Interview: Terri Moss

InterviewTerri “The Boss” Moss, retired WIBA/WIBF champion is anything but idle.  Instead of just kicking back with a pina colada in hand she has a to-do list a foot long.  Terri is a boxing trainer and owner of Buckhead Fight Club in Atlanta.  She founded Atlanta’s first ever white-collar charity boxing series, “Atlanta Corporate Fight Night” in 2010.  Atlanta Corporate Fight Night 9 is scheduled for February 19.

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Corporate Night

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Corporate Night

Terri is also the inspiration for ” Boxing Chicks” a full length film produced by Tomorrow Pictures, which chronicles Terri and the female fighters (amateur and professional) she trains.  She will also host at an international amateur “roundabout” tournament, in which 2016 Olympic hopefuls will compete.

Most noteworthy, Terri will be inducted into the International Women’s Boxing Hall Of Fame in July. Terri is also a dedicated mom, grandmother and a true supporter of the sport of boxing. Her positive out look and her “never say never” attitude inspires everyone she meets. Terri deserves some rest and relaxation, but you’re more likely to find her at Buckhead Fight Club with a towel around her shoulders putting her fighters through their paces. Let’s meet Terri:

Q Prior to boxing you were in law enforcement; tell us about that?

I began my law enforcement career while I attended college at the University of Georgia working with the campus police. From there I went to work at a multi agency narcotics squad, which is where I spent most of my career working undercover and as an investigator. I also worked in school resource for a while and some as a sheriff deputy and in a municipality, but by then I had begun boxing and my love for the ring began to stand taller than my law enforcement career, so I took a chance and left for boxing.

Q What made you lace up the gloves?

I just really wanted to do it. I had worked corners for around 30 fights and I just couldn’t be satisfied on that side of the ring. I had an opportunity to fight and I took it.

Q How did you get your nickname The Boss?

My daughter gave me that one.

Q Your boxing debut was at age 36. Did you have doubts about your success?

It sounds strange, but not really. It’s not that I expected to have an easy road, but I fully believed that if I worked hard enough and stayed focused and never gave up that I could be a world champion. I never doubted that, not even at the beginning.

Q You fought 18 fights in 5 years. What accomplishments did you achieve?

I fought for five world championships in 3 weight divisions capturing the WIBA mini flyweight intercontinental title and the WIBF straw weight world title, and I set a Guinness world record as the oldest female to win a major boxing world title. My name stood right beside George Foreman, then Bernard Hopkins.

Q How did you deal with being a woman in a male dominated sport?

I learned first off to believe in myself, so that the men I train and work with can believe in me also.  My confidence gives them confidence in my abilities.

Q Favorite thing about being a boxer?

I just love the ring and the show.

Q Least favorite thing about being a boxer?

Not being able to fight regularly was my biggest frustration when I was fighting.

Q You were one of the first females to be a cut man, and chief second for a male fighter, how was that experience?

It was great. It gave me a lot of experiences that I would be able to use as a trainer after I retired. Back then my greatest desire though was to be in the ring, so while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t quite satisfied with it. Now, as I train several men and women, it has been a huge asset to me.

Q The one fight you will never forget?

Winning the WIBF world title was of course my most memorable, but also when I upset Nina Ahlin in Atlanta, that fight had a lot of meaning to me as well.

Q You set a world record as the oldest female world champion, how does that make you feel?

Old.  LOL but I had to embrace my age at some point, because it was hindering my confidence. Once I used it to my advantage it became a tool for me, and by then setting the record was great. It’s also a great way to encourage other older boxers.

Q What made you decide to retire?

After winning the WIBF world title my trainer was turning down every fight offer we had. At that point I realized we were not going to be much of a team anymore. After eight years with the same trainer and then 42 years old, the chances I had of going forward, finding a new trainer, and establishing new relationships was impossible. I simply ran out of time. I retired from fighting, but not from the sport or from new goals, and those things are what have now taken me to the Hall of Fame.

Q Favorite fighters right now?

Gennady Golovkin, Vasyl Lomachenko, Canelo Alvarez (I love his loyalty) and I’m still a huge Pacquiao fan.

Q What makes you “strong”?

The fact that I never quit until I get what I came for.

Q What advice would you give women going into any part of boxing?  (fighting, managing, training).

Just to take the time to learn the sport before you put yourself out there too much. I see a lot of women with little experience who have big hearts and big dreams, who haven’t got a chance out there because of the sharks out there preying on us in this sport. We want to be there so bad, we will believe anything almost anyone says to affirm our desires. Being a woman in boxing means you have to be especially careful about whom you trust your care to.

Q What lessons did boxing teach you?

Patience and tenacity.

Q As a well-respected trainer, what lessons do you try to teach your fighters?

Just to never quit and to dedicate themselves to the ring. If you just want to play in the sport, then play. However, if you take it seriously, then stick in there until you reach your goals. It really bothers me when people just quit.

Q How can we improve women’s boxing?

More exposure, which will bring better pay, which will boring more depth to the sport.

Q You created “Corporate Fight Night”, charity boxing shows. Can you tell us about them?

Corporate Fight Night I first witnessed on a business trip to New Zealand- it was huge. And I decided , hey, I can DO this and started ACFN in 2010. ACFN is a white-collar boxing show where business class individuals, like your lawyers, doctors, become like real prize fighters for one incredible night to raise money and awareness for great local and national charities. They experience all of the nuances of a real prize-fighter as boxers in the show. They have to audition, then once selected they have to train for 10 weeks, deal with publicity and interviews and press, do photo ops, press conferences, the whole nine yards. On that final night, they step into the room with their opponent for a real sanctioned amateur boxing match. It’s pretty fantastic

Q You were also involved with a documentary, “Boxing Chicks” what is it’s message to woman?

The message is seeing the positive change that boxing can bring to someone searching for confidence and acceptance. I want boxing to be that haven for others, especially women, that it was for me. I talk about it a lot in Boxing Chicks. In boxing I’ve met some of the most incredible people ever, especially women, and it’s an honor to work for and with them in the gym and be a part of their lives. I don’t think I’d ever be able to walk away from the feeling I get when I see someone’s life change. For the better.

Q Did you ever think life would be this busy after retirement?

LOL busy is not the word….in my spare time I’m going to clone me.

Q You’re a loving mother and grandmother what does the family think of your boxing career?

100% supportive. My daughter and her family are a huge support system for me. And she’s my hero.

Q How do you keep grounded with all you do?

You remember where your success came from – from a lot of hard work.

Q You will be inducted into the IWBHOF in July. What does that mean to you?

I’m Beyond flattered and honored. Being inducted along with Laila Ali and Ann Wolf in probably their only appearance together? It’s exciting and I hope, an inspiration to others in boxing.

Q What words/mantra do you try to live by?

It’s never too late to chase your dream… and don’t stop until you have it.


Boxing Diva Questions

What is on your 2015 wish list? Success! Financial success for this year would be great too.

Describe yourself in 1 word.  Boss

What scares you?  Nothing

What is in your refrigerator right now?  Condiments (laughing)

If you were an animal, what would you be?  A bird

Who is your hero?  My daughter

Something we would never guess about you?  My age! (ha 32!)

What is the best part of your body?  Left bicuspid.

Are you a girly-girl?  Yep, with an overwhelming sense of humor.

I’m a terrible__.  Time keeper.

Your best friend would describe you as crazy.

I am inspired by over-comers.

Your guilty pleasure.  Tacos, and old pictures of Oscar De La Hoya

What gives you the creeps?  Creepy guys and people with no compassion or empathy.

One food you would never eat.  Ghost peppers

Weirdest thing you do when no one is looking?  Look at them.

I’m not as oblivious as I look.

If your cellphone fell in the toilet – what would you do?  Die.

Describe your personality using a color.  Multicolored

What drives you absolutely crazy?  Lies

One thing you are NOT.  Old

I’m always shopping for cocktail dresses.

What makes you smile?  Boxing Chicks

Do you sing in the shower?  No, I plan

Who is your celebrity crush?  Oscar de la Hoya

If you went to a beach and it turned out to be a nude beach, would you stay and go swimming?  I would probably run.

Last thing you do before you go to bed.  Pray

Check out Terri Moss’s YouTube Channel.

About the Author

Judi Abate - "Boxing Diva"
Judi Abate, the "Boxing Diva", has been interviewing the fighting community since 2007. Her trademark questions are sassy and unpredictable. She has contributed work to Diamond Boxing, Boxing Rant, and WBAN. Away from the PC she enjoys reading, shopping and painting. Her dream interview is Oscar De La Hoya.

1 Comment on "Interview: Terri Moss"

  1. judy auslander | January 29, 2015 at 11:40 PM | Reply

    What can I say. Someone to admire. Done a lot in her life. Many should learn from her life. Thanks for a great interview, like the youtube reference at the end.

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