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Intimate Salon Boxing Event with Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Special Guests

Calling all boxing fans! Time to grab your seats! An intimate night of fascinating tales, provocative prose, and devastating hooks was had on Saturday, November 9 in the ring.  We heard from Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini in conversation with NFL Network Analyst and Mancini biographer Mark Kriegel. Hosted by Oscar & Mae, these modern day literary salons are moving parties that are invite-only. This unique event was co-hosted by Writer/Producer Scott Burns and Director/Actor Peter Berg at the Wild Card West Boxing Club in Venice, California. Special guests appeared ringside to read and perform.


Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini (right) in conversation with NFL Network Analyst and Mancini biographer Mark Kriegel. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

First up, were two strong men performing Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines dancing, acrobatics, and music. Their strong bodies twisted and turned and performed incredible back bending, spinning, and flipping feats.


Wild Card West Boxing Ring Salon Event (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Jerry Ferrara otherwise known as Turtle from Entourage read about Hemingway and boxing. Apparently Hemingway’s passion for boxing was like no other. In conversation, Hemingway once said, “My writing is nothing. My boxing is everything.” The actress Zuleikha Robinson from my favorite Showtime series Homeland shared an intense read – “Love commingled with hate is more powerful than love and more powerful than hate.” We also heard, “It’s better to play a fighter, than to be a fighter.”


Jerry Ferrara from Entourage reading about Hemingway and boxing. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Lucia Rijker, former undefeated WIBF Champion and actress in Million Dollar Baby, dubbed “The Most Dangerous Woman in the World” read aloud too. She is a pro boxer that was inducted into the Hall Of Fame that same day. “Boom Boom Mancini” acknowledged later he would spar with anyone, just not with her.


Writer Melissa Curtin, Chrissy Doyle, Boxer Lucia Rijker, Host Natalie Compagno, Amy Mollenkamp Chidiac (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini said, “The greatest feeling in the world is when you knock a guy out.” He spoke about how is thought he saw Bill Cosby in the audience the night of his fateful knockout where he unfortunately killed Korean boxer Kim.  He remembers Frank Sinatra in the audience and shared how the book about his life called “The Good Son” is about fathers and sons. “Boxers are born. They are not made. You can’t learn hurt. You can’t learn desire.” – Ray Mancini


Zuleikha Robinson from the Showtime series Homeland shares passionate readings at The Wild Card West Boxing salon event in Venice, CA. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Dinner delights came from Luna Park right outside behind the ring while the Mezcal cocktails from Montelobos kept flowing. Ray Mancini’s own Napa valley vintage wine Southpaw started the evening. Screen printed scarfs and artists were on hand. This invite-only salon benefited the USA boxing charity.


(Photo credit:

The night was a KNOCK OUT!

3 Responses to “Intimate Salon Boxing Event with Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Special Guests”

  1. Kelly Campbell

    Thanks for this FABULOUS write up of the event and for including the cover photo from Mark’s book, “The Good Son.” Read it if you haven’t… it’s spectacular. Was lovely meeting you, Melissa. xoxo


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