BEER AND BOXING

Boxing ring girl and Sports Illustrated hopeful Dessie Mitcheson lets us in on her journey from small town to the century’s biggest fight night  and what it means to be the face of Tecate

Who is Dessie Mitcheson? ‘Dessie Mitcheson in the simplest way possible is fun, busy, loving, and passionate!’ The small-town girl has been propelled into the minds of boxing fans worldwide as one of the industry’s most recognisable ring girls. Having come from an unassuming background as a hairstylist and model, Mitcheson was hand-picked to represent Mexican Lager brand Tecate and with no fight night experience was thrust into representing the brand at the century’s biggest fight – Mayweather-Pacquiao. Given that this was her first time as a ring girl, one might expect the occasion to overwhelm her but she embraced the opportunity and took the bull by the horns. ‘For some reason I wasn’t nervous! I was so excited and busy during that week I don’t think there was any time for nerves!’

An immediate hit with boxing fans, Mitcheson has since and grown into the role and is now flourishing both in and outside of the ring. ‘I feel like working as a ring girl gets better and better. I wasn’t nearly as familiar with the sport when I started and now I know so much more. It’s nice knowing who you’re working with and what to expect for fight week!’

Being a Tecate girl, however, involves more than just posing for the cameras. Mitcheson is involved in brand and fight promotion and at every stage in the lead up to any boxing match. ‘Being a Tecate Girl means being at everything during fight week! We do the Grand Arrivals, weigh ins, pre-press conferences and post press conference. We also do radio interviews, appearances, and sometimes televised appearance. So much stuff!’

Together with Janira Kremets (@official.janira), Mitcheson has become the face of Tecate and is now synonymous with the brand. ‘Myself and my girl Janira are the official Tecate Girls! We pretty much take turns or balance everything out equally!’ The two have also bought a new dimension to the world of ring girls – no longer to just be ogled at by legions of fans between fight rounds but instead building her own brand presence. And whilst the testosterone fuelled atmosphere will inevitably mean that there will be leering and cat-calling, Mitcheson has had few bad experiences. ‘I haven’t had any unpleasant experiences with the boxers. They have all been very nice and respectful. I of course know some better than others, but all have been great! One of my favourite memories was interviewing Canelo during the Canelo-Smith fight!’ As for the fans? ‘There are always some fans that push the boundaries with us ladies, but thankfully we always have security with us. So they handle anything like that.’

In the main, Mitcheson has connected with boxing fans in a way that few before her have managed to do so. Her enthusiasm for what she does, combined with her image as the girl next door and her appreciation for fans have turned her into one of the darlings of the ring-girl profession. ‘My favourite thing about the role is the fans. There is nothing like boxing fans. The love they have for the sport is incredible!’ Often, she can be seen with a permanent smile and whilst she’s clearly enjoying what she does, this can sometimes pose a challenge. ‘The HARDEST thing about it is smiling on stage nonstop!’

Between fights, Mitcheson is still involved in print and promotional media and most recently applied for Sports Illustrated’s open casting call, making it to the final cut from thousands of applicants. ‘I’m so honoured and grateful to have made it into the top 35. I flew to NYC to shoot and meet with the whole SI team, it was incredible! So now I’m just waiting to hear if I made it further in the process! Fingers crossed! It’s been one of the best experiences of my life so far.’

It’s a hectic schedule, but she’s loving every moment of it. Whilst criticism of ring girls remains, Mitcheson shows no signs of slowing down. ‘There will always be women that do not agree or like ring girls, but there’s nothing I can do about that besides continue to give Tecate a professional name in boxing. I love what I do and I work hard for my career if someone wants to be negative and disrespectful towards me so be it.’

And her final advice for budding ring girls? ‘For girls that want to get into the modelling business I would say to start shooting with as many good local photographers as you can! Get some great photos and start promoting yourself. Go to industry functions and parties to network! Enter as many contests as you can! If you really want something and work hard for it, it WILL happen!’

Our thanks go to Dessie Mitcheson for making this interview happen.

You can check out her work on Instagram @dessiemitcheson

Article © IYO Magazine