Spirit of Alabama: Woman breaks barriers in boxing

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Grace Brister

Behind the scenes of every boxer is a promoter who supports them, and Brandi McCain of One One Six Boxing is the only female boxing promoter in Alabama.

McCain said promoting is a “round-the-clock job.” Everything the fighter needs goes through their promoter, including venue selections, insurance, medicine and a whole lot of paperwork.

McCain said being the only female boxing promoter in Alabama isn’t easy. While some in the boxing world appreciate what she brings to the table, others have trouble accepting that she’s just as, if not more capable.

“It’s either or,” she said. “They either like it, especially the women, they love it, but some of the old school boxing guys haven’t quite got into it yet. So it’s either all the way or none. But for me, I love it.”

McCain said she’s always loved boxing It’s a disciplined sport, and only one person in the ring comes out with the win.

“I was big in the Tyson era, and I joined a boxing gym to take fitness lessons,” McCain said. “It gave me a good chance to watch the amateur guys and everything that was going on. I followed them and I eventually met Jay (Deas). I’m where I’m at now because of him. I just want to make Jay proud.”

Skyy Boxing President Jay Deas said he is thankful for Brandi and her hard work.

“Boxing is always tough regardless of what you’re promoting,” Deas said. “Everybody is kind of at you for one thing or another, and I know (with) her being female, she’s got people who don’t like the fact that she’s female and she’s got people who love the fact that she’s female. She has to deal with it, but Brandi is tough. Brandi is a fighter herself. She can do it.”

McCain said outside of boxing, her family is her top priority. Her husband Jason is a critical care flight paramedic who also provides medical work in the ring. She said he’s supportive in everything she does as well as a huge help. Her daughters, Palin and Presley, come to work with her, and her biggest goal is being a great influence.

“If my kids can’t come to my show, it’s not worth it,” McCain said. “I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but my ring girls are different. We cover our bodies and we cover our skin. They are strong, respectable women. That’s what I do with my ring girls, and that’s what I try to follow along with my daughters, too.”

McCain said she handles any tough situation with class, and she’s teaching her daughters to do the same.

“It’s rough, but it’s good because they get to see that part of it,” McCain said. “They get to see how I respond. I don’t fly off the handle unless I need to. I handle it professionally and promptly. I let my girls know that this is going to happen in life, you’re going to have people who don’t like what you do, but you handle it like a lady and you handle it professionally. Unless you need to kick butt, and then you kick butt.”

Deas said McCain is an inspiration to younger generations.

“She’s on a hot streak right now,” Deas said. “If she can keep it going, she’s going to do great things. She is going to inspire a whole generation of younger promoters.”

McCain said she wouldn’t trade this career for the world, and the relationships she’s made are the most rewarding part.

“I love the fighters I’ve made connections with, and I love their wives,” McCain said. “I love fighters’ wives who are in their corner. That’s my favorite thing.”

McCain said that in life, there have been times she’s told herself, “I can’t do this.” But never once has she told herself that in regards to boxing.

Do you have an idea for a Spirit of Alabama report? Email spiritofalabama@wvua23.com.

Categories: Featured, Spirit of Alabama