Disrespect for women turns Green's face red
By Lyle Fitzsimmons,
Contributing Boxing Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
You may remember the name.
But if you've been on the business end of an e-mail from Amy Green, you'll surely know the tagline.
"Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History."
The 50-year-old Oklahoman has lived the words of Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich throughout a professional life spent in advertising sales, but even more so in nine years alongside the squared circle as a boxing publicist.
And for those who still consider the latter off-limits for women, she's got news for you -- courtesy of a role model who's spent her own career blazing a similarly gender-bending trail.
"Being in a so-called 'man's game' is a little trying at times because there is some attitude you have to endure, but now is probably a bit better than when Jackie Kallen started over 30 years ago," Green said. "And I appreciate her hard work and the advice she's given me -- remain calm under pressure, watch the profanity, always smile.
"Simple things really, but for me kind of difficult because if I don't like the way a fighter I work for is treated it's tough for me to ignore the fact they've been treated poorly. The fact that boxing isn't considered a woman's game is pretty much an archaic way of thinking, like the old 1950's school of thought for girls -- 'You're interested in medicine? Marry a doctor.' BS."
Such a no-nonsense approach has served her well since her early days back in 2001, when, to go along with a job selling ads at a local newspaper, she began doing publicity work for the all-women's boxing series "A Ring of their Own."
"Now is probably a bit better than when Jackie Kallen (above) started over 30 years ago," said Amy Green.
It was a natural progression for a lifelong fan of the sport with an Ali/Duran fan for a father, a Ray Leonard fan for a mother and a host of other professional examples to follow, including physician/commissioner Margaret Goodman, executive Jill Diamond and PR specialist Rachel Charles.
"(They) are prime examples of women who make boxing happen," Green said.
She's used a similar pitch for several current and former clients -- including consensus No. 1 women's champion Holly Holm, former two-time Holm foe Chevelle Hallback and talkative Bronx resident Melissa Hernandez. That trio of females, with a combined record of 68-9-8 with 23 knockouts, is among the wave Green insists can still lift the women's side of the sport to respectability.
All it'll take, she insists, is the right opportunity.
"Women's boxing is still on the grow and there are a number of good fights that can be made, but the problem seems to be a specific promoter to house these bouts or even have all female cards," she said. "Until someone like Golden Boy consistently has women on their shows, we will stay out of the major spotlight. I say Golden Boy because Oscar is the youngest promoter, still growing his company and could feasibly give the women their fighting chance.
"Putting good women's fights on shows will bring new fans and new money to any promoter. With time, and the chance to perform, the females will finally get their recognition. Put Melissa Hernandez and Belinda Laracuente on a 24/7 episode working together in the minutes before a fight and you will say Floyd and Roger who? And the audiences will be screaming for more."
Others haven't been so quick to accept the change, but Green has learned to roll with rejections similar to one she got when working on the "Finally" promotion matching Holm and Mary Jo Sanders -- when she was pointedly told by a male writer at a BWAA event that "no one cared about women's boxing."
Holm beat Sanders for the International Female Boxers Association light middleweight title in June 2008 in Albuquerque and fought her to a 10-round draw for the vacant International Boxing Association female light middleweight title four months later in suburban Detroit.
In the end, it was mission accomplished for the publicity-seeker.
"It took all I had to employ even a shred of Jackie Kallen's advice, who was sitting near me at the (BWAA) dinner, and make some sort of vague, courteous response that did not involve F and You," Green said. "As it ended up, USA Today and JET Magazine did cover Holly and Mary Jo, so they did get some good major national headlines."
The ideal daily grind as a publicist results in a tangible amount of positive exposure for a client fighter, while maintaining a balance between their training time and personal time. Keeping an unfettered flow of communication between fighter, manager and staff ensures the process flows smoothly.
And even for a veteran like Green, perfecting pitch proposals remains an evolution process. The more she knows about a fighter, the more reasons she can give journalists to tell their stories.
"I try to, of course, bring boxing fans to see their fights, but (I) also try to create new fans based on a facet of a fighter's life," she said. "For example, Melissa Hernandez is a huge animal lover and her three dogs are all rescues, so I am going to work with her toward some publicity in that area and hope that people who have that interest are encouraged to come see her fight. (With) George Tahdooahnippah being a Native American, I work toward getting him in a lot of different Native publications.
"Kind of some niche marketing I guess you could call it."
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Harrison (27-4, 20 KO): First title fight; Unbeaten since 2008 (4-0, 3 KO)
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Last week's picks: 1-2 Overall picks record: 242-83 (74.4 percent)
Lyle Fitzsimmons is a veteran sports columnist who's written professionally since 1988 and covered boxing since 1995. His work is published in print and posted online for clients in North America and Europe. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/fitzbitz.