In the Phone Booth with Kaliesha West

Kaliesha_West

By: @medafORACLE

The “Wild Wild West”. We all know the story in our history books. Better known as the “American Frontier”, our books tells the story of the creation of communities, land usage and the politically and correctly worded “formation of states” or “the merging of people and cultures that gave birth and continuing life to America”   In short; land was taken from native tribes and overran to create America. However you choose to word our history, our subject will be of a new one. A new West is upon us. Filled with beauty, strength, equal sacrifice and a fight to claim what is rightfully earned. Follow me on this journey as we discuss the culture of a new West. Here to discuss said subject is the beautiful, Kaliesha West.

Lets step In The Phone Booth……..

 

@medafORACLE : Miss West! First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to step In the Phone Booth. It’s appreciated. Let me start off by saying, I’m a fan; in more than one way. Tell the readers how the name “Wild Wild West” came about.

@Kaliesha_West : My father started boxing before me, and his name was Juan Wild Wild West because he was super crazy in and out the ring, I want to keep the name going, so I said I’m next. People, who know me, know I’m wild, but in a good way, like my pops.

 

@medafORACLE : 4X World Champ, amateur accolades in ABUNDANCE and an overall amateur record of 98-10….impressive to say the least. Aside of hard work, what is the engine behind such a respected career?

@Kaliesha_West Thank you. Well, I always wanted to prove to my pops I can do it. At first he inspired me, I admired him, and that’s why I picked up the gloves. Then I found a love for it, where now, it’s a part of my life, always will be. I find peace in a gym. I’m a competitive person over all, I never settle for less than GOLD. Whether it be a cross country varsity runner, varsity track runner, honor student, or anything that has competition written on it. I’m going for gold. My stubborn personality and my motive to be the best is what drove me to be.

 

@medafORACLE : In The Phone Booth the gap between boxing and music is forever bridged so, what do you listen to; to get yourself amped up to train?

@Kaliesha_West Oh hell yeah it is, who you kiddin? The most memorable moments were my come outs. We always had custom raps and mixes my uncle DJ Meach would hook up for us. We go hard. In the dressing room or just working out, I’d like to say I’m very diverse. I can go from DMX/NWA, to modern rap like Drake or Kid Ink.  All depends on the mood. But no doubt I NEED my music.

 

@medafORACLE : Same question but in reverse. You walk in the gym and what’s the one song that can absolutely KILL your mood to train?

@Kaliesha_West Hahahahaua SLOW JAMS, LIKE love songs…don’t get me wrong! If I walk in the gym, and some Pretty Ricky is playing, I will not want to train.

 

@medafORACLE : Lol yeah, Pretty Ricky is probably the kill switch for any activity. Sadly, in Hip Hop there is this dreadful plague of bias toward male emcees in being the representation of the culture. In boxing unfortunately we have the same issue. When mentioning boxing greats no one shouts the name Ann Wolfe or Laila Ali in combination with B-Hop and Ray Robinson’s of the sport. What do you think it will take for you along with greats to be looked at as boxers opposed to “female boxers”?

@Kaliesha_West It will take equal promotion and TV opportunities. They have to stop separating and favoring  men, and just promote talent regardless…. If boxing created a market for women like MMA did, there is no doubt that we would sell…. We need a real promoter who knows the industry for women.

 

@medafORACLE : So let’s say women in the sport get that deserving recognition of equal sacrifice and skill and you make it to that PPV or major TV stage….what song would you come out to for representation of that moment?

@Kaliesha_West A custom song made for me by Rae Sremmund 🙂 like lol

 

@medafORACLE : If you could create your own coed dream card with past and/or present fighters, who would be the main event and who would be the 3 undercard fights? Keep in mind, us fellas will need some eye candy, so don’t be afraid to throw yourself on that card, please and thank you. Lol

@Kaliesha_West :

1. Floyd Mayweather vs Chavez as the main
2. Muhammad Ali vs Mike Tyson
3. Laila Ali vs Anne Wolfe
4. Kaliesha West vs Jackie Java

 

@medafORACLE : That card without a doubt merits the crown for BEST FIGHT CARD EVER!! Ok so front street time! Imagine you had it your way and you were part of an all woman card and instead of ring girls there were ring men. What three boxers would you choose as your ring men?

@Kaliesha_West :

1.Saul Alverez “Canelo”
2. Miguel Cotto
3. David Haye

 

@medafORACLE : Miss West, thank you ever so kindly for stepping “In The Phone Booth” it was an honor and pleasure. Tell the fans what they can expect from you next and where they can follow you on any social media links

@Kaliesha_West :

IG: KalieshaSWest
Twitter: @Kaliesha_West 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialKalieshaWest

Expect another fight sooner than later 😉
Appreciate the support, thanks for taking the time!

Kaliesha_West

In the Phone Booth: The Business of Boxing Gimmicks

By: @medafORACLE

Offensive. Defense. Distance Awareness. Footwork. Head movement. Intelligence. Endurance. Counter punching. A strong jab. Timing. These are all the makings of a great and complete boxer, accompanied with a good chin and heart. If I’m building the perfect boxer this is what I want him or her to have but, what if I told you this type of fighter would be exiled or frowned upon in the sport of boxing…..or should I say the “business of boxing

Usually “In the Phone Booth” I like to continue the bridge of music and boxing (which I will slightly) but today I want to touch more so on boxing. I’m going to keep this as simple as possible. No complicated writing formulas, just simple, straight forward logic.  Let’s step “Inside The Phone Booth”…..

Often we hear the cliché phrase, “skills pay the bills” but in boxing today, skills will only get you so far. When thinking of pure, profound technical skill we think of, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Austin Trout, Andre Ward, Bernard Hopkins, Erislandy Lara. All men whom posses the same attributes, but used differently in bouts made up of different formulas. My question to the readers and public is, why is it that one man out of this group is at the pinnacle of the sport and appreciated by more “boxing fans” unlike the rest mentioned in this list of said skill? The answer is simple…….gimmick.

Like any business, when selling a product; there has to be a marketing strategy. As a boxer in the sport of boxing, logic says “well my selling point is being able to box skillfully” Guess what?…..that’s the wrong logic! I don’t want to touch on it too much but let’s take music for an example. Good music speaks for itself and is undeniable but today, unfortunately good music doesn’t sell. In order to sell you need consumers. In order to get consumers you need a marketing strategy. That marketing strategy starts with a gimmick. To simply put it, skillful emcees don’t sell as much as gimmick based rappers.

Boxing is no different in how the music industry and entertainment operates. An artist paying DJ’s to get spins is the equivalent to a fighter (or promoter) paying a judge to get wins. To bluntly put it, the casual fan plays the consumer. Being clean cut, polite, well spoken and a superior boxer doesn’t get you anywhere in the sport, simply because……it is no longer a sport.

Let’s take July 12th’s match between Erislandy Lara and Canelo Alvarez as an example. The Superior Boxer vs the Good Strong Fighter. Canelo the obvious Golden Boy star and selling point to this PPV event has absolutely nothing to worry about with the exception of losing. His promoter put on the event, cut him a check as well as paid his opponent. All Canelo has to do is show up and have fun. Lara on the other hand brings nothing to the table with the exception of a profound skill level of boxing. Being the “B-Side” of the event, Lara has absolutely everything to worry about. Long story short, I myself; like many other boxing purest, scored the bout 7-5 for Lara. Of course the judges saw a different bout, which was simply a bout they just didn’t want to see. Let’s break it down for a second. Lara being the B-Side automatically puts him down four rounds in even signing the contract to fight. Then we take in to account the one judge that is ALWAYS paid off. Let’s just be honest, there’s always one in every big fight. Next we touch on Lara’s ability to simply outbox his opposition. This puts him behind another two rounds on the score cards. At this point the best he can do is fight a draw which means, he CAN NOT win without a knockout.

I can go into what Lara did to box his way to a 7-5 win over Canelo but this isn’t the point nor do we have that kind of time. I will, on the other hand talk about how Lara “lost” according to the judges and Canelo fans or; consumer, if you will. Lara is simply a pure boxer who is very smart, uses the entire ring in discipline manner. Now the masses say, “well he lost because all he did was run and didn’t fight. He should have engaged Canelo more and maybe he would have won” Fair enough but ask yourself this……why should Lara engage more due to the lack of Canelo’s footwork and ability to cut off the ring? Equally shouldn’t have Canelo focused more on footwork making him a more complete boxer concluding in being more prepared for a mover like Lara?

They ask us to “think outside of the box” but isn’t that an oxymoron when that’s what you do in the square circle?…..you box! You display your skill level and the more technically sound boxer wins. Unfortunately this isn’t boxing anymore and we do not have fans. This is a business catering to consumers. Which are you? A consumer or a boxing purest wanting to witness those with superior boxing skill get their deserved credit?

Body of Work vs Working the Body

By: @medafORACLE

“People forget how fast you did a job, but they remember how well you did it” ~Howard Newton

Quality. What does it mean to you? Where does it come from? Does the existence of quality predate humanity? or is this, like fire; something man has created? Whatever your perception of quality is, the conclusion is that it exists. To me, quality is somewhat like light. Like light, quality can be darkened by a dying star in our universe spiraling with the strongest gravitational pull known to man….or a black hole if you will. Imagine quality being a living star. Shining, bright and beautifully, but; what happens if that star begins to die or its light begins to diminish and darken? The quality of that star can no longer be seen. As the star dies, it tends to suck the life out of everything in its path as well. Even before the star is completely dead, it takes a special kind of light to be able to see these black holes due to having no light or…..quality, so to speak. Yes, I know; this is a boxing site. We’ll get to that in a second. Hopefully you can already see where I’m gong with this, though. If not, be patient and if you can; sit back and buckle up for the ride. Let’s step in the phone booth…..

In the early 90’s the quality of Hip Hop was at an all time high. Like other intrigued inner city residents, Master P decided to join the movement. In 1991 he created No Limit Records. Since that year, to date; the label has released 106 albums with 1998 being their busiest year notching a total of 23 released albums. What was the quality of these albums? Well, with an average of nearly 2 albums a month….1.92 to be exact, you could imagine the quality being equivalent to a dying star. I guess you can consider this label the “Black Hole” of Hip Hop.

Often times, more now than ever; consumers and even aspiring artist tend to trap themselves in the thought process of total body of work of an artist as being quality work. If you aren’t hustling and releasing a string of work longer than the wait of Doctor Dre’s Detox album’s release, then you aren’t deserving of the limelight. Several times I have been involved in such arguments of “who’s better than who skillfully?” and 10 times out of 10 the same rebuttal is uttered from the lips of the illogical consumer…”well, “MC 1000 Projects” has a larger body of work. We’re not discussing body of work; we’re discussing skill level and quality.

Let’s bridge the assumed gap in music and boxing, shall we? Too often do we see this same discussion in boxing. Our “No Limit Records” of boxing today could be in the physical form of a very popular fighter by the name of Canelo Alvarez. At the tender age of 23 this young man has already tallied a total of 45 fights. The quality of this fighter is deemed superb due to the high number of fights at such a young age. This quantity of fights doesn’t quite translate to the quality of his resume and or skill level unfortunately.

Like the Hip Hop community, the boxing world had this very “body of work” discussion in affiliation with Nonito Donaire vs Guillermo Rigondeaux. Nonito’s argument, along with the masses was that Rigondeaux only having 11 fights didn’t deserve a fight as he was “inexperienced” and not of the same caliber of fighter as Donaire. Nonito, who has more fights or a lager “body of work” if you will, was deemed the more quality fighter. On April 3rd, 2013 we witnessed one of the most lopsided and obvious boxing clinics performed due to a skill level more unequal than African American rights in the mid 1800’s. Rigondeaux, the more shaper, crisp, skillful and quality fighter, breezed to a victory easier than the likes of Albert Einstein taking a pre algebra test.

Quality. This is not defined by an abundant output of an individual in his/her field. It is simply the translator of one’s patience and passion. Don’t confuse quantity with quality for you may miss the blessing of performing creativity at its highest level of skill.

 

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