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Mia St. John’s Bulimia Problem

Posted on MIA ST. JOHN is currently female boxing’s Lightweight Champion of the World with an extraordinary 42 wins under her belt. But for this pugilist, one of her toughest opponents was outside the ring.

Prior to becoming a professional boxer, Mia found herself competing against bulimia. “I was heavily into it during my amateur fighting and I was hospitalized in 1996 for four weeks,” she reveals to our VICTORIA RECAÑO. “By the time I started boxing, I was already pretty much recovered from my eating disorder.”

Recovered, yes, but still challenging nonethess. After all, there are the required weigh-ins that Mia must take part in before every bout.

“The pressure I think for me is just always being put on the scale. You’re on national TV, on the scale, in a bikini, and you have to make your contracted weight, and if you don’t, the whole nation is watching. So, that’s a lot of pressure, having televised weigh-ins.”

What’s more, “you’re never 100 percent cured,” adds Mia. “I think you can eliminate the physical part of it, the throwing up, but you always think about body image.”

Which is exactly why Mia is speaking out, in hopes that her story can help others.

Her message to parents is “to know that when your child is so focused on his or her weight and becoming obsessed with that, just know that there’s another problem, that’s not the real problem, and you have to get to the core of the problem and deal with that. You have to get what is really bothering your child.”

For more of Mia’s story, watch tonight’s “Insider.”

St. John’s biog from 5’6″ Mia Rosales St. John from Los Angeles, California has parlayed her looks and a long list of wins over lightly-rated opponents in four-round fights into a successful combination of media coverage and lucrative payouts. She is a Cal State Northridge graduate in psychology, and has two children, Julian and Paris.

Mia, who comes from a family of martial arts practitioners, was born on June 24, 1967 in San Francisco. She took up Tae Kwon Do when she was six years old. Inspired by the original “Rocky” movie at age 12, and reportedly by a mini-rumble with a fellow high school student at a football game, she began competitive amateur Tae Kwon Do at age 18.

She entered pro boxing in 1997 with no prior amateur experience. Her early fights featured an aggressive but head-down, windmilling style that included enough solid shots to overwhelm novice opponents but which made veteran boxing fans wince. Her looks and personality out of the ring gathered media and fan attention. A promotional contract with Bob Arum got her a series of pay-per-view TV appearances on major fight undercards (she reportedly earned about $20,000 per fight, over twenty times the usual scale for female boxers fighting four-rounders against unranked opponents). Arum, who had emphatically expressed his personal dislike for women’s boxing, saw that an attractive female fighting four-rounders could spice up his fight promotions and weigh-ins while consuming minimal TV time (and minimal purses for her opponents).

Mia St. John’s early combination of media appeal, (un)coverage in a November 1999 Playboy pictorial, with limited boxing skills made her a controversial figure in women’s boxing. While she’s been one of best-known and financially successful fighters after Christy Martin, she’s frequently been accused of padding her record with soft fights and trading in on a fundamentally sexist view of female boxing. Her opponents’ records are included in some detail in the reports below, so you can draw your own conclusions about her record.


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