Exclusive interview with Main Eventís Kathy Duva
By Michael R Cumberbatch: I had the opportunity to speak with Kathy recently. She shared her thoughts about her upcoming card on November 6th at the Prudential Center, HBO, Zab Judah, the 140Lb division, Adamek, Haye, Klitschko, and so much more.
Article posted on 19.10.2010
MC: Kathy, I know you have a big show coming up on November 6, 2010 at the Prudential Center. I know youíre excited about it, so why donít you tell us about it?
KD: Zab Judah is going to be fighting Lucas Matthysse. Itís a fight thatís going to be very significant in that the winner is not only going to be NABF champion, but he is also going to be ranked #2 by the IBF.
MC: Youíve enjoyed a lot of success at the Prudential Center. How have you been able to garner the tremendous attendance there?
KD: Itís a combination of things. Number one -- itís a fabulous building to do any type of event, so when people go there they want to come back. Second of all weíve found a couple of good drawers in Tomaz Adamek and Zab Judah. Both fighters who perform at the very highest levels. They put out tremendous efforts and, frankly, every time there is a fight there it turns out to be a big party. People just want to keep coming back.
MC: Thatís so true. I know HBO has picked up the fight, which obviously means they are excited about it. Other than the financial considerations, what does it mean to have HBO involved in this fight?
KD: Obviously, getting the premium networks involved has been a goal of ours since we started. Itís been less than two years since we started there (Prudential Center). The first fight was December 11th, about 2 years ago. Itís very gratifying to know weíve reached this point. We started out trying to build a local fight club that would spark the interest of people throughout the country. Going back to the model of the Ice World that my husband built years and years ago. It seems to be working. HBO is here in less than two years and we are really excited and we really think, like everyone else, once they (HBO) get in that building they are going to want to come back.
MC: It is a great building and a beautiful venue. You mentioned Zab Judah earlier. How happy are you to have him back after beginning his career with you?
KD: Lots of surprises and this is one very nice and unexpected one that turned out to be wonderful. He came back at one point when he was looking to make a change in promoters. He went to see virtually everyone in the business and he got offered lots of money by just about everybody. He came back to our office after going through the process and said ďyou know what? The best years of my career were when I was with Main Events. I want to be back here and Iím choosing you.Ē Since then, he has displayed a maturity he didnít have. When I first met him, he was only eighteen. Thatís when we first began working with him.
His attitude towards everything in life has changed dramatically in the last few years. Heís at a point now where heís matured. He has a young child; his life is much more stable. He wants to know that he is going to be financially secure. He recognizes that he has a window left which is not forever. Having said that, at 32, he is in his prime. Heís experienced, still has his speed, an amazing punch and heís working out harder than he ever has in his life.
Zab is one of those guys; everyone knew he had the potential. Now heís actually taking that potential and heís going to show what happens when you take potential and you add hard work.
MC: Youíre right. Zab has seemingly recommitted to his craft and I know by his own admission, heís talked about doing things the right way now. Do you think the last piece of the puzzle was coming back to Main Events where he enjoyed so much early success in his career?
KD: Yes. That and he has a great relationship with Jolene Mizzone whoís on our staff and heís been friends with her his whole adult life. Obviously, she played an important role in shepherding him back. Having said all that, when he first came in and said I want to come back, I was as skeptical as anyone else. Taking into account the experience I had with him, I went into this like okay, weíll see and eyebrows raised. Iíve had to say every single experience Iíve had with him since heís come back, Iíve been delighted with the way heís responded. Heís sitting there thinking about his career. Heís plotting things out. Boxing is like a chess game, moving constantly and playing chess in their minds. Trying to think three moves ahead to out smart their opponent.
What the promoter does is also a chess game. We are making choices about who to fight and where to position the fight based on where you want to be three moves ahead. Now Zab is starting to see that dimension of the game. Heís on board with it and that makes my job easier and their careers more successful. In the end, if you are playing chess and everyone else around you are playing checkers, you have the edge. Everything seems to be in place. All he has to do is win the fight.
MC: Okay you talked about him winning the fight. Should Zab win the fight, what are some of the possibilities you see next for him?
KD: The goal we started right from the start of this stage of his career, since the first fight in July, was looking at the 140LB division -- you see it is rich in talent. There are so many good fighters in that division. Literally, there isnít a bad one in the top ten. You look at the opportunities for fights that he has in that division, not only are they premium level PPV fights, but all of these fighters, and I give all the respect in the world to everyone of them: Matthyse, Amir Khan, Timothy Bradkey, Marcos Maidana and Devon Alexander. All down the list; you have talent but not a superstar. Zab is the only superstar in that division.
When he can come in and win those fightsÖ and he will win, every one of them.
Stay tuned for Part II as Kathy continues to speak about Zab Judah, as well as speaks candidly about the state of the Heavyweight division and future plans of Tomaz Adamek.
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