S1. E13. | #TRIBEGOALS WITH ESPN'S MARTY SMITH

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On today's episode of #TRIBEGOALS, we chat with our latest cover star of Athleisure Mag which took us to Ocean City, NJ to catch up with Marty Smith of ESPN's SEC Nation, SportsCenter, College GameDay and Marty & McGee right before college football starts! After a shoot that took us to some of his favorite spots, I sat with him in his vacation home to talk about when Marty fell in love with sports and specifically college football. We talked about his baseball days and transitioning into sports journalism and broadcasting from NASCAR.com to a number of contributing and hosting positions at ESPN. In addition, this impactful storyteller not only shares moments in his career from Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr to Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods - but also his new book Never Settle: Sports, Family and the American Soul.

S1. E11. | #TRIBEGOALS WITH 4 X NBA CHAMPION JOHN SALLEY

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On today’s episode of #TRIBEGOALS we talk with John Salley, who had a phenomenal NBA career with 4 Championship rings on 3 separate teams. Post his NBA career, he has been a host of FOX Sports’ Best Damn Sports Show Period, a host on a number of shows such as VH1’s Basketball Wives and Basketball Wives LA, as well as a number of other hosting and TV appearances. In addition, he is known for his philanthropy, activism and his investments within health and wellness. With his focus on veganism as well as the cannabis sector, he has a truly diversified portfolio. I talk with John Salley about his career, his legacy in the game and his transition into his current projects.  


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WHAT'S HAPPENING IN HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

Throughout the history of sports, boxing and its stars have been amongst the most revered sportspeople in the world. Over the past half-decade or so, the sport has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts, producing entertainment in the professional ring to cause the sport to trend as a popular way to workout, with venues like Overthrow Boxing Club benefitting from the increased attention at the pro level.

Boxing is a superb sport to take up if you’re looking to get fit or enhance your fitness. Even if you don’t engage in any sparring sessions, utilizing the workouts that professional boxers use will enhance your whole body, which is why many celebrities have trained under Michael Olajide to get fit.

People are discovering the benefits of boxing training because the sport has been able to surge its way back to the headlines. However, if the professional arena goes stagnant again, fewer people will be as enthused about using the sport to get fit, which would be a tremendous shame.

Regardless of how immaculate the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko or Naoya Inoue are in the lighter divisions, the heavyweight ranks will always set the standard for boxing onlookers, and right now, it’s not exactly the shining example that the sport needs.

Champions struggling to come together

The biggest reason why boxing has been able to surge back into the limelight worldwide is Anthony Joshua. The charismatic heavyweight is both as likable as he is mighty in the ring. After winning the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, he’s gone on to stage some of the most entertaining fights of the modern era, including one which may go down as one of the greatest heavyweight fights of all-time against Wladimir Klitschko on April 29, 2017.

As detailed by the Miami Herald on May 28, Joshua’s next opponent is the short-notice Andy Ruiz, who the Brit is expected to defeat convincingly in New York – home of boxing haven Dogpound.

At the other end of the table is Deontay Wilder with the other major heavyweight world title. A fight between the two not ending in a draw would produce the tantalizing prospect of the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world with four belts.

However, it’s not as easy as simply making what would be the biggest fight since Joshua-Klitschko. Assuming that Joshua dispatches of Ruiz, he and Wilder’s vacancy would have lined up for a bout at the end of the year. But, on May 29, Wilder announced, per Fox Sports, that he’d be fighting Luis Ortiz – a boxer he’d already knocked out in 2018.

Wilder has made many moves to avoid Joshua in recent times. Earlier this year, broadcasting company DAZN offered Wilder an unprecedented $100 million, as shown by SportsPro, to defend against Dominic Breazeale before facing Joshua for two fights. Wilder declined and decided to go with a much smaller deal on Showtime.

As reported by Boxing News, Joshua says that he’s willing to wait for the 33-year-old American as the three-belt world champion is continually improving. While this is true, it’s not good for the health of the sport: it needs to continue to be entertaining with major fights to get more people involved.

Wilder’s aversion to competition hurting the division

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Deontay Wilder’s choice in opponents isn’t just hurting the view of boxing in the eyes of the fans and Joshua’s historic aspirations; it’s also holding up potential contenders. One fighter who has been incredibly hard done by Wilder’s selection of weaker opponents is Dillian Whyte.

As explained in his BBC documentary, Whyte has been the number one contender for Wilder’s WBC belt for years, and yet the American has been allowed to avoid Whyte and select lower-ranked opponents. Another who has suffered to Wilder is Tyson Fury.

Rushed back into the ring after defying the odds to get back into the sport, Fury should have won against Wilder on points when they fought on December 1, 2018, but the judging in Los Angeles ruled for a controversial split decision draw, as shown by The Guardian. As the fight didn’t sell as well as they’d hoped, their rematch has been put back.

Fury fights again on June 16 against Tom Schwarz, and Whyte takes on Oscar Rivas on July 20. Both Brits are favorites with Fury, as of May 30 with Betway Sports,  at 13/8 to win by decision or technical decision and Whyte at 1/7 to win. After these heavyweight clashes, the hope is that they will box each other and force Wilder’s hand.

As reported on May 11 by Boxing Scene, the WBC have order Fury and Whyte to fight in a ‘final eliminator’ to determine a mandatory challenger to Wilder, to which Fury says it’s unfair.

The unfairness is not due to a mismatch; it’s because the governing body is making Whyte do yet another eliminator after three defenses of the WBC Silver which is meant to make him the mandatory challenger. If Fury and Whyte meet, it would be a great bout and hopefully lead to Wilder facing a legitimate challenge to his belt.

Within the sport, avoiding the rightful competition is bad enough, but with boxing trending in the right direction again with the fitness-loving public, it would be a shame for disappointment in the pros to stop its momentum. Boxing is a tremendous way to get and keep fit, but if the pros don’t keep it entertaining, it may fade into the background once again.

 

S1. E. 10 | #TRIBEGOALS WITH TRINITY FATU AKA WWE/E! TOTAL DIVAS NAOMI

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On today’s episode of #TRIBEGOALS, we have our interview with Athleisure Mag’s 2019 April cover girl, Trinity Fatu aka Naomi, of the WWE and E!’s Total Divas! We talked about how she has always had a love for performing, her days as a cheerleader for the Orlando Magic and that moment when she realized that she wanted to be a WWE Superstar! We delve into her successful career in the WWE, Wrestlemania and a number of the women’s matches. We also talk about the coupleship with her husband Jonathan Fatu who is one half of WWE’s The Uso’s as Jimmy Uso as well as her love for Beyonce!

S1. E9. | #TRIBEGOALS WITH WTA SLOANE STEPHENS

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On today’s #TRIBEGOALS we’re chatting with WTA and US Open 2017 winner, Sloane Stephens. We find out how she came to tennis as well as her decision to go pro, her focus this season as she takes on an array of matches, the importance of staying healthy as well as what it was like to represent Team USA in 2016 for the Olympic Games at Rio.

THE REWIND | CATCHING UP WITH MIA KANG

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A few weeks back, we had the chance to hang out with model, body activist and Muay Thai fighter, Mia Kang. In addition, our Co-Founder/Creative + Style Director, Kimmie had the chance to take a class with her, spar a bit and more courtesy of Built with Chocolate Milk Campaign. It’s worth noting that a number of athletes enjoy a glass of chocolate milk after working out or playing a game as it has a lot of protein and nutrients that fuel your body. We have to say that after taking the class with her at Church Street Boxing Gym (a place that she goes to frequently), we will definitely add this to our routine. After the class and a great panel of amazing women who are changemakers in their industries, we took a few moments to chat it up with Mia as we always know that she’s on the go, creating change and looking fabulous doing it!

ATHLEISURE MAG: It was so fun being able to work out with you and to get great tips. As someone who has been in the industry as a model, we are intrigued by how you identify 3 body types can you share this with our readers?

MIA KANG: In the fashion world, there is a Sample Size. All fashion models, and I have known this since I modeled at 13 years old - there is a strict measurement list where you must fit into sample sizes. These are the sizes that designers make clothes in and you have to fit into them and there is no wiggle room That’s roughly between a size 0 and a size 4. Then came the breakthrough of Plus Size and that technically within the fashion industry is a size 14 and above. And that in itself is an entire industry - there are certain agencies as well as designers that specify in that size range and models that support that. There was no representation for anything in between! When I got healthy and I moved out of Sample Size range and I was in the middle, between these two - I kept getting calls by designers, casting directors and companies that I was too big or too small. That really started to bother me because I couldn’t understand why that middle range which is what most women identify with was totally underrepresented by in the industry. It’s the idea of being too something - none of us are too anything and if we’re supporting diversity, why are we representing the two extremes? What we should be focusing on is health.

I am someone who has been a size 14 and a size 0 and I wasn’t healthy or happy either way. Finally, now that I am healthy and I am happy, how can I be too anything? It was too counter-intuitive for me. I kind of decided to make space for myself and I deemed that middle/in-between size as Street Size.

AM: Being in a healthy space and you recently walked Christian Siriano’s show during NYFW FW19 - how was that for you and what does it mean to have designers that embrace across the spectrum?

MK: Walking for Christian Siriano was amazing for me. That was something that I said to myself that I wanted to do. Christian is so authentically and genuinely - not only representative of diversity but also understanding and appreciating the female form. A year ago, I was told that I was never going to be able to walk NYFW - I either needed to be bigger or I needed to be smaller and the fact that I walked his show and managed to make space for myself in the industry, I think is hopefully the beginning of true diversity.

AM: So you’re a Muay Thai fighter as apart of your fitness - will you be doing fights where you are looking to go after titles?

MK: I want to fight more. I can’t wait to get back into the ring It is something that is very special to me. It’s not something that I do as my career. It is something that brought me back to my health. It’s a really precious part of me and I don’t ever want to ruin that. I never want to turn it into a business or something that I have to do. I want to keep it as part of myself and my soul - do you know what I mean? So, first and foremost, I want to protect that so whatever happens - happens. I don’t know - I wake up everyday and make it up as I go along and see what happens.

AM: You have beautiful skin. What are your 3 favorite beauty products? I know you were talking about masks earlier as I love a good one as I’m all about J-Beauty and K-Beauty!

MK: My 3 favorite beauty products oh my God! I’m a really simple person and not into elaborate beauty so I am going to go with Dr Jart Face Masks - all the way! I’m going to go with Caudalie Beauty Elixir - I’m all about a face mist! Basically, hydration is my thing so I like to stay hydrated all the time. I’m also all about lips and I need to have them moisturized at all times and I just found, the greatest product of all time - Dr. Lipp Nipple Cream. You put a little bit on your lips and you’re shit is glistening and you feel amazing. It’s bouncy and looks great. It sounds crazy but I put it there, on my cuticles and under my eyes - I swear by it!

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