For the love of all that’s holy, we hope you've made your brunch reservations by now. Mother’s Day is Sunday and you’re going to get shut out if you don’t get on it soon. Do you want your mother to not get waffles, you monster?
Fathers get plenty of attention in boxing, and rightly so. Just look at father-son combos such as Angel and Danny Garcia, Ruben and Robert Guerrero, and Kenny and Shawn Porter. But behind every good fighter is an incredibly generous and patient mother.
Generous, because moms have to go against instinct and let their sons get hit in the face. Anthony Dirrell got a tattoo of his mother, Lola, on his shoulder to show his appreciation. She had to go through the experience with both him and his older brother, Andre.
“It takes love, especially for this game,” Anthony Dirrell said. “Most mothers don’t want to see their son getting hit, but she got through it and we’re here now. She can’t really watch my fights, but that’s every mother.”
Amir Khan, who’s getting ready to take on Chris Algieri on May 29 in Brooklyn, New York, on Spike TV, says his mother, Falak, had a hard time watching him fight at first, too. But once the in-ring fireworks are done, she springs into action.
“After a fight she’s always looking after me, making sure the swelling and everything goes down, feeding me, trying to put weight on me,” he said. “When I’m on a strict diet I’m not allowed to eat the food that she makes, then after a fight she cooks me so many meals to make sure I’m happy.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean she was happy when Khan’s younger brother, Haroon, wanted to follow in his older sibling’s footsteps.
“She still kind of tells him, ‘Look, you don’t have to fight. We’ve got one fighter in the family, so why do you have to fight?’” Khan said. He joined the chorus. “Go do something else, because mum’s getting older, father’s getting older, so obviously it’s not something they want to see all their life is their sons in the ring fighting.”
Never say a fighter can't be a soft touch when it comes to his mother, either. Omar Figueroa Jr. took his mom to prom. That's a move you can only get away with when the rest of the school knows you're a boxer.
Then there are the moms who gave their sons a little more of a push. Austin Trout’s mom, M.J. Johnson, is a boxing fan in her own right. She’ll be right there when Trout gets ready to fight Luis Galarza on Saturday in Hidalgo, Texas.
“She would say like, ‘Look at those muscles, Austin. That’s what a real man’s muscles look like,’” Trout said. “Every boy wants to be that guy his mother thinks is a handsome man. She took me to the gym, and I remember my first fight she had to be taken out because she was crying. Now I can’t keep her away from the fights.”
Even better, she kept him away from a sport in which he probably wouldn’t have made as much of a mark.
“I remember I wanted to join basketball in seventh and eighth grade, and she said if it’s at the same time as boxing you can’t do it,” he said. “Don’t try to quit one if you think you want to do something else, and I thank her for that because I’m not very good at basketball.”
Every so often, though, a son can turn around a mother’s opinion. Shawn Porter took his mother from “couldn’t come to his fights” to “wants to break down in-ring strategy.” Which, if you’ve ever tried to change your mother’s mind on anything, you know is impressive.
“She was never really one to scream a combination for me to throw or would be upset if I lost,” he said. “She was just 100 percent always happy for me and rooting for me. The thing I do know now is she’s really taken some interest in my professional career. She chooses to tell me what I should do in the ring from time to time, which I find funny, like you’re the expert. It’s kind of exciting to her now. She’s more interested and involved in my career.”