Home Boxing News Announcer Hayes Coming Back to Where it all Began

Announcer Hayes Coming Back to Where it all Began


Announcer Hayes Coming

Back to Where it all Began

Amy HayesRing announcer Amy Hayes, “The Lady of the Ring” will make her return to the Chicago area on Wednesday, May 18, at Hitz Boxing’s ‘Rosemont Rumble’ at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

The main event of the evening will pit red-hot Irish middleweight contender Andy Lee (25-1, 19 KOs) against tough veteran Alex “The Technician” Bunema (31-7-2, 17 KOs) in a 10-round battle for the NABF and NABA Middleweight Championships.

More than just another assignment on her boxing world tour, Rosemont holds a special place in Hayes’ heart, as does promoter Bobby Hitz, whom she credits with giving her, her first big break.

The Michigan-born Kentucky resident says she took a few years off during her marriage, but has come back full-force since her separation in 2007. Lately, Hayes has been working internationally but says she always has time for Hitz.

Is it true Bobby Hitz gave you your big break in ring announcing?

Bobby was the first person to put me in front of a big audience in legitimate, sanctioned professional bouts.

I had been thinking about becoming a ring announcer since I was 17. I had always enjoyed ring announcers, even on wrestling. They had a female announcer in the 80s I used to watch. One night, when I was 21 in Detroit where I was raised, I was at the Palace (of Auburn Hills) working for a different promoter, doing public relations and managing the ring card girls. That’s where I met Bobby Hitz. He invited me to be the ring announcer for his fight series in Rosemont.

He already had an established ring announcer, but he gave half the fights to me. We shared the responsibilities. Bobby gave me the opportunity to be a real ring announcer and I wasn’t just doing the deep undercard, I was doing half of the show!

I knew from the moment I got in front of that boxing crowd, being there and the way it felt, what I wanted to do.

You were gone for a while. What happened?

I took a break and got married and took some time off, which now I wish I hadn’t done. You learn from your choices. It wasn’t the kind of marriage I wanted and I missed my job and friends and my old life. If you’re not with someone good for you, you lose your spirit.

I went through a really rough time. I believe in marriage but this one was no good and I was so depressed and tapped out. The life was sucked out of me. I missed boxing, but I didn’t know how to make my return.

Since the marriage ended, I’ve been working more and more. I’ve been working a lot in Mexico and Romania and the Philippines and Italy and I’ve done some local fights in Kentucky and Cincinnati, but Bobby invited me to work for him and I’m very happy about it. I love Chicago. It’s a city where I feel absolutely comfortable. It really is like going home for me. I fit in there. Maybe because I’ve never had any bad experiences in Chicago and Bobby is easy to work with. The crowds are also fantastic.

How did you become the world-famous ring announcer you are now?

I got my big break with Dan Goossen in 2001.

I did a Top Rank show one at the Playboy mansion on ESPN and while I was there, they talked to me about doing a pictorial as a female ring announcer. Even though it was hard to do, I turned it down. But then in 2001, I got a second call from Playboy offering it to me again. This time I thought at least it will be attached to something I care about; it isn’t just about modeling, so I did it.

Because of the pictures, Fox Network wanted to do an interview, so I went to New York and did it. Before I found where I was supposed to go, I was walking around the building and Fox and Friends was wrapping up. Someone from that show asked me why aren’t you on our show?

It’s the #1 morning news show and this was before 9/11. They were a lot of fun and known as a fun variety show that also did news. After the interview, I went back to my room and Fox called me. They said ‘guess what? We’re going to hook you up as a guest host on Fox and Friends all week and then interview you on Fox Sports.

I had worked hard for ten years and felt maybe it wouldn’t go anywhere. At that point, I had been on Friday Night Fights and Tuesday Night Fights four or five times. Even some Sunshine Network in Florida and met some big names, but it was still sometimes tough to get anybody to take me seriously and then suddenly, I’m doing a Playboy pictorial and was on Fox news channel for four or five hours a day for a week.

I came home and got a phone call from Dan Goossen’s company. They said we want you to do all our fights on FSN Sunday. You’ll be on television every weekend. That’s when it really took off.

Why aren’t there more female ring announcers?

I don’t really get it because in every other sport and media format, women are doing more work. Boxing is the last frontier somehow.

The outstanding Andy Lee main event will be backed up by fellow Irishman Henry “Western Warrior” Coyle (13-2, 10 KOs) vs. TBA; exciting pressure fighter Yakubu Amidu (18-2-1, 16 KOs) vs. Gerardo Robles (13-9,6 KOs) of Kansas, imposing Chicago heavyweight Dave Latoria (8-0, 4 KOs) vs. Detroit’s Phillip Jewel (4-6-1, 3 KOs), Chicago lightweight Russell “Rocky” Fiore (4-1-1, 4 KOs) vs. Cleveland’s pro debuting Kevin Walker, Chicago light welterweight George Esho (0-1) vs. Washington’s Lalo Neal (3-10-1), Chicago middleweight Ramon Valenzuela Jr. (4-0, 1 KO) vs. California’s Loren Myers (7-11-1, 2 KOs) and Chicago heavyweight Felix Abner (2-2, 1 KO) vs. TBA.

Tickets for the Rosemont Rumble are $100 ringside and $30 General Admission and are available thru Ticketmaster, The Rosemont Theater Box Office or at fanfueled.com.



All bouts are subject to change.

Hitz Boxing is a proud member of the Boxing Promoters Association.

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center is located at 5555 N. River Road in Rosemont. All bouts are subject to change. On fight night, doors open at 6:30 and fights start at 7:30.

For more information, visit www.hitzboxing.com.

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