Rising Kickboxing Star Andrew Ball: “Whenever I Fight, I Fight For New York”
Interview by Randy Jean
A man with grit and passion comes before you today. Andrew Ball, kickboxing up and coming star sits with me to discuss his life of turmoil to success, mentor and trainer Louis Neglia and his thoughts on the latest installment of Combat at the Capitale, which will stream live on GFL.tv from New York City on Friday, September 11.
Randy Jean: I read an article in Newsday which described your up bringing and life on the streets. Fighting was basically all you knew growing up. Am I right?
Andrew Ball: Yup, pretty much. I used to fight a lot. I would fight older kids, to even kids my own age. It was something that I would do legit every week.
RJ: In the past you’ve credited Lou Neglia for the success that’s came your way. How has your relationship with Neglia changed from when you first met him?
AB: He’s like a father to me. When I first met him he inserted great advice into my head to ensure that I’d stay out of trouble.
RJ: Ok, so what’s the atmosphere like training under the tutelage of Lou Neglia and his martial arts school?
AB: He’s very intense. He’s very old school in the sense where he plays no games. He doesn’t accept any excuses so you have to give him 100%. Anything less and you’re out.
RJ: Wow, so he’s basically a no nonsense kind of guy!
AB: Very much no nonsense. He’s got a reputation for that and I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s absolutely true.
RJ: “Combat at the Capitale 37″ takes place next month. Unfortunately you suffered an injury while training for your bout against Jordan Turner. How hard is it for you going into the Capitale knowing you won’t be able to help your teammate Andrea DeAngelo capture a win?
AB: Well, I’m still going to help her out in any way that I can. I’m still going to do some light training with her; while at the same time I’ll always be in her corner mentally. I’m always telling her what she needs to hear and she continues to credit me for establishing a tough mentally that every fighter needs to have into her.
RJ: With your injury keeping you within the sidelines, what is your mindset right now?
AB: You know this injury is only going to allow for me get even better. So in that sense he’s actually very unlucky. I’ve taken fights where I should have forfeited because I was injured but I did them anyways. So this time I’m going to be smart and take care of myself.
Rj: Piggybacking off what you said about Andrea DeAngelo, how well do you think her performance will be as she goes up against Theodora Pistiolis?
AB: I think this was the fight that she was waiting for. She took a little break to get her head and body together, but now she’s at 100% and ready to go. I believe she’ll represent team USA to the fullest and give it a good show.
RJ: Sports are usually at forefront when it comes to easing our mind through tragedy. How does it feel to know that Combat at the Capitale will have that same influence on some Americans as we remember those who died on 9/11?
AB: I think it’s a great opportunity for some New Yorkers to show their patriotism and represent New York in a way that it should be. I’m disappointed that I can’t do that but, regardless, whenever I fight, I fight for New York. Our team will be representing New York that night and although I won’t be fighting, DeAngelo will be. No doubt will team Neglia represent New York at the Capitale.