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Big Mo

23rd February 2024

Photographer & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent

Digital Editor & Interview: Pankhuri Bhutani

Grooming: Alex Spikings

Cover Design: Emily Curtis

In the recent era, you might hardly witness a rare amount of creatives who have cemented their names in the landscape of both sports and entertainment. Usually within this particular field, it is the wrestlers, boxers and the sportspeople who garner the focus of the viewers yet one of the most crucial elements of such a successful industry are the people working tirelessly behind-the-scenes. 

One of such significant aspects within the crew is without-a-doubt the announcers who partake their extremely essential involvement vigorously in terms of hyping up the audience about the competitive matches and their participants. 

The souls who are the backbone of this industry usually don't get enough credits and are quite often sidelined yet there is one particular creative who is actively rising up the stairs to fame, all thanks to his bellowing performance, immense talents and versatile vocal abilities.

The youngest ring announcer in the entire world, Kody Mommaerts aka his professional alias "Big Mo" is a force to be reckoned with. Right from the initiation of his professional journey, Mommaerts instigated a performance truly striking and jaw-dropping in nature. It's like the entire world stops when Kody begins to speak; everyone eager to find out what the 6'7 ring-announcer has to say. 

Kody's natural talents as a ring-announcer permeated the sphere of boxing and entertainment. His intimidating vocals take no time instantly capturing everyone's attention further establishing his presence within the arena. 

But that's not it, folks. Mommaerts has also established himself as a successful entrepreneur; being the COO of his a US-based Tech Company "Sports Thread Inc" raising millions for the successful startup. 

We recently had an insightful chat with our latest cover star Kody Mommaerts aka the sensational 'Big Mo' about what drove him to this career, his vocal rituals, advice to the aspiring creatives wishing to join the sports industry and several other significant insights into his professional journey.  

Hi there Kody. Thank you for joining us as our latest cover star! Happy new year! How has the start of this year been for you?

It’s been great so far! Lots of travel already, but can’t really complain about that. We’ve kicked off the year with great fights in Liverpool and London and we’ve got some great nights coming up through 2024.

I would love to start our conversation by asking what it was really that brought you closer to the landscape of boxing, entertainment and sports? Do you remember those initial phases where the love for these respective fields first sparked for you?

Well, I have been around sports for my whole life, but I was always intrigued by the entertainment industry. For a long time, I thought I would work in entertainment as a manager or agent given my business background. However, I began to realize I was very comfortable speaking and being on camera. When my sports career concluded, people close to me said I should try my hand at commentary. Those roles in commentary then transformed into becoming a ring announcer for combat sports. Definitely a route I did not anticipate but I am very thankful that it happened.

How do you usually prepare in terms of the ring-announcements? Is there a specific vocal ritual that you like to immerse yourself with in order to help prepare your voice before finally going out in front of such a massive audience?

There’s lots of research and preparation leading up to the show, in regards to knowledge about each fighter and the event as a whole. As it pertains to my voice and conducting the job, I take a lot from singers; vocal warmups, hydration, I look at the preparation similar to how I did as an athlete. I have my own pre-game hype-up rituals with music and dancing in my hotel room as well…. but you’ll never see that part.

Being the youngest Ring Announcer in the entire world, you have already accomplished so much in terms of your professional endeavors. What according to you has been the most memorable moment that stands out to you in your professional journey so far?

It has to be Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall, the first-ever all-women’s boxing card. I was 26 years old and that was my first “big fight” I did for Sky Sports & BOXXER. 20,000 people at the O2 Arena and millions of viewers around the world, so I felt a little bit of pressure. The show was a massive success. Arguably the biggest and most important night for women’s boxing, it broke numerous viewership records and really helped grow the female side of the sport. I am honored to have been a part of it.

As someone who herself has lost over 100lbs, I truly understand what an immensely difficult journey it must be for one to go through. What would you say has been the biggest difference that you experienced pre-weight loss stage to now that you have successfully achieved this transformational health goal?

Firstly, congratulations to yourself, that’s a huge accomplishment! I think the biggest difference has to be the change in my self-confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I never felt uncomfortable in my own skin, and I carried the weight as an athlete, but now I look at myself much better now. Sure, there are tons of health benefits, but now I have the confidence to dress how I want to dress, take my shirt off in front of people etc. And with the job I do now, self-confidence is very important.

Any advice you would like to give to those aspiring souls who really want to shed those pounds and achieve their healthiest physique? Also, to the ones who are trying to establish themselves as ring announcers within this industry?

I believe very much in the concept of affirmation and goal-setting….Specifically, the use of incremental goals. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Definitely pick your big, long-term goal. But also pick easier step by step goals that will get you there. That way you can pick up a lot of “wins” along the way. Which will help you stay motivated and on-track through all the emotional and stressful moments of the journey. You will appreciate the progress you make more that way.

Ring Announcing is a bit more niche. So navigating the industry is complicated. The most important thing is reps, the only way to craft your voice and style is with numerous shows and practice. Don’t be concerned with money, don’t be concerned with the size of the show, run your own race.

You have also showcased your impeccable entrepreneurial skills being the COO of the highly successful US Tech Company “Sports Thread Inc”; further raising millions in funding. Talk to me more about this specific endeavor. What made you pursue this?

This could be a whole story on its own... But I met Sports Thread’s founder, and now my dear friend, Sean Leary through his brother and my best friend, Keenan Leary. I joined the company very early on and now we have been able to grow it to where it is now. We have a driven team of employees, a very experienced investor group and board, and a great development staff. This has resulted in the creation of an innovative product that reaches and helps millions of people across the world. I love business, and studied business all through college and grad school. Being an entrepreneur and building Sports Thread has been both the most challenging and most valuable experience of my life. We are getting ready to roll out new innovations for a handful of new clients and I couldn’t be more excited for 2024!

Having established yourself as such a sensation within the field of sports; there are so many people who look up to you but I’m very curious to know who were your personal inspirations growing up?

How long of a list can I give? There’s far too many to name. I’ve always liked having people to look up to and chase. Number one, has to be my father. He’s been my greatest teacher and someone that certainly inspires me to pursue my goals. Beyond that I have had coaches that have developed me, both physically and mentally, people like Earnest Collins Jr. and Phil Bravo. I have an incredible group of friends that are all very talented in their own regard, and they make me push harder to make more of myself. But then I also look at various athletes, entrepreneurs and other successful people to take inspiration from. That’s a long list.

If given an opportunity, is there anyone on your radar that you would absolutely love to work with in your professional journey?

In the combat sports space, there’s a ton of fighters I would love to introduce. People like Tyson Fury, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, or Canelo Alvarez. Going a little broader I want to navigate into other industries and career paths, potentially work with people like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, J Cole, Tom Ford, Martin Scorsese, Gal Gadot. I may be being too overzealous, but I really believe I can do a lot of things in this world and positively affect a lot of people. I guess only time will tell, but I’m in the driver seat.

(Thank you for taking out your time for this interview, Kody!)

Lastly, I would love to know what’s next for you, Kody? Any upcoming projects in the pipeline for the year 2024 that you’d love to tell your fans about? Anything on your bucket list for this year?

You are very welcome! Thank you for the all the thoughtful questions. My bucket list is always being added to, so nothing specific! Just the continual development, and great shows with BOXXER, Sky Sports, BYB Extreme and the various teams I work with. I hope to meet many more great people this year, especially all the wonderful fans who buy tickets and watch the shows, they are the reason I love my job so much.

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