Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Discover How to Be Your Best
Between the Ropes with Jackie Kallen

Best Ever You is honored to issue Jackie Kallen and her new book "Between the Ropes" our Best Ever You Blue Ribbon Award.  Congratulations on all of your success and thank you for being an inspiration to so many.

Meet Jackie Kallen and Learn about "Between the Ropes"

Tell us about yourself.   I am known as "The First Lady of Boxing."  Meg Ryan portrayed me in the film "Against the Ropes" and I was on NBC's "The Contender" with Sylvester Stallone. My first book was a self-help book called  "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." My new book is an autobiography titled "Between the Ropes."  I am a mother and grandmother and I still manage professional boxers.  I have been in this male-dominated business for 35 years now. I was married once (to the father of my two sons) and have been divorced for 17 years and have lived with my current boyfriend for the past 13 years.

How did you get to be where you are today?  I have always been fearless and loved a challenge.  When faced with the chance to enter a male-dominated world more than three decades ago, I marched straight in.  Sexual discrimination never stopped me.  Neither did gossip, negative energy or the haters who love to see you fail.  I always believed in myself and felt it was my right to be whoever I choose to be and do whatever I choose to do.  I let nothing get in my way, always tried to remain humble and appreciative, and I try to do something nice for someone else every single day. I ask for what I want.  The worst that can happen is a "no" answer.
How do you help others be their best?  I do everything I can to bring the best out in the people I come in contact with.  I look for the best in people and I try to show them the best in themselves, also.  So many people suffer from low self-esteem and they need to see themselves in a more positive light. I encourage my friends to re-invent themselves by attempting new things and giving themselves a makeover--both attitude-wise and looks-wise. I am also a good listener and I always provide a shoulder to lean on for those needing compassion and good advice.

How do you help yourself be the best you can be?   To be the best you can be, you need to learn to both love and accept yourself.  I never compare myself to any other woman.  Life is not a contest to see who is the prettiest, richest, or youngest. For me it is about being the happiest. I constantly remind myself of my blessings--not the things I am missing. I am meticulous about my grooming and always check the mirror twice before heading out the door. I try to dress age-appropriately and don't wear my tops too low or my skirts too high. I have learned the importance of patience and try to keep my anger in check. I don't sweat the small things and never make a mountain out of a mole hill. If I can't control a situation--I let it go and don't waste time worrying about it.
What’s new in your life?  My book!  It's a memoir called "Between the Ropes" and I had a great time writing it. I was pretty unhappy with the movie that was inspired by my life so I wanted to tell the real story from A to Z. It's on Amazon.com and I hope readers will enjoy reading about my journey.  It's been a great ride so far!

 Have you ever been fired?    I have to laugh at that question. I guess you can say that my husband fired me. After 30 years he decided that he wanted to be with someone else so he left.  Ouch!

Tell us about some special in your life?    I grew up with a brother--no sisters.  My dad was one of three brothers.  I married a man who was one of four sons.  We had two sons.  So girls have always been a novelty to me.  When my granddaughter Jenna was born (almost five years ago) I discovered the joy of little girls. We immediately formed a strong bond and she is now my mini-me.  She dresses like me, loves manicures and pedicures, adores jewelry, and sleeps over at my place at least one night a week. She is a warm, bright, funny little girl who brightens up any room she enters.

What are your real passions?  At the moment, my grandchildren are my greatest passion.  I have five of them from 1-17 years old.  It's exciting.  The littlest ones are learning to walk and the oldest one is applying to colleges. I am also passionate about the cause of battered and abused women.  Been there....done that.  It's not a pleasant experience so I empathize with women who have tangled with "Mr. Wrong."

If you won the lotto what would you do?  I would put away enough for my family to live comfortably and I would use the rest to buy presnts for everyone I love, and I'd build a big boxing gym in Detroit for the kids-at-risk so that they could get off the streets and train for free.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?  I would like to get back to my motivational speaking career full-time.  I love the feeling of empowering people and the travel is invigorating.  I love airports, hotels and living out of a suitcase. To me, nothing is more fun than addressing a large group of people. 

What do you like to do in your personal life?   Besides spending time with my family, I love knitting and making ceramics. Both are creative outlets that are relaxing and produce beautiful things when you are done.  So it's a win/win for me.

Please give us one or two shameless plugs.  Shameless plug #1:  Buy my book "Between the Ropes" at Amazon.com.  Shameless plug #2:  Cheer for my new junior middleweight boxer Leandre "Blue" White. He is undefeated and I want to keep it that way!

Please give us one plug for someone else or your favorite cause or charity.  I have to give a big shout-out to Haven, a shelter for battered women in Pontiac, MI.  They do a terrific job.

What is your favorite book to recommend to someone else to read  Can I say "Between the Ropes"?  I guess that's a selfish pick but it really is an interesting read.

What are some of your favorites? (books, websites, etc..)   Movies:  "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas" and"A Bronx Tale."  Books:  Anything by Jonathon Trotter.  Website:  TMZ

Share a secret ;)  It's not a secret now that my book is out, but for 14 years I never told anyone that I had been badly beaten up by a former boyfriend. I ended up in surgery and when I recovered, I buried the whole experience and never spoke of it.  Until now.

Posted in Blue Ribbon Award Winners, Elizabeth's Best, Featuring You, TV shows and actors, Sports    Tagged with Jackie Kallen, Between the Ropes, Boxing, amazon, books, memoir, junior, middleweight, Sylvester Stallone, Leandre White, Meg Ryan, Omar Epps, Against the Ropes, Haven, Michigan, Best Ever You, Blue Ribbon Award, motivational speaking, travel, author


JAVINNO PURICELLI - October 11th, 2013 at 6:16 PM
Alright I Took The Time To Read This Article because I Know who you are Jackie and Elizabeth also Knows Me pretty well especially with some of the things that I do.

One of which is that I am a Screenwriter. And seeing that you were unhappy with the last time that you were portrayed on Film in Against the Ropes.

Perhaps I could be of assistance to you should You ever Decide that you want to turn your New Book Between The Ropes into something more appealing to you.

Lets just say that I Have a Gift and happen to be very good at. But enough about that. I want to talk more about what you had to say in this Article here with Elizabeth.

For Starters I would like to commend you on being the 1st Woman Promoter in Boxing and the things that you had to endure in order to Accomplish such a feat in that Organization.

Because by you doing so Successfully has caused others to be inspired to do the very same thing be it in Boxing or other wise.

Look here Jackie you will forever be viewed upon as a Pioneer for other Women and Men too for that matter who wish to Achieve some form of Greatness in their own lives.

Now you also mentioned something else in this article that touched a very deep cord with me as well and that is the importance of Family.

Listen to me there is nothing worse than a broken home or a failed marriage. Let alone should it be taken to the further extent of one being abusive and I certainly Dont have any Tolerance for people who commit this that type of behavior.

But yet and still if a male commits such cruel acts towards his woman at that point in time he is no longer a Man to me. No at that point he is a weak kneed jelly back coward who lives in constant fear!!

And the sooner women learn that Truth about the man they are with the better off they are at empowering themselves against it. However on the other hand some of you Women Can Be That Way Towards us Men as well but that%u2019s another story entirely with even worse issues to deal with should a Man encounter it.

BUT on a more Pleasant Note Jackie I understand that you like the Film A Bronx Tale as a favorite film of yours. Well I find that very interesting to know because as it so happens

Chazz Palminteri is among one of my favorite Actors as well. And he wrote the play version of that Story well Before it ever became a hit Film that he also Stared in with Robert De Niro.

And speaking of which He even has a very Nice Restaurant right there on the water named CHAZZ in My Region of the Country of which I Think you might also find very appealing as well.

And No Not Just Because He is Italian. No wait who am I kidding its October which means its THE ITALIAN HERITAGE MONTH and I am more than proud!! Besides Chazz is Sicilian and so am I. So Yeah You Know That I Have To Back Up My Own People.

However his place is very Family Oriented etc. the way it should be. a place where you would feel most comfortable taking your Grandchildren for a bit to eat The Real Stuff.

But I%u2019ve said enough and I wish you much Success in all of your endeavors.

Joe Breen - October 14th, 2013 at 7:55 PM
Great interview Elizabeth, I have followed Jackie Kallen for many years I watched "The Contender" and was a big fan of James Toney as a kid.
Bonnie - May 8th, 2014 at 8:35 PM
All my honor to Jackie Kallen for a job well done! You set out with a borrowed buckand made boxing history! Wow! I was never so happy to watch a wonderful true story that was so inspirationaland full of
success! I just lived how you showed, those men, up! Fascinating! Glad your managing career/skills were in your favor. Awesome work! Nice to see a woman succeed at a rocking sport! Keep up with the hard work and you shall, succeed!
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