MARPLE>> Lifelong Delaware County resident Damon Feldman, the undefeated professional boxer and celebrity boxing promoter, recently released his first book, “The 16 Minute Man,” a concise collection of memories that range from his unique childhood living in a family of boxers to the ups and downs of a career in and around the ring.
After several years in the ring as an undefeated fighter, Feldman had to give up his dream of becoming a world class champion after an out-of-the-ring accident. Feldman quickly turned his interest into promoting boxing events and soon became known as “The 16 Minute Man” because he was known to give D-List celebrities their sixteenth minute of fame by stepping into the ring.
“Most of the people that I’ve promoted have more than used up their 15 minutes of fame in the eyes of the public,” Feldman laughed during a recent interview. “I put them in the ring to give them that one extra minute to shine. My thing is to always give people a chance.”
The 16 Minute Man has promoted over 65 fights over the past 15 years, promoting unlikely, often outrageous, contenders like Tonya Harding, Rodney King, Jose Canseco, Mel Gibson’s mistress, Jesse James’ mistress, Joe Conklin, Danny Bonaduce, Tan Mom Patricia Krentcil and Octo-Mom Nadya Suleman, tabloid regular Michael Lohan, Kato Kaelin, El Wingador, the five-time Wingbowl champion, Phil Margera of Jackass, Jeremy Jackson, Joey Butafucco, Amy Fisher and many more. Many of the fights were held locally, but others were held in New Jersey, Massachusetts, California and Florida.
The book is written in short snippets about each fight and experience, making it an easy read.
Son of legendary pro boxing trainer Marty Feldman, Damon and his brother David attended Marple Newtown schools. As they entered adulthood, both sons followed in their father’s footsteps, becoming a part of the boxing world and culture.
Feldman said that after his father, a pro-boxer-turned trainer of six world champions, passed away in 2017, he hit a brick wall in his life and couldn’t shake his profound sadness over losing his dad. As a form of his own therapy, Feldman began writing, and the end result became “The 16 Minute Man.”
“After my dad died, I was suffering from depression and let me tell you, depression is no joke,” Feldman said sincerely. “Writing this book helped me to make the comeback of a lifetime and I want to help people understand that motivation and determination mean everything in achieving success. This is a comeback story, about an underdog who never quits.”
Feldman paired up with Sporty Smith, an entertainment manager and athletic agent with Be 4 Real Entertainment and Penntucky Sports LLC. Smith is helping Feldman to promote the book, both aiming for the end result to be a film, based on the book, about Feldman’s colorful life and career. Feldman’s friends Anthony List, Jr. and Michael Sharp have also been instrumental in their unwavering support, he said.
“Mostly everyone who read the book so far has told me that it will make a great movie,” Feldman said. “It’s interesting and has a lot of drama. None of it is made up—everything in there, no matter how crazy or outrageous, really happened.”
In addition to spotlighting C and D listed celebrities’ bouts in the ring in the book, Feldman talks about his close friendship with Rodney King, his epic legal battle with the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission, some of the great fighters he has known over the years and what they taught him, and what it was like growing up in a house full of boxers being trained by his father.
Feldman expressed pain from his childhood. After his parents divorced, his mother was out with a boyfriend who pushed her from his car. She broke her neck and was confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic for the rest of her life. Feldman and his brother went to live with two different families, friends of his father. By high school, the boys moved back home with their father.
In this day and age of “underdog stories,” Feldman capitalizes on the many underdogs that he gave another chance to prove they could get back up after being knocked down. He calls himself an underdog who has made many comebacks after life’s unexpected hurdles.
Although he once competed in the ring, he said that it wasn’t until he began promoting off-beat celebrities exchanging punches in the ring, that he made a name for himself in boxing circles. Among Feldman’s more memorable cards are former Channel 10 and 29 weathercaster John Bolaris vs. one-time local deejay, Diego Ramos. Feldman also produced the fight in which Channel 10 morning anchor and former Philadelphia Eagle football player Vai Sikahema knocked out Jose Canseco, the former MLB outfielder and power hitter. Canseco, Feldman says, appeared in more of his bouts than any celebrity.
“The 16 Minute Man was written for boxing enthusiasts and fans of celebrity pop culture, YouTube stars, social media, and tabloid journalism,” Feldman, currently a resident of Havertown, stated. “It will also be of interest to readers who enjoy a great come-back story and those who enjoy an interesting memoir.”
In addition to being known as “The 16 Minute Man,” Feldman, with his likable personality, has become a “media darling” of sorts, appearing over 200 times on WIP Sports Radio, 10 times on the Howard Stern Show, more than 100 times on WMMR’s Preston & Steve Show, 3 times on CNN, 6 times on TMZ, and numerous other shows, including the Judge Alex TV show where he sued Lindsay Lohan’s father Michael and won. He also has appeared in dozens of magazines and other publications.
These days, in addition to promoting his new book, Feldman enjoys spending quality time with his son and daughter, as well as promoting “Beauty Battle,” live performances where top beauty professionals display their art in allotted time frames. The next performance will be this Sunday, May 6, at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia and feature Teresa Giudice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
An upcoming “16 Minute Man” book signing event in Delaware County will be held 4-6 p.m. Saturday, May 12 at Country Squire Diner, 2560 West Chester Pike, Broomall.
To get a copy of the book or to find out a full schedule of book signing events, visit Damon Feldman’s Facebook page or call Sporty Smith at 215-460-8677 or visit wwwdamonfeldman.com/.