“Tori “SHO NUFF” Nelson is a 13-time, four-weight division Boxing World Champion. Her success has been inspiring. With fans and supporters from all over the world, Tori has a magnetic personality that is felt by all who meet her. In fact, Tori was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in October of 2022, during a formal televised ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As a humble woman who only stands 5’6, she may very well be small in stature, but her heart and passion are more than mighty. Nelson put her blood, sweat and tears into her journey as a boxer. She says, “If you want to be the best, you’ve got to fight the best. That’s all there is to it.”
Her World Championship boxing titles lend to her overall authenticity as an athlete with a heart of gold and the mental capacity that enabled her to persevere through all that life has thrown at her. She continues to be a woman who completely understands the benefits that come with following through with her dreams and goals until they are accomplished.
In being a single mother with two kids and holding down three jobs, Tori Nelson never fell victim to the many excuses she could have given herself not to go to the gym. Instead, she made it a top priority with the understanding that to be mentally fit and prepared in life, one must also be physically fit with a strong mind.
Giving back to other women in her community who want to build a healthy body and mind is important to her. She leads by example and plans to open a gym that women with all body types can use. She will be reinforcing the importance of the mind and body connection that plays a powerful role in creating and maintaining measurable changes. It takes time to get in shape and adopt an attitude of excellence, and Tori is dedicated to help others reach their goals and beyond. She feels that if women are given the right environment with the right motivation, anything is possible. Women truly run the world and she is going to let every woman who steps foot into her gym know that they are valued, appreciated and worthy of success.
GO BANG! Magazine: Where were you born and raised?
Tori Nelson: Chase City, VA, not far from the North Carolina border.
GO BANG! Magazine: How did you first get involved in boxing?
Tori Nelson: I wanted to lose weight and my ex said boxing worked everything.
Photo courtesy of Imagenes Espanoles
GO BANG! Magazine: When and why did you decide to pursue boxing professionally?
Tori Nelson: I had won Golden Gloves for a few years and my coach was like, “You can do one of two things…quit or go pro.” So, I chose pro because I loved it!
GO BANG! Magazine: What were some of the hurdles and discouragements that you experienced being a female in the world of boxing?
Tori Nelson: They didn’t want female boxers, so it was hard getting on cards. Also, I didn’t get the same pay or treatment as the guys until I started showing them that I was just as good as the men, and I could sell tickets as good as them also.
Photo courtesy of IMDb
GO BANG! Magazine: To follow up on that, how did you cope with those situations?
Tori Nelson: I outsold men in ticket sells and gave a good show when I fought.
GO BANG! Magazine: Who were some of your boxing inspirations?
Tori Nelson: Ann Wolfe is my favorite female fighter. Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson are my favorite males.
Photo courtesy of Round-by-Round-Boxing
GO BANG! Magazine: Some people think it would be torture to voluntarily get in the ring with someone and get hit repeatedly, round after round. Please explain to our readers, The Bangers, why and how you did it.
Tori Nelson: LOL! The object is to not get hit, but to do the hitting!!! LOL, I loved it! I could fight and get my frustration out without paying a therapist and beat somebody up and don’t have to pay court fees or go to jail but, get paid for it. If you ask me, I had the best job ever. LOL
GO BANG! Magazine: How did you get the name Tori “SHO NUFF” Nelson and how would you describe yourself to someone that may not be familiar with you?
Tori Nelson: I got the name from my coach, and he got it from the movie “The Last Dragon.” LOL
Also, I’m a God-fearing woman with two kids that will do anything for anyone but won’t put up with nothing or nobody that tries to interrupt my peace. I like to say I’m saved but don’t mind laying hands on you.
Photo courtesy of ESPN
GO BANG! Magazine: Congratulations are in order for you achieving 13-time, four-weight division World Championship boxing status. Since then, you have retired. When did you retire and what do you miss most and least about boxing?
Tori Nelson: Thank you so much! I retired in 2020. What I miss most are my teammates and training. We would have so much fun. What I don’t miss is the wait time in the back before the fight and the walkout. My anxiety would be to the roof.
GO BANG! Magazine: You were recently inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in October of 2022, just last year. How did it feel to be inducted?
Tori Nelson: Yes, by God’s grace!!! It felt amazing. It was an amazing reward to show my kids. Also, all those holidays we missed with our family, those late nights traveling to and from different gyms, and not eating everything we wanted WAS NOT in vain. We did it! We will always be remembered!!!
Photo courtesy of Facebook
GO BANG! Magazine: What advice would you give to a young female that has an interest in pursuing boxing?
Tori Nelson: First, make sure you can not only give a punch, but can take one as well. Then I would so GO for it! Don’t let anyone tell you what you cannot do. Just because it hasn’t been done or they haven’t seen it done, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Also no one knows your calling. Just go for it and be the best you can be and NEVER give up!
GO BANG! Magazine: There a quite a few up-and-coming female boxers coming down the pike. Who are some of the ones we should be on the lookout for and why?
Tori Nelson: You know I’m really not supposed to watch boxing because my kids say we are done with it, but I sneak and watch sometimes. LOL Destiny Day-Owens and Mary McGee are two that I see coming and doing good. Also the young lady, her last name is Jones (Oshae), she’s good also.
GO BANG! Magazine: Since retiring from boxing, you’re pursuing other area of interest, including motherhood, motivational speaking, and cover modeling. How has this new chapter in your life been going?
Tori Nelson: YESSSSSS!!!!! Amazing!!! I miss boxing, but I get to enjoy my kids now even though they are grown. But its ok. We still have fun and I love spending time with my family more. I love going and speaking and motivating others, and the modeling is just a plus. LOL
GO BANG! Magazine: What message do you try to convey to your audience when you have your motivational speaking events?
Tori Nelson: Most of the time it’s “don’t let anyone tell you want you can’t do!” Also, “your past is just that. your past. Everyone has one.” “If you did bad then, now is your time to change and do better.” Lastly, I sometimes tell how God changed my life in my 20’s, because my past was not good, but it helped me to become who I am today.
GO BANG! Magazine: It seems to be important to you to teach and promote self-empowerment, especially in women. Why is that important to you?
Tori Nelson: Because we as women are always lifting, empowering, or even taking care of others and we forget about our own selves. Therefore, we forget what we can really do. Our talents and gifts need to be seen just as much, if not more, than the men’s.
GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, please finish this sentence. “Tori Nelson is………..
Tori Nelson: Blessed by the BEST!!!!
GO BANG! Magazine: Well Tori, I want to thank you for granting me this interview. I also want to inform you that you have now officially been BANGED!!! GO BANG!
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Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.