(Photo by Rodrigo Cañedo-Gattegno)
Amateur boxer Robert Rosenberg, AKA “The King of Czech porn”, boasts a whopping 8,000 successful scenes. You might know him as one of the inventors of Public Invasion stuff – he worked for PRIVATE and had a long-term contract with BangBros far before they became massive. Also, he is said to be the only man from Europe to fuck Jenna Jameson.
Six years ago he was taken into police custody on charges related to people trafficking and pimping, but wasn’t convicted for anything as none of the allegations were proven. Soon after being released he decided to return to boxing as a hobby alongside his porn career, but soon found himself teaching in the ring (the boxing ring) full time and hosting his own radio show.
After going to one of his training sessions, Robert agreed to talk to me, depsite the fact that he hates reporters, and anyone even remotely associated with the media. I wanted to know if the physical and emotional strain of working for the porn industry can prepare you for a boxer's career.
Robert Rosenberg posing in the middle of the 90s (Photo: Robert Vano)
VICE: Hi Robert. Many people know you only as a porn actor, and might think that you started doing boxing only when your career fizzled out, but you've been boxing since the 90s. How did you get into that?
Robert Rosenberg: In my first year of high school I met an awesome guy named Radek Bruna, who did karate. I started taking lessons, and was pretty good at it. When I got to the first national championship though, I broke some guy's nose and they disqualified me. I realised that karate was not the sport for me, because I wanted to brawl. My then-trainer was more into boxing, so I gave that a try and liked it much more.
I really think that a guy who can't give or take a punch is not a man. And I do everything I can in my life to feel like a real man.
And when would you say you first got into the porn business?
My father was a cop. In the 80s his team confiscated a huge collection of porn – mostly magazines and slides. My dad was also a technician, so he photocopied the stuff and stored it in about four boxes under his bed. I got the idea that I could sell the stuff at school – a slide with a naked woman for 25 cents and the more heavy stuff for 50 cents. My later decision to shoot porn was definitely based on that experience.
Robert posing in the middle of 90s for photographer Robert Vano
How long did you do porn?
Eighteen years and three weeks. I started when I was 18.
Porn actors are usually seen from the waist down. How did you get people to remember your face?
I think most people will know me as the creator of the Public Invasion concept. I did a lot of POV porn back in the day too, which was new at the time. Then I worked with Busty Adventures, Big Ass Adventures, and The First Casting people. Another guy before me, Pierre Woodman, did this type of casting too, but he did it with girls who already had some experience in the biz. I did it with girls who had no prior experience with screwing in front of a camera.
How many movies did you do?
I just remember that one year I turned in almost 2,500 scenes.
I didn't play in all of them, I produced some. But my record for doing scenes in one day was eight. On average I did about two, three scenes a day.
Robert in a local tabloid newspaper pictured with Jenna Jameson at the Porn Oscars
Who were they with?
I'm the only European who shagged Jenna Jameson. Then it was Katsumi, Helen Duval, I talent-scouted Sylvia Saint, Paula Wild, Tarra White. Look, you say some names, and I'll tell you whether I've shagged them or not.
We'd be here 'till tomorrow. How much money did you make?
I don't know. When I went to the US, and worked for BangBros, I was pulling in about $50,000 a month.
BangBros. That's top league.
Yeah. I was the only Eastern European who worked for them. They invited me for four days, but I stayed for about six or seven years. It was great, but it was also probably my biggest mistake, because I didn't get around to any other productions. I got about 40 porn Oscars from different countries.
What made you stand out, do you think?
One of the reasons was that I have good stamina. But what helped me even more is that I worried about getting the good shots, I could organise people around me and I was quick. The American studios needed 12 people to do the same work we did with just four. I knew what I wanted the final result to be, and that made me stand out.
Okay, but then you went to jail. When you came back your business was in ruins, right?
Yeah. I had a contract with an American production company in which I had to turn in material every week. When they jailed me, the company cancelled the contract and found someone else. They didn't take me back because I suddenly had a criminal record.
That's why your career ended?
I stayed on for a while longer and started my own online television show, but after a while I stopped enjoying that. Even the girls were no longer fun, so I quit. I was starting to get back into boxing at that time, so I decided to really go for it. I realised it's better for my life than porn. It's always good to be able to fuck someone up when necessary.
In the gym with Hulk Hogan
For an ex-porn star like you, what's it like living in the Czech Republic?
My generation doesn't get it at all, and young people only get it partly, because they still consider it something dirty. I'm pissed that in the Czech Republic people can't accept that, even though they don't agree with my work, they can understand that I've always done it well. I was among the five top actors in the world at one point. If I accomplished that as a doctor, or a music conductor, society here would definitely treat me differently.
Shooting porn in the US is hardly considered a deadly sin.
Exactly. Sylvester Stallone did porn, Arnold Schwarzenegger did porn, Demi Moore did porn, and Mickey Rourke did some soft stuff as well. They all continued their careers and went on to become even more famous. Not in the Czech Republic. Here, no one lets you go further after that. As soon as you're pigeonholed as a porn actor, you're finished. The media and the production companies turn their backs on you.
Look at Jenna Jameson, one of the most famous and richest porn stars around. She does charity, is photographed with children, and no one cares. She's a regular celebrity. This couldn't happen here.
"I remember one time they dressed me in full SCUBA gear, and told me to submerge and have sex on an oxygen tank"
It seems that porn and boxing go hand in hand. You've got to be fit for both.
Porn is more difficult when it comes to the mind, because you have to control your body perfectly – if you want to get hard when it's required of you, you have to be mentally fit. I remember one time they dressed me in full SCUBA gear, and told me to submerge and have sex on an oxygen tank. I also did a live sex show in front of 5,000 people. I mean 5,000 people were looking at me while I was going at it.
Boxing is more about physical stamina. It's about coordination and technique. In terms of psychology, you have to deal with your fear. You have to learn when it is a positive emotion, and when it becomes negative and paralysing.
You like extremes, then.
Exactly. Back in the day when there was no Viagra, Harvard University did a study of the most stressful jobs. In first place was a music conductor with an orchestra of more than 80 people, and in second place was a porn actor. And yes, boxing is one of the most difficult of sports.
And for the last six years you've become a professional trainer?
I'm a full-time boxer and trainer, but I'm considering throwing in the towel, and just being a trainer.
Who do you train?
Mostly amateurs, but I also train fighters for real matches. Yesterday I trained my former opponent, whom I beat at the time. He's ten years younger than me though, so he's got a better chance of making it big in professional boxing. I help him out.
You train women as well. Is it different for them?
It's different. A man is more aggressive, whereas a woman has maternal instincts, and doesn't like to hurt people. There aren’t many female boxers, and they're generally less ferocious. They learn technique perfectly, but they lack the strength, and are more afraid they will get injured.
Is it true that a porn actress has a good chance of being a good boxer? Is it the same for men and women?
Definitely. It's also about the mind-state, because a girl must know how to let loose and not care much about the results.
I assume you expect a lot from your trainees.
Definitely. For me, everything is doable. After two sets of running exercises I went and ran a half-marathon, just because people said it wasn’t doable. And I finished. It's the same in boxing. I give it 100 percent. And that's also my biggest problem, because I expect the same from my students.
Last year you got back to boxing competitions. How did you do?
I did four matches, four wins, four KOs. I won a lot of matches without being the favourite. The opponents often underestimated me, and then they were like: “I saw you in porn, and I didn't think you'd be that hard.”
So you've probably made a name for yourself.
Yeah. I got pretty high in the world rankings. I think I raked 338th, or somewhere around the first 400 anyway.
What are you going to do now?
I got a chance to box in Vienna at the European Championship, but I didn't get around to doing that yet, because I really have to get ready for that.
Are you going to try this year?
Yes, but some time around Christmas. I feel that I'm gradually getting the proper physical stamina to actually stand a chance. I said to myself that I would like to do one match a year until I'm forty-five. I really enjoy it! The show, the adrenalin, I like giving my all – just leaving the ring completely wasted. I don't like winning quickly, because that's no fun. And that's the reason most people dislike me.
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