PhillyPhanatics.com recently spoke with Philadelphia-area natives Tiffany Lazarczyk and Megan Gerber as they prepare for their upcoming Female Hollywood Boxing bouts Saturday night at Adelphia Restaurant and Lounge in Deptford, NJ. Also on the card is a computer simulation of a fight between Mark Wahlberg and Will Smith, courtesy of Celebrity Compufight.
Click here for ticket information.
The Celebrity Compufight match was put together after the “what if” offer of $1 million to Wahlberg and to Smith, each of whom portrayed a boxer in a major motion picture (Wahlberg played Mickey Ward in “The Fighter,” while Smith played Muhammad Ali in “Ali”), was not responded to, despite calls for such a match in Radar Online and Access Hollywood.
Compufight is the brainchild of local businessman Craig Sirulnik, a boxing fan who developed the computer simulation to see who would win matches pitting boxers from different eras. Sirulnik was later called upon to extend the simulations to boxing matches involving celebrities who have never stepped in the ring competitively.
“It’s true that the celebrities don’t have boxing stats, but we do thorough research on what kind of athletic endeavors they’ve pursued or are pursuing and factor that in, along with the ‘tale of the tape’ kind of physical measurements,” said Sirulnik. “We think we’ve done a good job to make it realistic, but whatever the result is on Saturday night could be a different result another time…so the story continues.”
PhillyPhanatics.com: Tiffany, I know you’re scheduled to get in the ring Saturday. Have you done this before?
Tiffany Lazarczyk: I fought December 4th at the Taj Mahal. We were originally scheduled to fight 3 rounds, but they couldn’t come to a decision on who won, so we agreed to go 2 more rounds and then I won by decision.
PP: What was it that helped you pull away in the final rounds?
TL: My trainer Sal had me doing a lot of cardio, and the work I do with everybody in my gym, including sparring on a weekly basis – I train seven days a week, and I’m very focused and motivated. Whatever it takes, I’m in there.
PP: Your opponent that particular night, did she fight before?
TL: Yes, actually, she has fought before, done MMA (mixed martial arts). We were very different weight classes, also – she was about 250 and I’m 135, 140.
PP: Wow – that’s a lot to give –
TL: It is a lot, and I wasn’t going out. I was not backing out. She was a great opponent. We’re actually pretty good friends now – but she didn’t take it easy on me!
(hear the audio from this part of the interview)
PP: What can you tell me about your opponent Saturday?
TL: It’s actually a tournament, so it will hopefully be more than one fight. Not too many girls I’m worried about…I’m going in there and giving it my all. Definitely not going in there cocky, but obviously confident. There’s a lot of girls that have probably been training just as hard as I have, and it’s unpredictable what’s going to happen.
PP: So it could take 3 or 4 fights in one night to come away with the belt?
TL: Yeah, I know – if that’s what it takes – I’m going hard for this.
PP: 3-round fights?
TL: Yes, 45 seconds per round.
PP: What got you interested in this to the point where you were able to get in the ring in December?
TL: There was a ring in my gym which I was just using for cardio, and my trainer, Sal, who’s one of my best friends – he worked with me and then asked me if I was interested in boxing – and the next thing I know, I’m training for a fight!
It definitely stumped a lot of people – I’m crazy, outgoing and wild and people were asking me “how do you get yourself into these situations?!?” But I wasn’t scared at all. I train very hard, I worked very hard to get where I am now, and I’m not letting anyone take that away from me.
PP: Were you into sports growing up?
TL: I grew up with all brothers, and as soon as my mother could get me playing in leagues – I played softball, basketball and volleyball, ran track and I also did cheerleading. Volleyball was probably my best sport, but then I injured my knee and ended up focused on boxing.
I’m very blessed to have had such great opportunities come my way.
PP: Do you enjoy watching sports, too?
TL: I love baseball and I’m also a big hockey fan. I love going to the games, too. I also like watching MMA – it’s very interesting to me. It’s a very challenging sport.
PP: What do you think will be the future for you, what you’re hoping to accomplish?
TL: I’d like to go amateur and fight with real gloves. I’ve gotten into boxing and I’d love to make a career out of it. That’s why I’m fighting the celebrity matches right now with the big gloves. It might take me years to get there, but I’m a very determined person.
I also know I’m an outgoing person, so if acting or other public appearances come up – I’m very interested in that, too.
PP: On PhillyPhanatics.com, we have a video segment called IMHO and we recently asked who was the best local coach or manager. What’s your humble opinion on that question?
TL: I have to say Charlie Manuel. He stands up for his players. It’s hard to be up on that pedestal, winning the World Series and then trying to get back – it’s hard to do that – I give him a lot of credit for what he does to keep the team focused.
PP: It’s kinda like now that you’ve fought once and there will be opponents getting in the ring who haven’t fought before, so it would be a big deal to them if they could knock you out on Saturday –
TL: Well, they can try. I’m going in there and not going down easily. I have a lot of support. My mother didn’t make it to the first fight, but she’ll be there this time – so this one’s for her.
PP: Well, we wish you all the best.
TL: Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
PhillyPhanatics.com: Megan, can you tell me about Female Hollywood Boxing – is this going to be your first time in the ring?
Megan Gerber: Yes, it will be.
PP: How did you get interested in this?
MG: Well it turns out that my girlfriend is going to do this, too – also for the first time Saturday – so I was like ‘if you want to do it, I wanna do it!’
PP: I understand that this is not your first time playing sports in front of an audience, though –
MG: I did play semi-pro football for the Philadelphia Phoenix for 2 years. We had an 8-game schedule, 4 home, 4 away. The second year, we were division champions and played 2 playoff games.
PP: What position did you play?
MG: All over the field. Mainly outside linebacker, but also cornerback, wide receiver, punt returner and a gunner on special teams.
(hear more about Megan on the football field)
PP: Do you play any other sports?
MG: I started out at a young age, and I’ve played basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball. Right now I play slow-pitch and fast-pitch softball and rough touch football.
PP: And what do you do outside of sports?
MG: My degree from West Chester is in kinesiology – which is physical education. I’m doing social work, I help people transition from welfare to work, but at the end of the month, I will be a school teacher in the Philadelphia school district.
PP: Congratulations! That’s great –
PP: What are your goals for boxing?
MG: I’m just doing it for fun, to get my aggression out a bit, too!
PP: Now what if you end up going against your girlfriend in the ring?
MG: Oh man, that would be a tough one, looking across the ring and seeing your girlfriend. We’re both very competitive and we like to win, so we’ll do what we’ve gotta do.
PP: If you did go up against each other, who would win?
MG: Oh I would totally win. I just don’t like losing and losing would not be acceptable.
PP: Do you watch sports, too?
MG: I’m a Phillies fan and also a Steelers fan.
PP: This must be a sad week for you –
MG: Yeah, when the Steelers finally showed up, it was a good game. They missed a lot of tackles, though.
PP: Just like boxing, it’s tough to dig yourself into a hole early and still win –
MG: Yeah, I plan to pace myself, but not get too far behind.
PP: Thanks, Megan and good luck Saturday.
MG: Thank you.