Before she became known as “The First Lady of Boxing,” the legendary Jackie Kallen was a teenage entertainment writer who, as a high school student, interviewed the Rolling Stones, who were making their first American tour. The Stones came to her home for dinner, accompanied her to a high school party, and knocked around a mall with her the following day. And that was just the beginning for Kallen, who also interviewed Elvis, Sinatra, and many others before finding her way into the rough-and-tumble world of professional boxer.
Her first foray into “the sweet science” came as a publicist for a kid named Tommy Hearns, which morphed into more publicity work for Kronk Gym. She then became a boxing manager for journeyman heavyweight, Bobby Hitz, before discovering a volatile young middleweight with four pro fights under his belt, James Toney, regarded today as one of the greatest boxers in history.
Kallen joined us for an expansive and exceptionally colorful interview on The Ringside Boxing Show to talk about superstars, sexism, A-List parties, and other highlights from a career that is still a work in progress after 40 years.
We also talk to expert analysts Travis Hartman and John J. Raspanti about Daniel Jacobs’ impressive conquest of previously undefeated Sergey Derevyanchenko, the intimidating style match-up that might scare off Canelo, Regis Prograis’ powerhouse performance against Terry Flanagan in the talent-stacked WBSS 140-pound tournament, Hughie Fury’s snooze-fest loss to Kubrat Pulev, the interesting puzzle Tyson Fury figures to present to Deontay Wilder, and whatever Eddie Hearn was thinking when he signed warhorse “Bam Bam” Rios to a multi-fight contract with Matchroom and DAZN.
And our outstanding British correspondent, Paul McLaughlin, offers some perspective from the UK on the Fury clan and John Ryder, whose KO victory on Saturday made him the mandatory challenger for super middleweight kingpin Callum Smith.
Dennis Taylor is host of The Ringside Boxing Show, editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com, and co-author (with John J. Raspanti) of “Intimate Warfare: The True Story of the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward Boxing Trilogy,” an Amazon bestseller.
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