Erin Toughill looking to lay a hurting on Laila Ali
Interview by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (June 8, 2005)  
Erin Toughill
The lightening fast Erin Toughill, 6-1-1, is rearing to go and ready to step in with undefeated Laila Ali, 20-0 (17), on June 11th for Ali’s IBA super middleweight strap. The two will collide head to head on the under card of the Tyson-McBride match up that will be featured on Showtime PPV. The champ who has stopped her last nine opponents including a massive win over Christy Martin looks to keep that win streak alive, but ‘The Damsel of Destruction’ Erin Toughill doesn’t have a loss in mind, in fact she feels she will be the first lady to give the stinging one the first loss of Ali’s six year career.

Toughill, who is accustomed to tough bouts in both women’s boxing and the mixed martial arts, isn’t just going to lie down for the champion and take the money and run as some may expect, or others have done. Her intense training says it all; she is locked and loaded for this bout.

Erin broke out on the boxing scene in the summer of 2000 and since then has had bouts with the likes of Dakota Stone, Jacqui Frazier, Cassandra Geigger and looks to add Ali to her list of opposition, and even more so looks to give Laila her first L on her record. What will go down in DC town on June 11th? A war! And Erin is looking to win the battle! Toughill took the time out of her training to give her thoughts to the Doghouse, enjoy.

Benny Henderson Jr.: First I want to say thanks for taking out time of your training for Doghouse Boxing, it is greatly appreciated. Well it appears the fight you have been wanting with Laila Ali will finally be going down June 11th give the Doghouse readers your thoughts on the upcoming match-up. When did you start training for this bout and how has your training been?

Erin Toughill:
I never stop training, really. But we have known about this fight for about two months so we have been training accordingly. My training is going wonderfully.

BH: Is there anything in particular that you are working on that you can tell us about?

No. I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise.

BH: Looking at the tale of the tape, you two match up very well except for the ring experience. You have had nine bouts to Ali’s twenty, how much of an impact do you feel her experience will play in this fight compared to yours?

You know if we were two men – then this fight might not be a good pick for me. As women, we don’t see a super high level of competition like the men. It’s not like she has fought 20 amazing fighters. Right now, we are ALL still pretty new. So, I mean, she has not seen anything that I have not, and she’s not going to bring anything I have not seen. What it will come down to is the will to win and who can impose whose will on the other person.

BH: What do you see in Laila that you can capitalize on as far as weaknesses and what strengths do you see giving you the most trouble?

A few things, but I am not going to say what.

BH: Do you still plan on continuing to compete in the MMA or will you just go strictly boxing?

As of right now, probably boxing.

BH: In an interview you conducted with the Doghouse last January you stated and I quote, “I love boxing because it is truly a science, people have no idea what the inner workings of boxing really are.” Can you explain the “inner workings” of boxing?

One of the main differences in MMA and boxing is the endurance. I can barely train in MMA and still fight 3 or 4 five minute rounds. The intensity level is definitely higher in boxing. Being able to punch correctly can be challenging enough, but when you have to punch AND move – that is not an easy thing to do – that is, if you want to look good doing it. People think you just go in and throw some punches and dance around. Hardly.

BH: I don’t mean to harp on the experience comparison but looking at this fight, do you feel that maybe you should have fought a few more fights to gain more experience before taking on Ali?


BH: Do you have a fight plan at this time you can share with us?

Of course I have a plan. You’ll see it on the 11th.

BH: Besides this match-up what other fights would you like to see in Women’s boxing that you feel would help promote it more?

Well, it’s about five years overdue – but finally Martin and Rjiker will fight for about one million dollars. LOL. It’s sad, really. Both of them are nearly forty and they were so scared to fight each other, they were just waiting on the big payday. At this point, not too many people care. I don’t care as much as I would have five years ago. They are both on their way out. I think some people think I am taking this fight because I am getting ‘paid’. Man, if people really knew what I was making they would really know I am doing this because I want to win and I know I can.

BH: When you look at Laila, in your opinion what do you see in her as a fighter, is there something there that really makes her special or is she in the shadow of her Dad and that brings in the fans?

No. She is where she is BECAUSE of her dad.

BH: Let’s say if Laila was reading this, what would you like to say to her?

Show up.

BH: What type of bout are you expecting come June 11th?

A competitive match.

BH: Any predictions for your match up against Laila?

I will win – it does not matter how.

BH: Is there anything you want to add to this or say in closing?

Thank you to all the people who have supported me and I look forward to adding another belt to my collection and a title to my name.

I want to thank Erin for her time and thoughts once again it is always appreciated. For more info on Erin she would like for you to visit:
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