Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Exclusive Interview: Talented prospect Noemi Bosques discusses her career to date and ambitions for 2014.

I recently caught up with Florida resident and talented flyweight prospect Noemi Bosques for the second interview I have done with her. She talked to me about her upcoming fight on Valentine's Day, her career to date and ambitions for the future.

No Holds Barred: Can you tell us a bit about your family background?

Noemi Bosques: My family is all Puerto Rican. They all came from Puerto Rico. In fact, I'm one of the first to be born over here in Florida - my mother came here when she was pregnant with me. I grew up in what you could say was a religious background. My father was a pastor, my grandfather was a pastor… That's probably why I'm rebellious! [Laughs]. So definitely a traditional Puerto Rican family: Family is big, hard work is big, women are usually in the kitchen, wives attend to their husbands… Old school traditional Puerto Rican family.

No Holds Barred: Why did you decide you didn't want to be a housewife?

Noemi Bosques: I just thought it was so boring. Don’t get me wrong, when people come to my house, I'm a server; I make sure I take care of them, I make sure they have something to drink… I'm traditional in that sense. But in terms of just being a housewife who cooks and cleans, I just want to do more than that. Even as a child I was very ambitious and wanted to be the best at everything.

No Holds Barred: I read an interview you did where you said you were very good at sports even when younger.

Noemi Bosques: Yeah, I was. I was named something like most athletic of the year when I was younger. I used to be involved in so many sports back then. I was lead scorer in the women's [American] football team, I was good at hurdles, I got MVP for defensive basketball position. I won a lot of these awards because I was really into these sports.

No Holds Barred: How old are you now?

Noemi Bosques: 30

No Holds Barred: What is your nickname?

Noemi Bosques: La Rebelde - 'Rebel' in Spanish.

No Holds Barred: What weight do you fight at?

Noemi Bosques: I can fight anywhere from 110-115 lbs for now. Once I get the opportunity to fight for larger titles I believe I can eventually get down to 108 lbs for those. I can make 110-111 quite easily really. I often fight at 115 because it's sometimes easier to get fights if you're flexible with your weight, especially as a woman.

No Holds Barred: Who is your current trainer?

Noemi Bosques: My current trainer is Arturo Ramos. He's also the trainer of Celina Salazar, who beat Ana Julaton last year. I think he's a wonderful coach. He's over here from San Antonio, Texas. Alessi, who are promoters here and also sell bakery goods to the public, hired him to run a boxing program here in Florida. I think he's a great coach.

No Holds Barred: Arturo must see a lot in you to dedicate time training you?

Noemi Bosques: Yes, I feel that way. His interest in me has really motivated me even more to be a better fighter. If you read up on him he was an amazing amateur boxer and he then turned pro with Top Rank. So he is very experienced as both a trainer and fighter as well. So I really appreciate the time he dedicates to me.

No Holds Barred: Can you give us details of your training routines?

Noemi Bosques: I alternate between long distance, where I do between four and eight miles, and sprinting days. A lot of days where I don't do long distance running I'll do like half-mile sprints and try to keep under a certain time. Then as I do it faster the time I give myself decreases and also my resting time decreases to make sure I'm in really good shape and so recovery time is up to par too. I do my strength and conditioning maybe three times a week. I leave the heavier stuff for maybe five or six weeks before the fight and as the fight gets closer I'll have more explosive drills, less time as far as training time goes, and focus on less weights and do more rapid movements and things like that. I box every day and will spar maybe three times a week.

No Holds Barred: Do you spar mostly men or women, or anybody fans might have heard of?

Noemi Bosques: Mostly men. Although in the last couple of camps I was fortunate enough to be able to spar Celina Salazar. She's an excellent, excellent fighter. I love working with her. She's definitely one of my favourite fighters to spar now because she's beating fighters of the calibre of Ana Julaton, so she's great for me. I was sparring with her not too long ago. We were in the middle of the ring, going at it and she did the Mexican thing where they get lower than their opponent. It's something I've been learning with [Arturo] Ramos recently too. So we were fighting on the inside and as she went down I made the mistake of going over her and when she lifted up she lifted my entire head and she shifted my tooth! It's a good thing I went to the dentist when I did because he said had I left it another week my tooth would have died. Can you imagine that?

No Holds Barred: [Laughs] Yes, basically a toothless hag!

Noemi Bosques: [Laughs] Exactly! I kept laughing because I have a bunch of friends over here that we call 'rednecks' and they all kept telling me they have some redneck cousins who would love to marry me now.

No Holds Barred: What is a typical day for you?

Noemi Bosques: Depends on the day I guess. For the most part though I'd say the day starts when I wake up and take my daughter to school. I live in an apartment next door to my grandmother so I help her with anything she needs. My great-grandmother is very sick right now so I help her with anything she needs too around the house. Then when all of these things are taken care of I'll commute over to Tampa where I do my training. I do fitness instruction classes there for people too. I've also had a lot of meetings lately with sponsors and things like that. I'm trying to pick up sponsorship because I'm noticing now how important it is for a professional fighter who is developing to have sponsors and a team behind them. So I'm really trying to focus on those kind of things now too; promoting sponsors, having them sponsor me, those kinds of relationships.

No Holds Barred: Describe your style to fans who may not have seen you fight?

Noemi Bosques: Well, I have different styles I guess. I like to box, that's what I like to do. I like to move, I like to counter, I like old school boxing; head movement, you come back with these shots, move this way then come back with these shots… Some say this is a bad thing, but since I've had so many trainers I've learned many styles. The one style I would say I needed more experience with is the rugged inside Mexican style. I can't say enough good things about Arturo because he has helped me so much with learning to deal with that sort of style. I think it's necessary for a fighter nowadays to be able to fight a different way every time out because there's so much information out there on fighters nowadays on websites like Youtube. Also, in order to be world champion you've got to be able to switch it up and have different styles because somebody can just study you and it would be too easy for them. So I'd say I have different styles. My preference is to box but at the moment I'm learning inside work and I feel like I'm very strong on the inside now.

No Holds Barred: You drew against Vanessa Greco in your second pro fight. Can you tell us about your performance in the ring that night?

Noemi Bosques: If I'm being honest, that was a fight I should have never taken because of where my mind was at the time. My mother had just recently passed. I'm not making excuses or anything like that, but it was a difficult time for me because of my mother and anything like that will distract you from a fight should really lead you to pulling out of the fight. I took that fight less than two weeks after we'd buried my mother. I'd spent two weeks with my mother before she passed; sleeping on the floor, eating hospital food, I wasn't running or staying in shape. But I couldn't fathom the idea of going home to sit in a dark room and face that. I mean I probably would have gone into some dark depression. So I was silly to make a bad business move and take that fight because I guess I needed some kind of release or distraction. I actually think I was lucky to get a draw because I think it could have actually been quite ugly for me. Vanessa is a very tough fighter, a very strong fighter and I'm lucky I didn't get hurt. I feel quite fortunate I actually got a draw and wasn't knocked out. I'd love to have a rematch with her to sort of redeem myself and it's a great fight.

No Holds Barred: Did you try to have the fight postponed?

Noemi Bosques: No. Everything was already sorted, tickets were already sold. Like I said earlier, I definitely don't think I could have just gone home to the realisation I'd lost my mother and being in a dark corner. Even now, I'm glad I took the fight now and got the draw instead of going home and facing whatever I would have faced at my house. The draw was a small price to pay.

No Holds Barred: Have you tried to negotiate a rematch with Vanessa?

Noemi Bosques: There was talk right after the fight where we both agreed to a rematch. But when we tried to make it and spoke to her management team or her coach that the only way they would do it is if it was up in New York and at a higher weight class like 117 lbs. I already walk around at about 115, so I'm giving up weight as it is. They were being really picky about things so unfortunately we haven't had the rematch yet but I hope we do one day.

No Holds Barred: The best flyweights in the world currently are probably Susi Kentikian, Melissa McMorrow and Ava Knight. Can you emulate that calibre of fighter in your opinion?

Noemi Bosques: McMorrow beat Susi and I was really surprised by that because she'd had less than fifteen fights going into that fight. In fact, that win really inspired because she beat somebody who has been one of my favourite fighters for so long. I didn't think anybody would be able to beat Susi. I think I'm humble enough to say that I need more experience as that's what it all really boils down to. I'd say with experience, yes I can. Right now that is what all of these international fighters have over me. They've been professional fighters for longer than I have and have the experience. I think that with the way I train, with my condition and with my mindset, I can definitely emulate these girls. It needs to be at the right time though. I'm not naive enough to say 'I can beat this girl or that girl' because I need the experience first.

No Holds Barred: One thing with women's boxing that is perhaps different to men's boxing is that women can often get title shots despite a poor record due to the shortage of world class contenders. So even if you do end up being dreadful, don’t just give up, you might still get a title shot. [Laughs]

Noemi Bosques: [Laughs] Yes, that's true. It's a good thing!

No Holds Barred: Have you improved since your debut in May 2012 in your opinion?

Noemi Bosques: Oh, absolutely. I've improved in ways such as I feel a lot more comfortable and confident now. When I fought Monica Flores I was a little nervous - she was 3-0 compared to my 1-0-1 - she'd just beaten a 6-0 fighter and she was a top amateur. Yet, I walked through her. I think it was after that fight that I realised I needed to be more confident and give myself more credit for the hard work I put in at the gym.

No Holds Barred: What are your ambitions for the coming year?

Noemi Bosques: My main ambition is to get as many fights as possible and stay as busy as possible. Ideally I would like to fight every six weeks. I'd like to fight at least six times this year. As long I have the support from people and keep selling tickets and keep involving people in what I'm doing then I'm happy and I'm happy people enjoy being involved in my career. You have to stay active and constantly improve on your record if you want to reach the top. I'd like to fight in other places too at some point. I love fighting in Tampa, but I do want to get experience in fighting in other places because I think it's important to put yourself in front of different crowds. I know some managers don't like doing that because you're potentially facing being 'robbed' in somebody else's backyard but personally I think the challenge would make me work even harder and I like that challenge. I think it would help me grow as a fighter. Or if somebody in Miami, for example, wanted to put me on one of their shows, I'd love that.

No Holds Barred: You're fighting on Valentine's Day. Can you tell us about that?

Noemi Bosques: I'll be fighting Marisol Miranda. She's a tough fighter and i expect her to be a good challenge. She's got a lot of experience as a fighter. I was scheduled to fight on January 18 but the whole card got postponed to Valentine's Day. I must be the only woman in the world who, instead of eating chocolates and being wined and dined, will be trying to make somebody bleed! [Laughs]

No Holds Barred:
What is your opinion of women’s boxing currently? Has it come on since London 2012 or does more work need to be done?

Noemi Bosques: I think women's boxing is very underrated. In my opinion I think it's because of a lack of exposure for the most part. MMA is doing a great job with female fighters. I'm sad to say this, but it does seem to be the truth: The general public doesn't seem to be so interested in skills so much. It seems to me people tend to be more interested in the blood and guts aspect of the sport. Fighters in general need to market themselves well and all the time, which could mean having a manger constantly calling television networks or magazines because they need to get the exposure. You could have the greatest skills in the world but people aren't going to know about you unless you're out there for the public to see and the only way promoters are going to put you on their shows is if people are buying tickets to see you fight. I think women's boxing is amazing and sometimes I think the women's fights are more entertaining than the men's fights. The problem is there isn't enough exposure and nobody knows these women who are fighting. Has it grown more since the Olympics? Well, I'd say people know the names of some amateur fighters now like Marlen Esparza and Clarissa Shields but do they know Tiara Brown? I doubt many people know who she is, but she's one of the greatest fighters I've had the privilege of working with and I'm proud to call her a friend. I suppose you could so that the Olympics has at least pointed out that women boxers are doing something. I don't think it's grown much around here [Florida] but maybe in Texas it has or in New York; New York is good for women's boxing.

No Holds Barred: Could you tell us some of your favourite fighters and fights?

Noemi Bosques: I love watching Yuriorkis Gamboa. His speed, power and explosiveness are amazing. I watch a lot of his fights and he's a fighter I'd like to be like. He goes from 0-100 in a flash. It's almost kind of careless the way he does it. But he's just so comfortable with the way he comes in that it seems effortless. Pernell Whitaker was a great fighter I loved watching too because of his talents. Mayweather is another fighter I love watching now because of his pure precision and amazing defence. He's such a classy fighter. In terms of favourite fights, recently I loved the Maidana-Broner fight. I'm proud of the way Maidana fought. He went in with a big 'f-u' attitude and completely shook Broner up. Broner was confident and was expected to win but Maidana made an example of him. Definitely one of my favourite fights recently.

No Holds Barred: Who are your favourite female fighters? 

Noemi Bosques: Melissa McMorrow is somebody I definitely look up to. I don't think anybody had really noticed her I guess or given her much respect until she beat Susi Kentikian. She went over to Germany and I was in disbelief at how well she did against Susi who had been champion for so long. So she is one of my favourites for having the confidence to take on Susi and come out victorious. Ava Knight is another girl I'm very proud of because even from early on in her boxing career she was already stepping up and fighting top contenders. Even though she's in my division, I respect her greatly. Kaliesha West is another fighter I really look up to. Not only is she a great warrior and has a great record, but she's also expanding into other areas. She's worked in the TV business, she's interviewing people, she's doing other things and I think that's great and that's something I'd like to do. Boxing is a very short term career so you have to develop yourself into other ventures. Celina [Salazar] is another one of my favourites, of course.

No Holds Barred: How do you relax in your spare time?

Noemi Bosques: I like to read. I go on runs and my daughter follows me on her bike. I like to spend time with my family because that's the only time I get to see them.

No Holds Barred: What sort of music, films, television, books do you like?

Noemi Bosques: Reggae and house are my favourite types of music. In terms of films, I like watching comedies and stupid/funny types of films. I watch a lot of reality junk like Bad Girls Club and Jersey Shore. To be honest, I don’t watch much because I don’t have the time! [Laughs] I like reading mind-empowering books which help strengthen my mind.

No Holds Barred: Do you have a promoter or manager?

Noemi Bosques: I'm self-promoted. I'm online, making videos, getting lots of help from friends and people online. I'm calling everyone, selling my own tickets, meeting fans, just trying to sell hundreds of tickets.

No Holds Barred: Where can fans contact you for tickets? 

Noemi Bosques: Contact me on my cell phone: 727-678-5886. Or contact Arturo Ramos: 210-380-8955.

No Holds Barred: Where can fans find you online?

Noemi Bosques: On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noemi.bosques & https://www.facebook.com/FanPageNoemiBosques; On Twitter: @NoemiBosques.

No Holds Barred: Thanks for talking to us and best of luck on Valentine's Day!