The entrepreneur Joana Pastrana


He hung up the gloves two years ago. Now she is a businesswoman. From center stage to TV. Triple boxing world champion and four times from Europe, Now he stars in ‘reality shows’ on platforms like HBO or TVE. He likes challenges. He is a stunt double on the big screen and one of the coaches at the Ibai Llanos Evening of the Year. Joana Pastrana talks to EFE at her gym.

Pastrana hasn’t stopped since he said goodbye to boxing on June 26, 2021 in front of a packed WiZink Center. He hung his European quarter around his waist but his mind was beyond boxing. After fulfilling his sporting goals and not “achieving” economic ones, he decided to step aside. So many sacrifices for “mileurista salary”, just “paying the bills” and “bad living with boxing”.

Today he is in the corner of ‘influencer’ Marina Rivers at the Evening of the Year. These events “bring boxing closer to the people,” defended the former champion. As a result of these initiatives “brands are easier to reach” although it is still complicated. The most successful Spanish boxer in history examines for EFE the state of boxing as an industry and his plans for the future.

It’s been two years since her last fight, what has Joana Pastrana done in that time?

I was filling in the gaps with all the things that made me happy and doing the things I couldn’t do, I was in endless preparation.

How is your life after boxing?

Without stopping, I do all the things that are suggested to me and that make me happy. I’m in a pretty broad field of work, now you tell me what you do and I don’t know what to say exactly. I devoted myself to many things.

How was that process of putting boxing aside and thinking about building a new life after the sport?

The last two years it was what I was already focusing on my exit from boxing, you have to have a ‘plan B’. What I didn’t allow was to finish boxing and not know what to do with my life. So for two years I was mentally preparing and looking for ways to get out of boxing with a job.

Was it always clear to you that boxing was not a long-term plan? You retired quite young.

What was clear to me was that as soon as boxing did not cover one of my goals, I had to leave it. I reached my sporting goals and because I didn’t achieve the financial ones I had to stop.

I wish it hadn’t been like that, I would have continued my sports career, but I accept it as a waste of time. I had to change one thing, and that was boxing.

Do you miss professional boxing?

I didn’t miss it because I had done everything I wanted and everything I could. Whenever I want to put on some gloves, I have people ready to do it at my gym.

Is it impossible to make a living from boxing in Spain?

It’s not impossible, but what you can do is survive, survive boxing badly. I did it for a few years but it didn’t pay more than a million dollar salary, pay the bills and move on.

What is wrong with boxing in Spain so that a world champion does not earn money to continue competing?

It’s not profitable for me. The key is to fill the pavilions, the sponsors or the people who can contribute more economically to the boxer given the opportunity.

Is it hard to attract brands to boxing?

Today it is much more feasible than a few years ago. Boxing is picking up a bit, it’s easier to hit the mark, but it’s definitely hard, if I don’t keep going. It is possible that now I can get some brands to bet hard and seriously on me, I may come back if I consider it.

There is controversy within boxing with events like the one organized by Ibai Llanos: Do you think they are beneficial for the sport?

I think it is beneficial since it is giving the visibility that we boxers have not been given in the years of racing. The fact that it gives visibility does not mean that those boxing that night are doing so as real professional boxers, but something should start to bring boxing closer to the people. If boxing comes to people with these events, it’s good for boxing.

Can you see this type of event because you have experienced it from the inside?

The truth is yes, I live them with more love, I am more involved. Before I just saw them and that was it, but now because I am part of it directly, I look back even more. I’m trying to contribute what I’ve achieved to give it to the boxers who fight on the Night of the Year.

He was in the corner of Marina Rivers for the night: how did you get involved in the event as a coach?

Paracetamor’s trainer contacted me to spar with me and that’s where I started, but to become Marina’s trainer, her agency contacted me. We immediately joined and never stopped working.

Have you noticed an increase in people interested in boxing as a result of these types of events?

Yes, people like Marina, who are not used to doing a contact sport, are given the opportunity to reach people using their social networks, some give boxing a chance thanks to her, of course they are.

What will we see next with Joana Pastrana on television?

The next thing you’ll see Joana Pastrana on television is on HBO, ‘Time Zone’, which opens on July 14. It’s incredible. It was one of the most exciting projects and left me with the best taste in my mouth. If you like ‘Escape Rooms’, mental work, physical work… I encourage you to see it.

He betrayed, now Time Zone, El Conquistador, he never stops working… Is this new life as demanding as boxing?

It is demanding but not as demanding as boxing. Boxing ultimately consumed me from the first day of preparation to the day of the fight, in a certain way I could not enjoy it. I will enjoy this experience, as well as, the preparations that I know what is there from the first day to the last, it is all new, different and fun. One thing has nothing to do with the other, but I’m equally 100 percent involved.

What have you taken away from boxing or applied to your life after the sport?

I carry with me the capacity for sacrifice, the capacity for suffering that I acquired in preparation… I am not difficult to suffer because I have been with it for a long time. I am also disciplined, know how to win and know how to lose. You don’t always win and losing is bad.

Source: La Verdad


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