BOXING INSIDER INTERVIEW WITH RAQUEL MILLER
By: John Freund
On Saturday, August 6th, Bay Area native Raquel “Pretty Beast” Miller squares off against Gabrielle Holloway in front of her hometown fans at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, on the Andre Ward/Alexander Brand undercard. Miller, who was the 2012 Women’s World Championship Silver Medalist, 2012 USA Boxing Women’s National Champion, and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Bronze Medalist, will be fighting in her second professional fight, after scoring a TKO over Sara Flores in just 74 seconds. This fight represents the first women’s boxing match on a Roc Nation card.
Boxing Insider: How does it feel to be fighting in front of your hometown crowd?
Raquel Miller: I’m so excited. This is an amazing opportunity and I worked so hard, and I’m just ready to shine! I’m from the Bayview-Hunter’s Point area… and my community needs something positive. I’m happy to be that light.
Boxing Insider: This is your second professional fight, but a much larger stage than your first fight given that you’re on the Andre Ward undercard. How do you prepare mentally for a fight like this?
Raquel Miller: I’ve been blessed to have an extensive amateur career; I’ve been to the world championships, to the Olympics as an alternate, so I feel like I’ve worked really hard for this opportunity and I deserve it. I’m sure when I get there I’ll be freaked out a little bit (laughs), but right now I’m like, ‘Let’s do this!’
Boxing Insider: You and your opponent are the first females to fight on a Roc Nation card. Why hasn’t women’s boxing received more attention – the way women’s MMA has – and do you think that is changing?
Raquel Miller: I definitely think that it’s changing, and I’m very thankful to Roc Nation for giving us this amazing opportunity. I think the tide is changing, I think that with women’s skill level rising and there being more exposure to the sport, I think it’s only a matter of time before it takes off to the next level. The only thing that’s missing is a couple of superstars, a couple of rivalries, and a couple of fights that the fans are excited to see. It’s just a matter of time and I feel like the tides are turning.
Boxing Insider: Do you think that women’s MMA is in competition with women’s boxing, or do the two help each other?
Raquel Miller: I think it helps. Any woman in combat sports – it’s almost like we’re related in a sense, because we’re all fighting for our chance to be seen and be heard on the big screen. So I think that when women shine in the MMA, that gives us a chance to shine as well. It all helps.
Boxing Insider: How does it feel being a woman in such a highly masculine sport like boxing?
Raquel Miller: I feel like as a woman you’re fighting for your shot to be heard. Of course it’s hard, of course I feel like you have to work twice as hard for people to understand that it’s not just a phase, we’re not just here temporarily. We’re here, we’re strong, we’re working day in and day out, and it’s time for us to be able to take that next step.
Boxing Insider: What first brought you into boxing, and what do you hope to achieve in the sport?
Raquel Miller: I’ve always been athletic. I’ve always been rough and into combat sports. So I feel like it was always meant for me to take this route. As far as what I want to achieve, I want to help other women make their mark in boxing. I want to show people who are just like me – I don’t have any silver spoons, I’ve just been grinding – I want to show them that if you believe in yourself, if you trust in your journey, all things are possible.
Boxing Insider: So what’s the prediction for this fight?
Raquel Miller: I’m going for the knockout! I’m going to be composed and box, but if it comes, I’m definitely going to take it. I’m just looking to give a good show, and show them that we came to light up the stage.
Boxing Insider: You’re not gonna be Ali for me, and tell me the exact round you’re going to KO?
Raquel Miller: (Laughs) No, no! I can’t do that! Honestly, I’m hoping to show off some of my skills, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m just very excited and thankful for this opportunity. I just hope people come out and have a good time, and I’ll show them all the hard work I’ve put in.
Catch this fight – along with the Andre Ward/Alexander Brand fight – live on Saturday, August 6th, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland California. Miller’s fight time is scheduled for 3pm (PST). Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/roc-nation-present-ward-vs-brand-miller-vs-holloway-tickets-26907040683