Brittany Rogers Living a Dream
~By Rick Woelfel~
Not so long ago Brittany Rogers wanted to be a boxer. That dream never materialized. But Rogers found another outlet for her passion for boxing. Her promotional company, BAM Boxing Promotions, is co-promoting the NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night card Saturday night from Temple University’s Pearson and McGonigle Halls.
The main event features Philadelphia native Bryant Jennings defending his USBA heavyweight title against Bowie Toupu in a scheduled 12-round bout. Rogers, a Philadelphia-area native herself isn’t the first female boxing promoter in history. But at age 23 she is one of the youngest ever, male or female. She got her love of boxing from her father Michael, who fought as an amateur, but did not want his only daughter inside the ropes.“He wasn’t comfortable with his daughter fighting,” she says. “I don’t blame him.”
Rogers found another entrée into the sport however when as a Temple undergrad (her degree is in Sports Management) she interned for veteran boxing promoter J. Russell Peltz, whose offices were just a few blocks from the Temple campus. A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Peltz himself started promoting fights when he was 22 and has been respected throughout his career for offering his paying customers quality, competitive fights.
When Rogers told him she wanted to someday promote fights herself Peltz asked her ‘When are you doing your first show?’ and has been her mentor ever since. “He’s always teaching me,” Rogers says, “I still work every one of his shows and you see me doing more and more. I’m learning more or more. He’s always there to guide me, but he lets me try and figure it out on my own first.”
Rogers put on her first show in September of 2011; Saturday’s card will be her third overall and her first televised event; her promotional partners include Peltz and Main Events, which is based in New Jersey. “I’m finally going to get exposure for what I’m doing,” she says. ”To get it on a national level is beyond amazing to me.”
Rogers is excited about the idea of putting on a show in North Philadelphia. For many years Philadelphia was a boxing hotbed but fistic activity within the city has dwindled in recent years as fighters have migrated elsewhere.
In an era when up-and-coming fighters are often featured against lackluster (to put it kindly) challengers to build up their records, Rogers follows the formula imparted to her by her mentor; pit your prospect against a legitimate opponent and give the paying public and TV audience a good show.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re not undefeated,” she says. “That opportunity is still going to come as long as you do what you’re supposed to do. “I think it’s huge for boxing fans and for fighters to realize that losses aren’t the end of the world. They happen.”
Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings ranked 5th in the world by the IBF will face Tongo’s, Bowie Tupou. In the co-feature another Philadelphia fighter who was a 2004 Olympic alternate, Eric Hunter will face undefeated Mexican fighter, Jerry Belmontes. The event starts at 7pm, and will air live from 10 pm on NBC Sports Network.