LISA MARIE LOZANO – BRAVEST WOMAN IN BOXING
By John Gatling, Real Combat Media NY Boxing Correspondent
Run your fingers through my soul
for once, just once,
feel exactly what I feel,
believe what I believe
perceive as I perceive
look, experience, examine
and for once;
You may have a good friend that knows some of your best stories. However, it is your best friend who has lived all of them with you; from the secrets that nobody knows, to the events you face in front of the world.
Even the one’s that make you cry.
The story of January 28, 2017 is the culmination of a unique odyssey for a little known women’s pro boxer named Lisa Marie Lozano. She lost a 4-round fight that night via decision to Jasmine Clarkson in Austin, Texas to turn 7-8 (2KOs) as a pro.
If you stopped right there, to judge without regard for what’s beyond the surface, you’d miss someone capable of becoming Joan of Arc for boxing. Most importantly, for a kind and decent best friend she was fighting to honor that night.
64 year-old Irma Lozano, her mother, was tragically killed by a cowardly, evil bastard named Abel Torres on September 28, 2016 in Big Spring, Texas. Attempting to intervene during a domestic dispute between her daughter Anastasia and what was an ex-boyfriend, Irma was violently lifted off the ground; then, was forcefully crashed head first into a cinder block.
She died instantly.
“This fight was very important for me. My mom was a huge boxing fan,” began Lisa. “She lived her dream through me… She had such joy watching me fight. The tragedy for me, is that she overcame physical abuse only to die this way.”
In a gross miscarriage of justice, the D.A.’s office allowed Torres (on parole and later found hiding in a closet) a plea bargain deal of aggravated assault for 5 – 20 years… This means he probably walks in 10 years.
Betrayal never comes from enemies. Some will teach ourselves to drive cautiously on the road of life, because people will turn on you with no signal. So when the system itself ignored lights of red, Lisa didn’t wait for a green light to just “go”.
“It’s up to us to bounce back. You can say you’re the greatest person in the world– whether you believe it or not is another story,” Lisa continued. “My dad passed away 4 years ago on January 28 and purple was my mom’s favorite color. Purple is also the color of domestic violence, as pink is to breast cancer. So it was a special night for me, my parents… My family.”
Lisa’s 8th birthday party was, well, a little different. Beyond a house of balloons and cake were a pair of boxing gloves used to fight another little girl at the behest of her father. Years later, she was inspired by her son, who overcame bullying to become a solid amateur fighter. After her mom’s death, she took two weeks off before transferring anger and hurt into training. She fought. She broke down. Now she can grieve. Mentally exhausted by everything. Her brother’s love and support, in particular, has been invaluable. “I have a hand full of people that keeps me above water. Without them I would drown;” Lisa would reveal. “I believe God brought those people in my life to help me through my trying times.”
During our interview, Lisa pointed out that Texas legend Ann Wolfe and luminary Laila Ali continue to inspire her. That 2-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields “got next”, and that Amanda Serrano is doing “amazing things” in women’s boxing. About 12 years ago, Lisa trained in MMA for 3 years before taking time off to recover from an injury. Inspired by her son and encouraged by her parents, Lisa turned to her “first love” boxing and decided to become a professional.
In all of the years since, she has been: a mother, a wife, a survivor of divorce and a fighter; a Ring Card girl and owner of LML Eye Candy; a boxing teacher and co-operator of a combat sports training gym; a broadcast commentator alongside Sean Malone and Roland Gomez with BPMG; and now, partnered with ace confidant Christine N Jahaziel Lopez , has unveiled Global Fight Talk. Global Fight Talk is a new media platform for all boxing and mma.
She made a special point of crediting her coach Tony Mack for all he’s instilled in her. She is truly a woman of renaissance with goals to help innovate the sport of boxing. During about an hour on the phone, here’s some of the topics we broached and a sample of her voice.
Lisa Marie Lozano/2017 Scouting Report
Displays an advanced ring acumen, despite a late pro start . At age 40, Lisa is ranked #3 at Lightweight in the US and #35 in the world . She wants to be perfect with her fundamentals. She is a waiter– but will serve an opponent if she places an order. Uses great economy on her punches. Fundamentally is very sound and precise. Can cause problems for judges. Compensates lack of great speed with rhythm and timing. Has never been stopped. Stylish and compelling to watch on camera. Likes to flirt with elements of her favorite all-time great fighters Guillermo Rigondeaux, Pernell Whitaker and Roberto Duran with her style.
On Ronda Rousey
“I don’t know what her brave feels like. She was very vocal on top. Actions prove who someone is, but words really prove who they want to be. Ronda Rousey gave boxing promoters the idea of a Ronda Rousey in boxing. She caught De La Hoya’s attention and got on the cover of RING. Where was Holly Holm? No one in RING talked about Holly at all. She was an 18-time world champion boxer. Females don’t get enough attention.”
On Women’s Boxing
“A lot of these girls – really good fighters – are uncertain about what the sport can do for them. Its great to see Heather Hardy do what she’s been doing and to watch Amanda Serrano on Showtime. Boxing is a family. We’ve gone from Christy Martin and Lucia Rijker to now a multiple gold medalist and future star in Claressa Shields. I think Kathy Long is amazing. But even still, a lot of female boxers are trying to get in MMA to support themselves. Boxing has to do more for women. If that happens, I think great things are ahead for women in boxing. Its been 2 decades since real growth.
On Choosing Boxing
“Everyone fights for different reasons. Winning is important, but winning at life is the ultimate goal. I was depressed when not fighting. For joy. At one point I was very suicidal. Boxing saved my life.”
“Find what you enjoy and put 100% into it. I have to focus on myself to be a better person. No one is responsible for your happiness but yourself. Fight on. Fighting is my expression.”
On Future Aspirations In Boxing
“I would love to become a judge. The first thing I’d do is change the seating levels! They need a fresh perspective. Boxing used to be #1, but it has not evolved like other sports. Look at the growth of the NFL, NBA and MLB over the years. Our sport is still in the 1930’s, 1940’s in mentality. We have to start getting the commissions younger and innovative. The sport needs new energy.”
On Fight Officials
“These fighters who are now promoters– namely the big ones like Oscar [De La Hoya] and Floyd [Mayweather] must try to make changes with these judges. I’ve been robbed and I was robbed on January 28th. Mayweather was in what he believed was a bad judging situation a few weeks ago between Badou Jack and James DeGale. He’s been there.”
The soul becomes dyed by the color of its thoughts.
On the night of her fight, January 28, Lisa was filled with “The Color Purple”, in a way that Whoopi Goldberg’s Celie and Oprah Winfrey would be proud of. For clarity, if a man has not reconciled demons that lie dormant from being raised under conditions of hate and fear, women will unknowingly inherent a loveless and hopeless union marred by violence. It can lead to tragic cases of happenstance, such as the death of Irma Lozano.
Abuse starts a dangerous spinning wheel. With each resentful thought, many men and women have mastered being resentful from a practiced childhood. It was there that a vengeful inner dialogue first gained momentum. The numbers overwhelmingly indicate that this dynamic affects men far more than it does women, to devastatingly violent effect.
I should know. I struck my wife. Though I did not go to man’s version of jail– I went to women’s, long unable to properly connect with them in free society due to guilt and shame. For that, I must apologize, finally, to my ex-wife and our son. For the first time in my life I feel free. I owe that not just to Lisa’s courage in sharing her story, but for trusting me with it as something beyond a journalist.
This is why I thought Floyd blew a major opportunity for himself and men who suffer from untreated rage when he appeared on ESPN recently, to be confronted by vocal critic Cari Champion. Floyd knew what was coming, as he’d already been counseled by publicist Kelly Swanson. Viewing Champion as offense, Mayweather turned to his specialty of defense. Until enough men have the character to come clean on this subject, it will always remain a dirty secret that blackens the soul. No amount of green can buy a cure.
On April 14, Lisa will be a guest speaker for a women’s conference on Domestic Violence in Dallas. “I’ll tell my story and your story if I have to, and hopefully I can help someone,” said Lisa, with a passionate grace. “If I can change one life for the better it’ll feel like 1000.”
You just did.