lilD: Martin Tucker’s Eye of the TigerWritten by lilD | | firstname.lastname@example.org
They say all a man has is his words, but those people have forgotten about the fire burning in the pit of every man’s stomach. That never-ending desire to be great. The incessant will of a fighter to never let anything stop him, no matter how strong the punches thrown against him.
Boxers and musicians have a lot in common.
Toledo native Martin Tucker has been fighting since he was 18, and at 31, he’s in the best shape of his life. He’s had 16 professional fights, and is compensated well for his achievements. Not every boxer can say they’ve fought on ESPN twice.
So what’s stopping Tucker from catapulting his career to the next level of fame, (more) fortune, and a title fight? The same thing stopping a lot of local artists from getting a record deal: money.
“Toledo is a boxing town, but there’s no one putting money into fighters here,” says Tucker of the struggle to find a good promoter. A boxing promoter is the equivalent to an artist’s manager: they get you in front of the right people, set up fights with worthy opponents (or concerts with a big crowd, in an artist’s case), and make sure you are rightfully compensated for your work. Without the right people on your team, the road to success can be filled with more twists and turns before reaching the plateau.
Another obstacle Tucker is facing is the biological clock. At 31, he may only have a few more years to fight. He says he wants to be done by 35, which doesn’t leave him much time. So why would someone continue to pursue a dream that is likely to end shy of the ultimate goal? Ask any local artist why he/she continues to do music after a certain number of years with no recording contract: they love the art. (And besides, Tucker gets paid to fight.)
Martin Tucker has taken boxing “from a hobby to a profession,” and doesn’t feel like his dream slipped away from him at all. With a fiancé and 5 children to support, it must feel good to do what you love and be able to provide stability in your household. And while this may not be the end of the road, it’s a great path to walk on.
Everyone knows it takes money to make money, but there is still an element of chance in play. A boxer has to be seen by the right people at the right time to get that chance at that title fight, or to meet that promoter interested in him. And with most things in life, it’s all about the Benjamins.
A promoter will not bring someone to the forefront that can’t draw a crowd, and in turn make that promoter money. Regardless of how hard you train, or what diet you follow, you had better be able to deliver. In Hip-Hop, the same rule applies: no one will go to see an artist whose every song makes them want to pierce their eardrums. It doesn’t matter how much you write, or which rapper you look up to; all that matters when you’re on that stage is if you can knock ‘em out.
If Martin Tucker never sees the bright lights of Vegas or feels a belt around his waist, he is still living the dream. He is taking care of his family, and plans to give back to his community. Once he’s done boxing, he’ll be starting a gym in Toledo that he hopes to turn into a franchise, fully equipped with nutritional plans as well as strength training. With this man’s ambition, don’t be surprised when it happens.
Whether an artist chooses to stay underground or try to make it to the mainstream can be a tough decision. There’s fame and a noticeable boost in pay on one hand, and the ability to live comfortably and achieve satisfaction by giving back to the community on the other. Whichever road is destined for Martin Tucker, he’s still a champion.