Sylvana Ambrosanio has been a boxing fan for most of her life. Unlike many boxing fans, she decided to be a part of the sport. No, not a fighter, but the person guiding the fighter through their professional career. Ms. Ambrosanio took some time out of her busy schedule to do an interview with BOXING 4 FREE.
BOXING 4 FREE: How did you become interested in boxing and at what age?
Sylvana: I have always been around boxing. While I grew up my mother took me to all the fights, and I just fell in love with the beauty of the sport. I was always impressed by the sweet science. I believe the first fight I attended was an early Klitschko fight in 1997. Wladimir fought a boxer called Jerry Halstead that night. I have been hooked ever since!
Growing up I enjoyed watching the sport, going to the gym, watching sparring or being in training camps – as long as it was boxing related, I loved it. Watching the old school fights like Dempsey vs. Willard made me appreciate the sport even more. Being around my mentor and big brother James Bashir, Emanuel Steward and Joey Gamache since a young age gave me an up-close and in-depth knowledge of the sport. You can’t just like it, you have to LOVE and LIVE it! There is so much to boxing. Boxing is its own beautiful art.
When did you decide that you wanted to manage professional fighters?
Believe it or not, when I was in kindergarten I knew I wanted to be involved in boxing. I knew that eventually I would become a boxing manager. I actually started out pretty young being a journalist, after doing interviews and articles I decided to take it to another level so I became a publicist. I also started my own website SylvanaBoxing.com. Now about 10 years later I have accomplished my goal and have become a boxing manager. You know being in the sport of boxing as a female is not always easy – you have to have a strong back, be thick skinned and your heart has to be in the right place. I must say I have a very supportive team including family and friends who always support me.
What exactly does a manager do? What are your responsibilities?
A manager’s job is to advise and guide the fighter on career moves. It’s important to have a special bond with your fighter – trust and loyalty is a big deal. You have to trust and know each other, and always want nothing but the best for your fighter and his team. You have to protect them, make sure the fighter has a trainer he is close to and who prepares him for whatever comes next. Publicity and the way you introduce your fighter to the world is important also. Once it all fits together, you have to get it going, and make sure the fighter is active and stays active. There is so much more involved, but we could be here all day!
How does someone become a licensed boxing manager and how long did the process take?
Well, I guess it depends by country or state. Each country or state is different. After my application was submitted to the Florida Commission, it only took maybe a week or two.
Are you currently managing anyone?
Let’s put it like this, YES, I am looking at a few very good prospects. I’m going to announce something very soon and you will be the first to know. There are a few guys I’m interested in and we’re working on getting things together right now. I am super excited.
What do you look for in a boxer that you would like to manage?
A fighter with passion and heart. I love old school boxing. I am a big fan of it. To me, what makes a good boxer is someone that boxes because they love it and not only because of the money. They need to fight the best to be the best, just like in the good ole days. Also, it’s important that they be able to accept constructive criticism in the gym and in the fights. To be able to make the required adjustments on command. Be dedicated, determined and disciplined. Be a smart fighter and know how to use their skills.
You obviously follow boxing very closely. Who do you consider the best prospect out there?
There are many great prospects out there it’s hard to pick just one. Guys like Tony Harrison, Felix Verdejo, Robert Easter, Anthony Barnes, Domonique Dolton. They are all fighters to keep an eye on.
This could the most controversial question I’ll ever ask you… Who is your favorite boxer of all time?
Roy Jones Jr.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Five years from now I would like to be a successful boxing manager, have my own business and a growing stable of fighters, and of course, to live happily ever after!