Chevelle Hallback: A boxer for all time, exclusive Q and A.
Chevelle “Fists of Steel” Hallback (29-8-2, 12-KOs) first stepped into the boxing ring in 1997 winning by TKO. In only her second fight she battled the great Lucia Rijker, and while she lost by TKO in the 5th round, Hallback has been taking on and winning fights against the best in the business ever since. Notable fights have included her bouts with female boxing greats Layla McCarter and Melissa Hernandez.
After two disappointing and some would say controversial losses in fairly close succession in 2011 to Cecilia Braekhus and Myriam Lamare, Hallback took some time to regroup and now is back with a vengeance.
This past June, Hallback came out swinging against Dominga Olivo (8-11-1), winning by TKO in the second round in front of her hometown crowd at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.
She’s now slated to take on Victoria “La Reina de Guerra” Cisneros (11-15-3, 4-KOs), a tough, hard-nosed fighter whose won-loss record belies her strength and savvy in the ring. It will also be a WBF Female Welterweight Championship fight for the vacant title, and in a nod to Hallback’s huge fan base in Tampa will be the main event, at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The two met before in Cisneros’ back yard at the Route 66 Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In that fight, an eight-rounder, Hallback won by split decision by the scores 78-74, 77-75, 75-77. Both fighters are thrilled with the prospect of fighting for a title in their rematch.
Having had the opportunity to finally meet up with Chevy at the recently held International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I was excited by the prospect of Chevy giving Girlboxing an exclusive interview about her upcoming fight.
Here’s what Chevy had to say:
1. Boxing fans are getting excited at the prospect of seeing you in the ring again after your fabulous win on June 13. Tell us about your upcoming WBF, female welterweight battle with boxer Victoria Cisneros.
I am very excited about my upcoming fight with Victoria Cisneros. This is a rematch from when we fought about 3 years ago. I won that fight by split decision and she’s been asking for a rematch ever since so August the 22nd she gets her wish.
2. After your long lay-off and quick dispatch with a 2nd round TKO in your last bout, what is your game plan as you train for your title bout against Cisneros who brings a strong record (11-15-2) of achievement despite her won-loss record?
My game plan for August 22 is very simple, to be in the best shape of my life and be prepared to do whatever I need to to win the fight and the title.
3. You are a three-time world champion, you are ranked in the top twelve pound-for-pound all-time female boxers in Ring magazine among other accolades, what more is there for you to achieve in the sport?
I want to make my mark in history by being the first female to fight and be televised on HBO.
4. You must be anxious to be coming back into the ring in your hometown for the second time in a year. What has that been like for you?
It is truly a blessing to be coming back home to fight for my family, my friends and my fans once again. It is truly a blessing from above and I’m going to take full advantage of it by winning the world title.
5. I’ve heard you say for years that you want to fight on HBO. What is it you have to do to get to that goal?
I just have to keep doing my part and that’s winning each and every fight from here on out that I put in front of me. I have to keep preparing, keep praying, believing, and having faith that if I do my part, I know God will do his part. Faith without works is dead. That means if I believe that it’s going to happen then I have to work towards it. I have to believe it will happen even though I don’t see it.
6. You had two tough losses against Myriam Lamare and Cecilia Braekhus in 2011. Lamare herself fought Braekhus earlier this year and lost in a rout, whereas your fight was hard fought and has been viewed as a controversial loss. As you enter back into championship contention, do you have particular fights in mind — perhaps a rematch against Braekhus?
Yes yes yes yes yes! I want a rematch with her so bad that it almost hurts. I’ve been asking and I’ve been pleading and I’ve been begging for a rematch against her. She has given other fighters second chances to fight her, why not me? I’ll wait as long as it takes, as long as she’s still fighting and as long as I’m still fighting. I got a very unfair shake and I just want the opportunity to erase that mistake.
7. Throughout your 10+ years career, you have fought tough, hard opponents — and the best of the best female fighters from around the world. What is it that is inspiring you to enter into contention again?
To make history. To do something, that I was told a long time ago! I couldn’t do, accomplish, or it would never happen, and that is to fight on HBO.
8. Female boxing continues to ride a wave of boom and bust, and in many cases, the only option for some female boxers has been to jump over to MMA in order to keep in front of fans and have an opportunity fight at all. Having been a part of women’s boxing for a long time, what is your view of this and the kinds of options available to young women as they enter the sport?
You have to do what’s best for you. But if you have a passion and a desire to do something then don’t give up on it and go to something different. Work hard and keep having faith that what you are trying to accomplish, you will succeed. Not only for yourself, but you will pave the way for the ones coming behind you or following in your footsteps. Be a trendsetter.
9. You’ve been an inspiration to female boxers– and I know you’re known as fists of steel, but at my gym we call you “abs of steel.” What inspires you and keeps you working so hard? And importantly, having done so much for the sport, where do you go from here?
I AM a trendsetter. I want individuals to know, whether in boxing or whatever they’re setting out to do, that if you keep keeping on, keep the faith, work hard, believe in yourself, and don’t look back, you can accomplish anything, even when people say you can’t do it. If I can do it, hopefully it will give others inspiration to capture their goals and dreams as well.
Chevelle Hallback’s interview with Billy C at the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame inaugural induction on July 10, 2014, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Chevelle Hallback vs. Melissa Hernandez from 2/7/2008 (Part I)