I’ve read the stories how this 22 year old came out of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, wanting to be a boxer but whose father wisely said “not my only daughter”! Man after my own heart! So she hooked up with IBHOF promoter J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing. At 25 she is not only sounding like a veteran she is one!
I‘ve read Rogers monthly newsletters and swore it was by Peltz who happens to be as good a writer as he is a matchmaker/promoter. One trait we hope she doesn’t pick up is being “tight with a buck”! She is not just another “pretty face” trying to make it as a woman in a man’s sport. She can talk boxing when you sit with her and she pays attention to the fights as they are happening.
Rogers promoted her first show under her BAM Boxing Promotions on February 12, 2012 and does matchmaking on Peltz Boxing and Main Events shows. She can be seen at other promoter’s fights and visits the gyms. This writer tried his hand at it in the 80’s thinking matchmaking looks easy on paper until you have to match boxers/fighters due to styles let alone deal with their managers who all of a sudden think they have a world champion yet want an “easy fight” for more money than the fighters are worth.
I decided to cut to the chase and do a Q&A with “Bam”:
Brittany 'Bam' Rogers with Mike Rogers (Bam's Father).
KEN HISSNER: I did some research and most of the past stories are pretty similar on you. The youngest female promoter in the country! Your dad Mike was an outstanding amateur boxer I’ve been told so did this get you interested in boxing?
BAM: Yes this was the initial thing that got me interested in the sport but when I was stuck watching the Mike Tyson-Buster Mathis fight with my mom. My dad was always a fight fan (former amateur fighter) and he had to work that night so he asked her to watch it and to call him with the update. Ever since that night I have had a love affair with the sport.
KEN HISSNER: Did you find it a little more difficult promoting when you had to deal with the managers wanting a “stiff” for their boxer and more money then you knew they were worth?
BAM: I would love to say yes because it is the most annoying thing to come across in the sport, however if that’s what they want I tell them up front that I am not who they should be talking to then. I make it very clear that I will not baby fighters; It’s a waste of time and money to feed fighters stiffs.
KEN HISSNER: Did it surprise you the “opponents” wanted a bigger purse than the “favorite” who might be a good ticket seller?
BAM: Not really but sometimes people want more money than they are worth which is the headache.
KEN HISSNER: I guess you can always say “Ray Robinson” fought on the first show you promoted but that is the “new” Ray Robinson. At the time was he one of your favorite boxers so you put him in your first main event?
BAM: I knew Ray from training up at Front Street, him, Angel Ocasio, Anthony Burgin, amateur Thomas Velasquez and a few more. When I was ready to do my show me and Ray had been talking about his lay off and how he needed to get back in action. I knew it would be a good idea to work with someone that already knew me and needed to get back in the ring as well so it was pretty much a perfect fit at the time.
KEN HISSNER: You have done matchmaking for Peltz Boxing and Main Events as one of the matchmakers. Were you given one or several of the bouts on a card to match up?
BAM: Na it doesn’t work that way. They slot certain people for each show and I look it over and see if I know anyone that would fit or if I can find anyone that can fit.
KEN HISSNER: Did you get hounded for free tickets by “your friends” when you ran shows?
BAM: Surprisingly no, not yet anyway. My friends are all very supportive and have actually become boxing fans through my connection with the sport. Fighters calling and asking for tickets though, there’s always a few who are asking or needing them.
KEN HISSNER: Did you learn early most people’s word in this business is worth about the price of a cup of coffee?
BAM: HA, yes! I have learned to give people the 6 month test if they are new, if they aren’t as involved or more involved in 6 months chances are they won’t even be around in another 6. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions there are only some that I respect and can learn from though.
KEN HISSNER: How much film work do you say you view when matching for a show?
BAM: If I can find it, I watch it but there are plenty of times that I cannot find anything on fighters and sometimes you just have to go with it.
KEN HISSNER: Russell (Peltz) isn’t bashful when it comes to rooting for his own fighters on a card. As a writer I have been told by fellow “expert” writers “don’t be rooting for someone”. Do you find yourself doing that when it’s a fighter you have a connection with on a show you are working?
BAM: If there is a fighter on the card that I want to win, I root for them. I am a fan of the sport that is what stuck my interest in the sport so to not root for a fighter just doesn’t make sense to me. In this sport you need to have character and show emotion to connect with fans and it is just another way to grow.
KEN HISSNER: I understand the South Philly Arena or whatever they have called it may re-open in March. Since there were only 3 shows in 2013 in the city of Philly do you think this would be the place to run?
BAM: Yes it will be a great spot to be in again.
KEN HISSNER: What has been your biggest disappointment since matchmaking and promoting?
BAM: Anytime a fighter turns down another fighter because they don’t want the fight (within reason). If a trainer or a manager doesn’t want a fight that is more understandable (if they have a valid reason) but anytime I hear a fighter say he doesn’t want to fight someone it makes me question their heart.
KEN HISSNER: How about your biggest surprise on the good side?
BAM: I would say when I take a shot in the dark and call a guy on a week’s notice or a few days’s notice and he jumps at the opportunity to fight. They are the kind of fighters I like to work with. I remember Jerome Rodriguez was supposed to fight one night up in Bethlehem and Russell called me and told me that his opponent pulled out and asked if I knew anyone ready to take the fight. It was the day of the weigh-in’s and I called Kevin Carmody and Hasan Young and without hesitation they took the fight and Hasan and Jerome fought to a draw it was a great fight and it really showed me a lot about how much Hasan wants to fight and his passion for the sport.
KEN HISSNER: How easy do you find it to work with Executive Director Greg Sirb? Maybe I should make it easier and ask how do you feel when you propose an opponent and it gets turned down?
BAM: It makes things difficult but it is what it is and I can’t change that it just comes with the territory.
KEN HISSNER: I hope you don’t get “burned out” in a sport that can easily have it happen. So what’s your advice on putting a match together that didn’t quite turn out the way you thought it would?
BAM: It’s boxing and there are no sure things in boxing, ever. Everyone has a punchers chance or can get the luck of the draw, so suck it up and deal with it if something doesn’t go your way.
KEN HISSNER: Do you find yourself wondering why the seats at a facility you are working are so empty when you thought the show looked good on paper?
BAM: Sometimes, and other times no because the fight game is not what it used to be without fighters promoting themselves and promoters actually promoting the overall event instead of one or two fights on the card a building just doesn’t fill, with or without TV.
KEN HISSNER: How did you feel when in December of 2012 you were working on a show that was held at your alma mater Temple University’s McGonigle Hall?
BAM: It was awesome, I personally would love to run there again but we would need the right fighter to be able to do that again.
KEN HISSNER: What would you tell someone young as yourself about preparation before getting involved with the sport of boxing?
BAM: Listen more than you talk the people around you have all been doing this a lot longer than you have and you have a lot to learn. Some people want to help and others are just going to act like they want to and be quick to turn their back so watch out for yourself and learn as much as you can from all the old timers in the sport.
KEN HISSNER: Thanks for taking the time finally doing this. I have to say I was amazed at your answers being the youngest promoter in the country.
BAM: Thanks for having me! It is always great to get the time to work with you!