did quite a bit of trash talking before that fight, right?) And Don King was his promoter. So it was kind of beautiful [smiles]. Walking to the ring, Roger was wearing the sunglasses that have that slit. To this day, I believe that when he took them off, he was blinded by the lights. Because your eye pupils dilate when you can barely see. And the moment the lights hit him, the fight started. As I recall, when I got in the ring, he was trash talking and my father-in-law (Lou Duva) got in Roger’s face and literally walked him back to the corner, shouting at his face and he pulled off the glasses, the fight started and Rocky went across the ring and knocked him out with one shot.”

Last Book Read: “Ann Patchett State Of Wonder.”

Favorite Movie: “High Society.”

Favorite Sport Outside Boxing: “Football.”

Funny Boxing Memory: “So many funny memories. Again, I’m just giving you the first thing that hits my head, there’s a lot…George Benton trying to sneak a salami through airport security while we were coming back from Italy. He put it down his pants and he was pretending like he had a bad leg [laughs]. (Which fight?) That had to be a Lockridge fight in Italy.”

Strangest Fight: “When the ‘Fan Man’ flew into the ring (at Bowe-Holyfield II). The strangest boxer…Livingstone Bramble. He wasn’t really as strange as he pretended to be. But he put on a good act, it was spectacular (used to enter the ring with a giant snake around his neck, among other eccentricities).”

Favorite Boxers To Watch: “Oh, Pernell Whitaker, he’s first on that list. Of course, Evander Holyfield was really close. And Arturo Gatti. Favorite for different reasons. All of them.”

Tom Cruise Memory: “I learned later when he met my father-in-law, he told him at one of the fights in Las Vegas that his father used to bring him to the fights at Ice World, that he’d been coming there. But here’s what put together than memory. When I saw Risky Business with my husband the first time everybody saw Tom Cruise. I spent the entire night as we were watching that film – ‘I know that guy!’ Swear to God. Everyone was running around the ring, I was always running around the ring at Ice World all night because we were so small then and I was doing all the media. We used to get more media then than we do now. And so the people at ringside, literally, I did know all their faces. I kept saying, ‘I know this guy!’ And Dan was going, ‘You probably saw him in a movie.’ I said, ‘No. I have stood in front of that guy and looked in his face. Why do I know that guy?’ So when he walked up to my father-in-law many, many years later at a George Foreman fight, and told him, ‘You know what. We were there as spectators.’”

People Qualities Most Admired: “Honesty. What do you call the opposite of game-playing? Directness, I guess. Straight shooter. And loyalty.”

(Photo by Mike Gladysz.)

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