By Dave Jones
Twenty-five fights and counting. That’s how many times the vivacious red-headed promoter known as ‘Dee Lee’ has thrown her heart and her wallet into the ring in Atlantic City since 1997. Vineland, New Jersey native Diane Lee Fischer Cristiano (Dee Lee), a 2007 inductee in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, has never sought boxing’s spotlight but once again the Gods of Boxing have chosen to honor her with ehr inclusion in the 2018 class of the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. If one takes a moment to think about it, it is a rather remarkable achievement for a former meat cutter/bar manager/beauty shop owner.
Life as an independent promoter with no permanent sponsorship can be rather precarious. Diane’s been knocked down and taken more than her fair share of 8 counts in her promoting career, but she keeps coming back again and again. THe days are long, funding is always a challenge and countless promises are made though few are kept. Boxing is a sport thatdevours its promoters and leaves them in its wake like roadkill. Promoters stand alone, much like the boxers they represent. They seldom, if ever, receive help from other promoters and any success they do achieve is perceived as a threat. Predators abound with false promises and each and every promoting lesson comes at a price. Often times, the only way to see a promotion through to fight night, is to dig deep and push forward against the odds. The physical, mental and financial costs over the long haul are daunting, but Diane accepts themwith no regrets… because she is living her dream!
Jack Trevethan ’97, Diane’s father, is the man who planted the seeds of the dream in her early teens. It was her father that instilled both her love of boxing and one of life’s most important lessons: a person can achieve her dreams through hard work and determination. To honor her father and that inspiration, her trademark banner “My Daddy’s Dream” is displayed at every Dee Lee Promotion fight card.
Like all promoters, Diane’s success, or failure, is measured by the competition and competitors the audience see in the ring. Fight fans pay their money to see quality matchups and Dee Lee seldom fails to deliver the goods. Over the past two decades she has provided Atlantic City boxing fans with the pleasure of seeing some of the world’s most talented fighters… Wladimir Klitschko, Ray MErcer, Tracy Patterson, Kathy Collins, Michael Stewart, John Brown, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Jackie Frazier, Chuck Mussachio, Al COle and Shamone alvarez have all appeared in Dee LEe Promotions and provided countless thrills for all to see.
Days are never dull in Diane’s life… just ask her husband Leo! The phone never stops ringing and she always seems to be in perpetual motion. She understands that life is a long strange road filled with unseen challenges and innumberable ups and downs, even when you’re living your dream! So just imagine, if you can, how living that dream has led to her June 3rd, 2018 induction into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame along with the 45th sitting President of the United States of America!
“Dee Lee Promotions is definitely a fan friendly company that puts on exciting fights and manages to do the best for the fighters involved. Boxing would be even better than it already is if there were more Promoters like Dee Lee Promotions.”