Over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Priscilla Bezzi and her family. Priscilla is an amazing, vibrant woman who has spent her entire life with American Pit Bull Terriers. Her father, Luigi Bezzi is the Founder and President of the ADBA Italia Club and a former ADBA Dog Man of the Year. He is also a former European Boxing Champion. At only 23 years old, Priscilla is following in her father’s footsteps. She was awarded the 2017 ADBA Show Secretary award at the last convention and is also a boxing champion; just like her father!
Ciao Priscilla! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us. One of the first things I noticed about you when we met was how much you have in common with your father. He is very proud of you. What are some of the most important things you have learned from him?
First, it is MY honor to be interviewed by the Dog Man of the year! My dad has always been my greatest teacher, not only for the father who taught me discipline and respect for Family and the elderly; he was always my greatest inspiration growing up. It's the way he took care of us... keeping up with his job, family, the dogs and the Club, that I admire the most. I am forever grateful for what he passed down to me, the love for dogs, riding horses, and boxing. Out of all I get from him, these are the things that make my life special. These definitely had the best impact on my way of thinking, and I would not be where I am right now if it wasn't for him.
I know family is very important to you. How important has your family been to your success?
I would not be the same person without them. I was lucky to learn from both a traditional farmers’ family and from my beautiful mom's international family. The love and respect for nature, just like communication skills and travelling experiences, brought me a long way. Also moving to the States made me realize how much I was given from every member of the family, and how much I need them. My happy childhood favored an amazing life and I owe it to my family.
You’ve grown up around dogs your whole life. What is it about The American Pit Bull Terrier that you admire most?
I see a fearless athlete that will give anything to protect his loved ones. They are beautiful, primitive creatures that act like our angels on Earth. Energy, strength and vitality condensed in a modest size dog.
Priscilla & Bezzi's CH Sandman
You have attended many ADBA Shows in both Europe and America. What do you enjoy most about the shows?
I enjoy seeing people show their dogs, the work they are proud of but most of all supporting the breed. We all have fun looking at our dogs, we learn and make connections all around the world! It never matters which country I always found passionate breeders and handlers who work hard to gather and show their best, respect and want to learn more about the APBT and this is what makes the show a great experience for all, the public, the new ones, and the veterans. There is always a sportsmanship atmosphere, I am blessed to call it my big ADBA family because people from everywhere have seen me grow up... all because of our dogs.
At what age did you fall in love with boxing?
Growing up it was something fun to do with my dad and brother, throwing some punches in the basement (while dad was training dogs on treadmill...he knows how to use his time!). I have tried other sports, but nothing fulfilled me like boxing. I was about 14 when I started training for fun, then it was to get fit, and I was 18 when I joined Thunder Boxing Team, the gym my father used to box at when he was younger. I did not know how this was going to change me. I just felt I had to give it a shot.
What do you attribute your boxing success to?
I give credit to my dad giving me the best teachings and genetics for this sport. Simply, I have all I need and no excuses. Before I started my amateur career I could learn from my brother's experience. Michael started competing at 15; he doesn't know that, but I learnt the concept of heart and discipline by watching him. On the other hand, I am a girl...I thought, I am either going to be good at this, or something nobody believes in. I wanted to prove it to myself.
What is your most memorable experience in the boxing ring?
I think that was my first RSC/TKO. It wasn't the best quality boxing I performed since it was only my third bout, but I was so anxious until I got in the ring. As soon as the bell rang and I landed the first jab, I realized my body knows what to do better than my mind. So I stayed focused but I was having fun... until I won at the second round. That day I realized it doesn't matter if I was the "green girl", the recipe was simple... Good preparation and no stress, be in your body and make it your moment. Ever since then, I wanted to fight every weekend.
How do you take care of your body before and after a fight?
Every fighter knows the importance of "My body is my temple" very well.
The only difference is we have to push harder, beyond the respect for this temple. My body is all I need to practice my art and my art makes my own happiness. Before a fight, I train as hard as I can to feel good about how much work and how well I could do it; at the end of the day, I want to be tired but think "I am ready, I can't wait to express myself through my punches". Sometimes I have to put aside distractions and fun stuff that can affect my routine, nutrition, and energy level. Even when I take time off from fights and still train... I miss the performance goal focus in my head, it keeps me mentally and physically healthy. I do not follow specific diets and I design my own conditioning plan, I try to listen to what my body needs and what my coaches say.
The fun part is the day after the fight, I get a full day of recovery and it feels glorious. I hang out outside, relax, think about my performance and how I can make it even better. After all the hard work, that is the specific day for spoiling myself to feel like a champ.
How would you describe your boxing style?
I am free and always moving around, the ring is where I get excited. I own my time and space in there, and THAT is the most beautiful and empowering feeling, plus I get to show my skills to friends, supporters and spectators. Not sure how else I can describe my style, but I know there is no finish line and I am still learning. One thing is sure: I won't let them touch the face my mom gave me and I will give a taste of what daddy taught me.
What are some goals you have for the future?
My goal is to improve day by day and fight professionally (hope not to bore everyone with this obsession for boxing LOL). I am working on this while I make a living with personal training... I love what I do!
Besides all the sports and fitness, I am an old school Italian who eventually wants a family, full of dogs and children. My boyfriend Blaine has been very patient with my priorities and I am thankful.
What similarities do you notice between boxing and The American Pit Bull Terrier?
Boxing requires an amazing athletic ability and determination. The American Pit Bull Terrier is a complete representation of this athleticism; from aerobic and anaerobic power and endurance to his limitless focus and excitement, we learn what it takes to have the heart of a fighter.
What advice would you give to someone who was interested in getting involved in the sport of boxing?
Do it! Understand it's not a game, no team, no score... just yourself and your decisions, fast decisions. It is something that anybody with two hands can do, but if you want to be a fighter you need to be humble, have a limitless mind, and just give your best. And if it turns out it's not your thing? You learnt something... about a sport, about conditioning, about discipline, and about yourself. Nobody regrets this kind of experience, in my opinion.
Who is your favorite boxer of all-time?
I will say Rocky Marciano. Not because he was an Italian immigrant and successful boxer, but because his discussible form he still proved his talent and stayed undefeated. That means you can shut people's mouth by being yourself and doing it your way. That is awesome to me.
You are fluent in five languages. Can you tell the readers what they are and how it is even possible for someone to learn five languages!?
Italian is my native language, and I became bilingual when I spent my first year in Georgia as an exchange student. (I want to say I am extremely grateful for my host family, they have welcomed me in their house when I was some random 17-year-old right off the boat and spoke some basic English, and they loved me like a daughter from day 1, they are my family who gave me the great opportunity to live an exciting life in a beautiful country). During that exchange year I learnt some basic Spanish which came easy because of Italian. I speak French because of my grandma and her family from Belgium, and I learnt German just because it was fun and came handy with travels. It's always been easy and fun for me to learn a new language because I started when I was little. But I was horrible in math.
What is a fun fact about yourself that most people do not know?
One I can think of, is that when I moved to the States I wanted to become a flight attendant... There is no way I could do that now! Mainly because I want to own my time, choose my hours of sleep and control my nutrition, enjoy my routine, go run with the dogs... I became so addicted to this lifestyle I can't leave it, not to mention that hair and make-up before work is too much commitment for me.
Is there anything else you like to say to the readers?I am just a young immigrant who is doing what she loves, I have no plans because I am still learning, and there is something to learn from every single person out there. I appreciate everybody who took time to read about me!!! All I can say... do what you love and do it the best you can, don't distract on opinions, keep your essence and stay young and strong.