December 1, 2004
Six years ago, former boxing champion Isra Girgrah Wynn (a.k.a. “The Raging Beauty”) and husband Marty Wynn came together to showcase their latest main event, Raging Promotions Inc. The sports and entertainment management company specializes in boxing events and services a roster of clients, including professional boxers Darnell Wilson and Jimmy Lange. The Largo, Maryland-based firm also promotes performances by entertainers such as Justin Timberlake, Ja Rule, and Christina Aguilera.
The firm’s first independent boxing event was at the Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The duo received $50,000 up front from the venue and were later compensated another $40,000 in ticket sales. The funds covered expenses for the boxers’ undercards (purses), medical bills, liability insurance, and the boxing commission. The event brought in a $55,000 profit. Last year, the 15-employee firm had $270,000 in revenues and projects $850,000 this year.
The company was launched as a way for Marty to help manage Isra’s career as well as a means to help other fighters become more informed about the industry. “Many boxers are told to simply fight and not be concerned about their contracts or any other part of the business,” explains Isra, who earned a degree in biology from Queen’s University in Canada before moving to Atlanta in 1994. During that same year, while working part time in security, she developed a keen interest in boxing to stay in shape. She had no intention of competing in the sport professionally. But that soon changed. Isra picked up the skill easily and was urged by others at the gym to go pro. She went on to win her first IBF lightweight title in February 1995. The five-time world champion was later signed under Don King Productions.
Prior to becoming a promoter, Marty worked as a computer analyst for the federal government and owned two salons/barbershops. The couple met at a boxing event in Washington, D.C. New to the arena, Marty immersed himself in all aspects of the business and worked closely with industry legends such as Gary Shaw and Don King. Describing the industry as fast-paced and cutthroat, Raging Promotions’ CEO explains, “There is a lot of jealousy between promoters. … Competition is severe, and there are times when other promoters may try to take over your boxers.”
Getting respect as a woman in the industry is another challenge. “Casinos, networks, and promoters have a hard time accepting female boxers because they are owned predominately by males,” adds Raging Promotions’ president, Isra, who hung up her boxing gloves earlier this year after a 10-year reign in the sport.
The 32-year-old entrepreneurs are focused on building the business, which includes breaking negative sexual stereotypes by managing more talented female boxers. The duo recently launched Raging TV (www.invisiontv.com/ragingpromotions), similar to Don King’s KingVision, which features boxing matches for viewers worldwide via the Internet.
The company is all the rage in industry circles. Showtime TV’s veteran ring announcer Ronnie Duncan has praised the Wynns’ ability to successfully compete as promoters by not only scheduling dates